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For many creatives and performers, making a living as a working artist is the ultimate goal. Whether you’re a dancer, singer, actor, voice artist, musician, or any other gorgeous artist soul, what would it mean to you to book those performing jobs and gigs, again and again, year after year? That’s something Carole Stennett has experienced firsthand. Here are the secrets to one successful performer’s West End journey!
I sat in my friend’s London flat with gorgeous Carol Stennett, a working West End Actor and Singer. Carole has starred in some significant West End roles, including Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard Musical and Nala in The Lion King Musical, to name a few.
I was excited to chat with Carole about her journey and life—a life where she seems to be constantly working. Booking work, again and again, is rare for the majority of performers. However, she shares her stories of perseverance at the start of her career and how she deals with casting rejections, which happen to her regardless of her busy working performance life.
From the corporate world to the actor, singer, and performer world
Carole started as a community consultant at a diversity company years ago and remembered not being happy there anymore. She was doing it because she was told, “When you finish university, you need to get a job.” So that’s what she did.
Carole remembers being at her desk one day and reading the voice newspaper, which had an open audition for The Lion King Musical in London’s West End. She imagined if she could be in The Lion King, but she also thought of her lack of experience. She had studied mass communications because she wanted to be a film director. Then she shared, “Something in my head said I don’t want to reach 55 and think, what if… so I decided to go for it, I’ll just sing a song.” Sadly, she shared she didn’t get it.
Carole returned to her day job and, about a month or two later, got a call asking her if she’d be interested in auditioning for the French version of the show. They had a Disneyland Paris condensed version of The Lion King. So she went from London to Paris and auditioned. Again, she didn’t get it. They told her to go away and work on her dancing. Carole did.
Secrets To One Successful Performer’s West End Journey!
They called her back again about six months later for the French version. Carole once again went in and sang; she did some movement and said, “I’ll never forget sitting on a chair in front of four or five people who asked me, how would you feel about moving to France? We want to offer you the job?”
Carole says, “I just went home and handed in my resignation.” She continued, “When I started, I made some amazing friends with whom I’m still close now. They were the ones who told me you need to get yourself an accountant, you need to get an agent, you need to start doing performing arts classes, and that’s how I learned, by being in the environment.”
Press play on this podcast episode, Secrets To One Successful Performer’s West End Journey!, to hear the whole story about how Carole’s career grew exponentially after this point. Carole Stennett’s reflections on being a working performing artist are so valuable to hear. I hope it’s an encouraging message to anyone pursuing a career in showbiz.
With you on the journey, friend.
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Image of Carole Stennett by Photographer Nicholas Dawkes