This week on Throwback Thursday we speak to Blake Patrick Anderson who is about to play Mark in Hope Mill Theatre’s production of Jonathan Larson’s Rent.
I auditioned for my school’s production of Annie (no I wasn’t Annie, although I should have been) and was cast as “New Yorker” and ” Servant” I think I was about 12. From then on I auditioned every year and loved it!2) Things have changed a lot for everyone in the industry. Tell us about your audition process for ‘Rent’, and how it is different from your ‘usual’ auditions’
I auditioned for Rent way back in February so it was actually just like any other audition. But when we went into lockdown there was so much uncertainty we didn’t even know if it would go ahead. And now the meaning of the show and what this experience is going to be has shifted completely. It’s going to be Rent truly as it has never been seen before.
3) How have the rehearsals been during a pandemic?
Above all its wonderful. I feel so happy and so lucky to be able to be working in theatre at this time. On a day to day level, it’s strange. There are all kinds of health and safety measures and social distancing rules in place that are rather alien but it’s incredible that despite all this we are managing to create something quite special.
Mostly, trying to stay relaxed and grounded. I always try to make my dressing room as zen as possible so that when I’m on stage I’m not thronging about anything other than what I’m doing.5) Tell us about one of your best/funniest memories on stage?
I think there are more than I could count when I think back to Starlight Express. When everyone is on wheels, falling over becomes a regular occurrence. The show is entirely in German so when you forget the words it’s not as simple as just making them up. However, we do also learn the show in English. There was one time I forgot the words and I panicked so I sang them in English. The audience must have been so confused.
6) How have you been keeping creative in lockdown?
I’ve tried not to be too hard on myself when it comes to being creative. I found at first I was forcing myself to write music or find ways to be creative but I found quickly that my best work comes naturally and it’s important not to force it. For most of us, being creative is a natural instinct so it seems to just happen by itself if you let it.
My dressing room wall blanket (even if it’s not on the wall). My humidifier and there will always be sweets!8) What is your favourite Cast Album to listen to right now?
Right now I’m really loving the London Cast recording of Amélie. Audrey Brisson has the most captivating voice!
9) If your life were a musical what would it be called, and why?
It would probably be called “daydreaming” or something along those lines. I daydream a lot, sometimes I’m not even in the room at all. It would be an artistic mix of the real world and an imaginary one.
10) What advice would you give to all the new graduates – both 2020 and upcoming 2021 grads?
To anyone graduation in 2020 or next year, I would say to look after yourself physically and mentally and be hopeful and stay excited about the future. And then when the future comes you’ll be ready. There’s no right way to deal with what’s currently happening to the theatre right now so do what feels right for you.