A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a message on Facebook to ex-Spotlighters to ‘sound-out’ an idea I had for an article on the Spotlight website. I wanted to feature previous members of the cast and find out what Spotlight meant to them personally and what they had been up to since they left. I cannot believe the response and the amazing stories that have been sent through. You are all a truly talented group of people in so many ways and Graham and I are very proud of you all!
To get the ball rolling, Nick Waldock got in touch and this is what he said:
“I think about my past experiences with Spotlight often, reflecting on what I learned in those few years. Moments of contented nostalgia are usually triggered when I find myself in a dark and dusty theatre pit and I sit watching the events of a new production unfold around me.”
“Every time I see the same experience of the life or death internal skirmish from a nervous young actor – attempting to stave shaking hands, looking for parents and, at the same time, trying to NOT look for parents, or forgetting lines or whether to exit downstage left or right — I am reminded of the mistakes I made on stage. Also, I remember how important it was to fix mistakes off stage to avoid letting anyone down and how, most of the time, nobody noticed them anyway, except me! I learned that I am responsible for fixing my own mistakes and, most of the time, they aren’t such a big deal as I made them out to be.”
“Every time I see someone with the deer-in-headlights ‘They forgot their line! Now what do I do?” shock, someone improvises, quick as a flash, with an off-the-cuff line that has the audience in stitches. I remember being Bugsy Malone, who was lucky enough to have a hilarious colleague (Oli Scott if you’re reading this!) to carry off my mistakes seamlessly. I learned the importance of having friends around to help when you really need it.”
“Every time I see someone on stage absolutely nailing a song or comedic timing, and the audience responding with rapturous cheers and applause, I remember being a guitar-playing chef in Return to the Forbidden Planet. I learned that people aren’t against you and, more often than not, they want to see you perform as best as you can.”
“Every time the curtain comes down on a show and I walk backstage and feel the post-show elation and buzz among the cast, I remember standing behind that slowly-closing curtain as Jesus in Godspell. I’ve learned to enjoy the personal victories.”
“Every time I look up from the music to see a young, performance-hungry actor who is costumed up, bathed in lights, and walking onstage to tumultuous applause, I am reminded of the time I wore a “stunning” cocktail dress, feather boa, wig and heels in Sugar. I learned that cross dressing isn’t really my thing…”
“Every time I meet and see the efforts of a new production team, I am reminded of, and deeply humbled by, the monumental effort, patience, dedication, time, creativity and vision that Graham, Sarah and the rest of the volunteers at Spotlight have given so freely and silently so we have been able to indulge in our moments of glory.”
“Spotlight helped me to understand more about who I am and what I wanted to do with my life. After leaving, I went on to study Jazz bass at Leeds College of Music. My interest in double bass was sparked by my role in Sugar! Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to hold a career as a freelance professional bass player, which has allowed me to travel all over the world playing all sorts of different musical styles and venues.”
“More recently, I completed a Masters in Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music and now have, for the first time, my own original music show to continually develop and perform. Managing the everyday situations and challenges associated with creating and performing a show, I constantly draw on the lessons I learned both on and off the stage with Spotlight. These include the importance and responsibility of the words and actions people use, team work, diplomacy, morale, having the right skills and possessing the creative vision and drive to make something happen. All of these lead to the feeling of being an important component in the smooth running of a production that brings joy to so many. Such fulfilment can be hard to come by.”
“My music career has been incredibly difficult and challenging at times, but I always remember one of the biggest lessons that I learned from Spotlight. That is the more you work towards something you want with commitment and dedication, the sweeter the prize when it’s finally showtime!”
“I hope some day I’ll find myself working on a show with Spotlight again, creating those same lessons and experiences for today’s young performers. The wealth of experience that Graham and Sarah have created in Spotlight for so many who have passed through its doors far exceeds any other endeavour I’ve ever been a part of. Thanks for everything!”
Thank you Nick! If you haven’t had the chance to write a piece yet, but would still like to, please don’t worry. Just send it to me when you have time and we will publish it over the coming months.
For more information about Spotlight, please contact us.
For more about about Nick, visit his website:
You can view an original composition by Nick Waldock called Lucky’s Strike below, which debuted live at the Royal Northern College of Music Theatre, Manchester UK (in May 2017).
Other pages you may be interested in: