For our insight into the stage industry, we spoke to Dan Baker – a musical actor, playing ‘Costas’ in Mamma Mia! Tweet Dan at @dan_baker86.
How and why did you get into musical theatre?
At 17 I attended a dance class with a mate as a dare and not one to give up on a challenge, I carried on. Enjoying it more and more, learning to sing and exploring all different aspects of the industry – it became more than just a hobby.
What is a rehearsal schedule for a show like?
Rehearsing for Mamma Mia was very intense – the first week we learnt all the music for the show and by week 2 were completely ‘off the book’. The week after we would start in the morning with a long physical and vocal warm up then moving onto learning all the dance routines and scenes.
My dream originally was to make it to the West End - after achieving this I wouldn’t say I had a specific dream role but I would like to be in Wicked, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar and West Side Story.
Morgan James has been in the news recently for trashing another show on twitter. Do you support actors being super-critical in public about other shows?
I haven’t heard much about Morgan James trashing another show on Twitter. As much as I support social networking as a means to get your name out there and gain ‘followers’, I think if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t bother saying it! If you feel compelled to say something, say it in the right way and to the right person!
A day in you life during live shows
My fiancé and I have recently had a baby so I spend my days during the week with them as much as possible and then go off to work in the evening at Mamma Mia! - I have singing lessons every two weeks and also try and attend class whenever I can, but Friday and Saturday we have double shows so we have to be in most of the day.
What do you think of the price of West End show tickets?
I think ticket prices are a little bit overpriced in the West End – especially as we want to encourage more and more people to visit the theatre more often however I understand it is a business like anything else and profit has to be made because if it wasn’t we wouldn’t get money for new shows.
Which stage or musical director would you most like to work with?
I’m very much open to working with as many directors and choreographers as possible as I want to learn and gain as much experience as I can. The experience I’ve had and gained so far in this industry has been amazing however I would like to work with Trevor Nunn, Nikolai Foster, Stephen Mear, Andrew Wright to name but a few.