11
Mar
13

Legally Blonde Stars Share Stage Secrets with Students

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Wow, I just haven’t had a chance to put this together for the blog until now, but you might remember that a few weeks ago, I arranged with Cinnamon Watson Publicity for leading Australian musical theatre stars Lucy Durack and David Harris to join Patrice Tipoki on stage, to share their hot tips for aspiring performers, and tales of their own theatrical journeys during a special visit to my favourite Sunshine Coast school (you know Sam was a Foundation Student!), Matthew Flinders Anglican College in Buderim. I’m lucky enough to be invited to teach there sometimes so it was the obvious thing! Of course I couldn’t have the students missing out on such a fabulous opportunity! Also, I didn’t want to miss the chance of quickly capturing some pics with these guys on the day. They are always so busy on opening nights and I don’t do the Stage Door Thing anymore either. So even though I think I look generally EXHAUSTED this year (it could be the longer, darker hair. It could also be the lack of restorative sleep), I seized the day and stopped for those shots, along with the most eager students! Thanks to Tully Grimley and Mr Quirk, we now have the pics to prove it…

 

#exhausted

 

So it was on an ordinary Monday afternoon, before Year 8 Drama, that I facilitated a Question and Answer session with the stars, which we realised was as valuable to staff as it was to the students so all were made welcome, and even Mr Price managed to pop in! You might have seen the Channel 7 news story, or caught the feature in the Sunshine Coast Daily.

 

Patrice, a former Flinders student and Music Scholar, was delighted to catch up with her good friends Lucy and David, who are starring in Legally Blonde the Musical, which opens in Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre on Thursday.

 

Lucy will play leading lady Elle Woods made famous by Hollywood actress Reece Witherspoon, and David will play heart-throb Emmett.

 

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The leads of this year’s Flinders musical, Guys and Dolls, joined other students in the hour-long Q&A session with the theatre stars, hosted in the College’s Performance Centre.

 

Questions included how the stars discovered their passion for the theatre and tips to help their performances.

 

While Lucy and Patrice studied together at WAAPA (Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts), David unsuccessfully auditioned for both WAAPA and NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art), but then scored a role in The Boy from Oz.

 

“If one door closes then go knock on another one,” David told his young audience.

 

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David said he first found himself on the stage back in Year 8 when no-one would try out for the school musical.

 

Drama was just a hobby and he always thought he would become an architect. But after spending just two days at university, David decided that he was destined for a career on stage.

 

Lucy said when she was at school she did not have such an amazing facility to use as the Performance Centre, however, she found inspiration in her passionate drama and music teachers.

 

“I was heart-broken when the school musical was over every year,” Lucy said.

 

Like David, Lucy started a university degree (appropriately, for the role of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde it was Law), but after a semester she was “miserable” and headed back to the theatre.

 

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Lucy, who auditioned for eight months to get the role in Legally Blonde, said some of the best advice she could give to aspiring actors was to learn their lines – “then you can focus on everything else that is going on around you”.

 

David encouraged the students to find their “spice”. “We all have our individual spice flavour – know what your spice is and use it,” David said.

 

Patrice, who was one of the youngest to be invited into WAAPA at just 16, encouraged the students to enjoy all the experiences on offer while at school.

 

Patrice, who graduated from Flinders in 2000, was raised in a musical family and has been performing all her life. Her credits include starring as Nala in The Lion King, We Will Rock You touring Australia and Japan and most recently in the hit musical, Wicked. Patrice has moved back to the Sunshine Coast where she lives with her husband and two young daughters.

 

Both Patrice and David said their next big dream roles would be from Les Miserables, while Lucy is working on a project and would love to star in that when it is produced.

 

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This article was published originally on mfac.edu.au

Thanks to Debbie Southern

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1 Response to “Legally Blonde Stars Share Stage Secrets with Students”



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