ACTRESS Aimee Louise Good dreamed a dream of landing a West End role and realised it when she was cast in iconic musical Les Miserables last summer. The former member of RTSA (Rotherham Teachers Student Academy) and RTOS (Rotherham Teachers' Operatic Society) spoke to Michael Upton about how she got there, how she's keeping busy in lockdown and how making her West End debut brought tears to her eyes.
1 How did it feel to join the cast of an iconic show like Les Mis and make your professional debut?
It felt absolutely incredible! It took me a while to process that it was actually happening! I still feel incredibly grateful.
2 You're a graduate of the prestigious Urdang Academy in London. What makes it so special and highly regarded?
Urdang Academy is special and highly recommended due to the professional standard of the teaching provided and also the support network that is provided alongside that. Urdang Academy are always posting on social media the success of their alumni. This success is because of the standard of training and the opportunities that are given to the students.
3 Turning back the clock, how did you first get into musical theatre? Do you have any memories of your first rehearsals, roles or performances? Were you always destined to be a performer?
I was not interested in becoming a performer until my end of Year 6 primary musical, Cinderella Rockafella. I played the role of Cinderella and fell in love with performing straight away. I joined an amateur dramatics society in Wakefield and performed in their company throughout high school alongside my studies.
From this point, I knew it was my passion to do this professionally.
4 What part if any did you play in school productions? Were you nervous before curtain up or did you relish the spotlight?
At high school (Outwood Grange Academy) my first musical there was Guys And Dolls, where I played the role of Adelaide.
I was always nervous before curtain call, but a good, excited nervous!
5 What special memories do you have of your time working with amateur companies in Rotherham? Were there any particular cast, crewmates or family members that helped set you on your way?
In Rotherham my favourite memory was West Side Story, with RTOS. Maria is such special part to play and the cast were incredibly talented and fun to work with.
In regards to people helping set me on my way, it would be my supportive parents! I would not be anywhere if it were not for my mum driving me to every rehearsal and being my biggest support.
6 What memorable moments did you have on and off stage at The Civic in Rotherham?
Off stage in Rotherham, I always remember the rehearsals of The Wizard Of Oz being hilarious!
The director Dee Bennie-Marshall, who always puts on amazing shows, was always up for making rehearsals plenty of fun.
Matthew Roddis, Ben Green and Ashley Booker, who played the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man were an absolute dream to perform alongside, and we laughed the way through the rehearsal process, so this has to be my favourite off-stage memory.
7 How tough has it been to get to where you are now - getting into your chosen school and then landing West End work?
It was very tough. I studied at CAPA college, which has intense training to prepare students for drama schools. CAPA was the highlight of my training!
I also took part in RTSA, RTOS, Wakefield West Riding and DIVA Theatre Arts shows, alongside performing a variety of shows (non-stop!)
Once I got into Urdang Academy, it was another three years of intense training. After training, auditions are tough, with many different rounds, rejections and not knowing where you stand.
However, all of this is worthwhile when you land professional work.
8 What is your fondest memory on stage or in theatre?
It had to be the opening night of Les Miserables, singing and marching to One Day More. I could have cried on stage - it was an epic moment.
9 Have you had any particularly funny experiences or moments on stage or backstage?
I have plenty of funny experiences on stage and backstage however a highlight has to be an onstage "trump" in the Barricade scene of Les Mis by one of the men, and trying to watch everyone act serious although it was very funny.
10 Is working in theatre what dreamed it would be? It must be tough keeping your body and voice in shape for up to eight shows a week?
Yes, it's everything I'd hoped it to be. I feel very grateful but it's tough. Eight shows a week and sometimes nine is hard and you have to make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat good food. I try to do home workouts or go to the gym to help maintain fitness and stamina to get through the shows.
11 Coronavirus has caused huge disruption to theatre companies. How are you coping with this and keeping morale up?
The coronavirus has caused a major disruption and it is heart breaking to see.
To get through it, I have been doing home workouts, online dance classes, singing a lot (because it just releases all of my emotion and I love doing it) and having plenty of catch-ups with friends. All of this helps me stay motivated and sane!
12 What would be your message to someone who thinks they might like to be on the stage but isn't sure how to get started?
My message to someone wanting to be on the stage is to never give up - you have to be prepared for plenty of rejection but it is never because you are not good enough, simply that you are just not right for that particular show. Always believe in yourself and work hard. There are many people fighting for the same jobs and you get what you put in, so if you put the hard work and dedication in, you will find success when the time is right.