Case Study: My Agent, Getting Work & Touring with Tenors
Within just a couple of months David joined the international cast of “The Twelve Tenors” in Concert 2015 on their Scandinavian Tour. As soon as the tour finishes David starts rehearsals as lead vocalist on the RMS Queen Mary 2 with which he will tour until November.We asked David for his insight and advice on getting noticed and how he’s been coping being on a whirlwind tour with the tenors.
We last saw you at the Singers Surgery in September last year, so tell us about what’s been happening since then?In July, I graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and had not found an Agent. As a result of the CCP Singers’ Surgery in September, I was signed by The Philip Foster Company and was over the moon! Once signed with Philip, we continued to work one-on-one which has lead to some of my best work at auditions. I have booked four jobs since signing! I am currently on the Scandinavian Tour with “The 12 Tenors” and, upon the conclusion of the Tour, I travel directly to my next job on the Queen Mary 2 as Lead Production Vocalist. Not even one day off!
Is the industry how you imagined it?My training at the Royal Academy of Music was great and helped me to prepare me for what the industry might be like. One thing I have come to realise is just how small our industry is in terms of who knows whom. It is very important to be fully prepared for every single audition as you may be auditioning for more than the immediate role on offer. It is very important to be polite and respectful, as one is not always hired solely on talent, but also on whether the panel feels that the Artist will be a good company member.
What is the best thing about being on tour?The best thing is getting to see so many great places. On this Tour, I have travelled Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The views are spectacular! You also form close bonds with the cast as you get to spend a lot of your free time with them and they become more friends than colleagues. We have a great group of guys in the “Tenors” and this Tour is a complete pleasure.
What do you miss most when you are on tour?I miss my home “creature” comforts. We never have access to a kitchen as we are staying in hotels constantly so you we cannot make one’s own perfect cup of tea! One of the good things is that keeping in touch with family and friends is made so much easier with Skype etc. as all hotels have Wi-Fi access.
What (strategy/event/etc) have had the most impact on your career to date?Doing a Master’s Degree at the Royal Academy of Music was a big gamble for me in terms of the expense. It was certainly worth it as I had access to some of the best teachers in the world including Ann Marie Speed, Mary Hammond and Karen Rabinowitz. They shared so much of their knowledge which I am still putting into place even now.
Not giving up easily is a cliché strategy but, it is true! To my disappointment, I did not get an Agent from my showcase at the Royal Academy. It was huge blow to me; however, I carried on and put myself forward for this Singers’ Pro Surgery and I have enjoyed great success since, finding not only a fantastic Agent, but also landing some brilliant jobs.
What is your ultimate goal in your career, and how do you plan to achieve it?I want to have a varied career with lots of different experiences. I am very interested in doing an actor/musician project in the future as I play French horn and saxophone. In terms of West End, I would love to be in “Les Misérables”! I am also extremely interested in recording studio session work and TV backing work. Philip and I are constantly looking at different opportunities and, truly, the sky’s the limit! I am going onboard the Queen Mary 2 in a few weeks to see more of the world, boost my confidence and explore a wider range of singing.
Is there any advice you can offer fellow CCP/Singers Pro members on getting discovered in such a tough industry?Acknowledge that it is a tough industry! If success does not come quickly, do not let this put you off. Keep studying and practicing. Go see as much theatre as you can. One cannot succeed in an industry on which one is not well informed.
Emmy Willow also attended our Singers CCP Surgery with Philip Foster who saw her potential and quickly signed her up to his agency. Read Emmy's story here where she discusses touring with a huge production, Glaswegian audience participation and not forgetting to breathe!