Adam Salathiel has been involved in theatre for more years than he can remember, and has covered every aspect of production, from acting, backstage, lighting & sound, front of house, choreography, direction, and even producing shows. He’s worked with various theatre groups all over Perth and is the current president of nomadic theatre company, Laughing Horse Productions. His next production is FAME: THE MUSICAL.
Despite his extremely busy life, he made time to answer 5 very important questions:
Which 5 characters from FAME would you invite over for dinner?
Wow! Talk about hard to choose – limiting it to five is extremely difficult. Every character would be an amazing dinner guest and would certainly bring a wealth of conversations to the dinner table. But if I had to choose, then I would say …
- Miss Bell, Mr Sheinkopf, Carmen Diaz, Tyrone Jackson and Nick Piazza.
- Hmmmmmmmmm no wait I mean Mr Myers, Miss Sherman, Serena Katz, Mabel Washington and Joe Vegas.
- But what about Grace Lamb, Iris Kelly, Goodman King, Schlomo Metzenbaum and Jack Jakowski?
Can I not have three separate dinner parties of five?
What are your 5 favourite things about theatre life?
- No two shows are the same: the joys (and sometimes pain) of live theatre … just because it happened that way on opening night doesn’t mean it will on closing night. Theatre is a living beast – the actors and everyone within the production continue to grow and expand and that is what makes theatre unique. It is alive and once started, you can’t yell cut or redo, you have to work with what you make of it, good and bad.
- Audience engagement: to have them on their edge of their seats, totally engrossed in a performance, and have them forget their reality and be totally ‘in the moment’. Sounds corny, but it is every performer’s dream.
- Creativity: space to grow as an individual and as a group, to nurture, teach and learn and bring out something truly amazing for everyone involved.
- Education: the ability to pass on knowledge that I have, and also to learn from others.
- Passion: No matter what, theatre people are passionate people.
- Confidence: School can be a time of self-doubt, and low self-esteem for some teens. Few things in life will teach confidence faster than standing on stage, and letting yourself shine in front of peers, friends, and family. That confidence can take a theatre student far, both in the workforce and in life.
- Constructive criticism and feedback are there to help you grow: After most rehearsals, the director gives theatre students notes on their performance. Theatre students quickly learn that the intention of a note is not to tear them down, but help them create the best performance possible. The response to a note from the director should never be arguing or excuses – it should simply be “thank you.” (Imagine if people in the workplace accepted feedback that way.)
- The world is a big place, full of different cultures and values. While working as part of that big team, theatre students interact with fellow students from different backgrounds, while presenting shows that tell culturally diverse stories from all over the world. Keeping an open mind is basically a theatre student’s full time job.
- Emotions are meant to be expressed. Psychologists say, “Don’t hide your emotions, deal with them.” Who is better equipped to deal with emotions than theatre students, who spend hours on stage expressing every emotion a human is capable of feeling?
- Sometimes you need to take a risk to get the reward. Employers are constantly seeking leaders who don’t always play it 100% safe, and who are not afraid to take calculated risks. The theatre student learns very early on, if they want to get noticed on stage, they have to learn to trust themselves enough to take a risk, try something different, and never ever “play it safe”.
What are 5 funny things that have happened during your theatre life?
- Playing a Dame in a pantomime – bright blue dress, wig, make-up and tiara, the whole works, It was truly one of the funniest yet scariest times in my life – stepping out on stage was both challenging and rewarding all in one. Maybe there is a director reading this willing to cast me in another dame role?
- Falling off the stage at Old Mill Theatre while directing five talented ladies. When the lighting tech yells “theatre is going dark”, you should always believe them and never assume you know where the stairs are. On a positive note, directors do bounce well.
- Behind-the-scenes work with a variety of stage hands … sometimes what happens behind the scenes backstage is a riot, but as with all theatre etiquette the old saying is “What happens backstage, stays backstage.”
- Rehearsals – every production I have ever been a part of means I get to meet new people or rekindle old friendships. Among all the hard work that goes on, I have found that we all laugh and joke a lot!
- Playing a drunk in an old time music hall show years ago – after the show audience members came up to me and tried to take my car keys away for fear I would try to drive myself home. Wow, what a compliment. Was I really that believable?