Life in the West End - An interview with Sharon Rose
Boss series is a platform where we interview trailblazers in the business and creative industries.
On Monday the 9th of March we had the honour of inviting the ever so talented Sharon Rose for an Instagram Live interview. Sharon plays Eliza in Hamilton on the West End. Sharons credits include Sister Act, Motown and Caroline or Change. Below are some of the highlights from our conversation.
Sharon grew up in Zimbabwe and mentioned that her upbringing contradicted some of the popularised African charity commercials that only show poverty in African countries. It was only when she moved to the UK did she see poverty.
Again against common beliefs about African parents Sharons parents were very supportive of her dream of becoming a musician and she still shares a strong bond with them. Her other role models included artists such as Nina Simone.
Before becoming a professional actress Sharon worked at Kwik Fit. Despite her employment not being in the creative industry Sharon would insist on practising everyday so she was ready to take her opportunity when the time arose.
Suddenly, a friend of Sharon got in touch to ask if she would be interested in filling in for a role in Sister Act the musical. This was a semi-professional production. Sharon has a beautiful voice and even though she is not a classically trained actress she fit the role perfectly. During one of her performances for Sister Act a casting agent scouted her and went on to sign Sharon.
Sharon describes herself as an introvert so auditioning did not come naturally to her. However, the fact that she felt like she had nothing to lose reduced the pressure and allowed her to give everything even though she wasn’t the most sociable person. Her first professional role on the West End was the Carole King musical and she hasn’t looked back since!
Sharon mentioned that she has loved her time on the West End so far. What people may not expect is that sometimes it’s not very glamorous. Changing rooms can be very intimate and you may have to deal with rodents from time to time. Furthermore, it is also very demanding physically so being fit is crucial. Warming up and cooling down after performances are vital for longevity.
Sharon would encourage more theatre productions to perform blind casting, which is the practice of casting without considering the actors ethnicity, body shape or gender. Hamilton used this casting strategy when they gave Sharon the role of Eliza.
The role of Eliza has made Sharon to reflect on all the powerful women she has within in her life and how selfless they are. A trait that should not be taken for granted.
Sharon is a practicing Christian. She mentioned how this guides her judgement regarding what roles she auditions for as she would not want to comprise her faith.
A massive thank you to Sharon for taking the time out to speak with us and thank you to everyone that joined the live interview and asked such riveting questions. To learn more about IAMedia and our services please visit www.iamedia.co.uk and make sure to look out for our next Boss Series interview. Guest to be announced soon!
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