This month we have a very exciting theme to celebrate the month of loooove. (yes, it is Valentines Day month if you haven’t remembered.) Here on The Phoenix Remix we like to take the ideology of that love day that the month is famously known for an actually focus on topics and passion projects of others.
This month we talk to Jenni Winter who is part of the Musical Theatre Cabaret. She has done many live shows as well as performing as a musician alongside improv shows in Newcastle with The Suggestibles. Since the United Kingdom has been in lockdown Jenni has been hosting live shows through Facebook taking requests and performing them live. Today we talk about preparing for a show and how to relax after!
What three things are you looking forward to about performing?
The connection with the audience, the thrill of singing and playing, the relief of getting through the show without the internet cutting out
What are some of the best bits of advice you have been given about performing and why?
Find the confidence and sense of ease needed for the performance, even if you have to fake it for the entire show. An audience need to feel safe watching you, and this can really come from the performer’s confidence and sense of ease (even if you don’t feel it!) Also, don’t worry about how many people are in the audience. Even if only one person is in, they have bought their ticket for the show you have promised them, never give a half-hearted performance based on audience numbers. Give every show everything you’ve got!
What have been some of your favourite moments on stage?
One of my favourite shows was called Heaven Can Wait. I performed in 2 National Tours around the UK and Ireland with some of my best friends, having an absolute ball.
What have been some of the worst and why?
I honestly haven’t had any bad moments on stage. For all the silliness at the cabaret, I take my profession very seriously and give every show everything!
How do you warm up before a show?
Usually a physical and then a vocal warm up. If performing with others an energetic game too!
How do you wind down?
In real life, by hitting the theatre bar, and in live stream land by watching the show back with a drink or 2.
Do you have any pre-show rituals if so what are they?
I used to when I was touring, when I was peak Taking It Very Seriously, but these days it is always such a mad dash to get the back drop up and make sure all the tech is working there’s no time for rituals. But you’ve inspired me to make time with this question, because I used to love them, and they really help get you in the zone.
Describe the feeling you get when you host a show and people specifically turn up to see you?
It’s an amazing feeling, and really humbling too. It is a real boost when the numbers are high; however even if there were only 2 people in one night, they would still get the full energy and the full show. I never pull it back just because audience numbers are low. A brilliant director I worked with on Spelling Bee, Ian Waller taught me the importance of this, and would never tell us how many people were in the audience for a show, as it should make no difference to our performance- we should give it everything whether it’s a packed house or half empty.
What would you like to see happen to music and cabaret in the next 10 years?
Oo well I’d love to see the cabaret scene soar in Newcastle! There are some brilliant venues and performers just dying to get back to it, so hopefully they will all return with a bang!