Exactly one year ago today I was preparing to play the lead part in a musical for my final performance/assessment on my Musical Theatre course at The BRIT School. The show in question was Parade by Jason Robert Brown and I was playing Leo Frank. Two years of training had built up to this moment and I was determined to give the best performance of my life.
Since then I have done many things. I’ve performed at The Young Vic, I’ve performed as a live musician for the very first time, I’ve created this website but most importantly I have created a web series called Stars Of The Future. It’s a mockumentary series set in a performing arts school and was influenced heavily by being at The BRIT School. If it weren’t for BRIT I wouldn’t have met any of the cast and I certainly would never have had the idea for the series to begin with. But funnily enough the school shown in the series is almost the exact opposite of what BRIT actually is. The fictional school in the series, better known as the PRAT School (Performing, Recording, Arts, Technology School), is full of big stereotyped characters all making a fuss over themselves and trying to convince everyone else over how hard their life is. At BRIT no-one is really like that and even those that are close still have their human qualities.
I made Stars Of The Future because I wanted to show people that the stereotypes people often associate with performing are usually completely ridiculous. What better way to show that by sticking everyone of those stereotypes in a school together at the very beginning of their career where they are all fighting for the limelight.
And now today, exactly one year since I was in my final show at BRIT, the final episode of Stars Of The Future is being released featuring the characters final show. It’s a happy little coincidence that I didn’t even realise would happen until about a week ago. I shall write a more in depth blog about the making of the series at a later date but for me this is the end of an era.
The idea first came about two years ago when myself and Alex Evans filmed a pilot episode for the series in May 2009. We filmed the entire thing in one afternoon, improvising as we went along and roping in whoever was interested in playing a part. The most important of these was James Templeton who created Frederick Myers, an extremely camp musical theatre student who pranced around the dace studios and was subsequently beaten up by the school bully.
Over the next year I created more characters and wrote a ten part series which we filmed from June to July last year. Since September I have been editing it and in January we premiered the entire series as one big film for the cast and crew. Over the past few months a episodes have been released every week and after today’s episode it ends.
Two years of planning, creating, filming, editing and generally just having a good old time will come to an end. The series was filmed mainly at BRIT and since I will no longer be editing the episodes each week and looking at those corridors and rooms that I love so much, it feels like I am leaving all over again.
I’m not entirely sure what this blog is but what I do want to say is thank you. There are so many people to thank. Firstly everyone on my musical theatre course at BRIT especially those who appear in the series alongside myself playing the characters. Also the teachers who were convinced that I could act, sing and dance well enough to get onto the course in the first place and for allowing us to film in the school when we were making a series that made a mockery of performing arts. Anyone else who has helped out along the way, especially Kit Tenant Flowers and Calum Rogers, who were my guinea pigs and sat through unedited version of scenes laughing their heads off. Most of all I want to thank anyone who has watched it because that’s why I make these films in the first place. I don’t make any money out of this. I do it for fun and hope that other people watch it and enjoy the episodes too. If you have watched and enjoyed, thank you. The final episode is above to watch and I hope you feel a sense of accomplishment, not only for making it though the whole series, but because, like me, you look at the characters and realise how much they have grown over the course of the series. I can’t say if there will be another series, I can’t even say if I will ever make another film, but I can say…
Thank you for watching.