Monkey Motivation: Megan McClymontEach fortnight, we’re offering you some Monkey Motivation, in the form of interviews with our alumni.
Two Year Rep 2018 graduate Megan has just got back from touring The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with Erasmus Theatre. Find out what life is like as an actor on tour.
Since graduating from Fourth Monkey I have started working full time at my day job, trying to keep up exercise and eating right. I also got stuck into emailing agents, trying to find acting jobs on Mandy and Spotlight, while attempting to make enough money to survive in London. Ha! Eventually I signed with a wonderful agency who are really supportive and exciting who started finding me auditions!
Can you tell us about your latest project?
I recently worked with Erasmus Theatre on a devised adaptation of the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was an 11 day rehearsal process and six week tour around Italy, performing to children of all ages. There were four actors in the show, all playing lots of different parts, as well as the main four characters. We did two shows a day, five days a week, sometimes six. It was lots of fun and seeing beautiful Italy for free was pretty crazy. So much pasta!
How did you find out about and audition for the project?
I found out about the project from my agents, who put me up for the audition. I had to prepare a monologue that told a story and was fun and character driven. We were then asked to do a short workshop and worked with three other actors on a part of the novel, to see what we could devise. This was so nice to be able to do after having a few months break from pretty much any acting and devising – I felt like I was back at Monkey again!
How do you bring what you learned at Fourth Monkey to your professional work?
I think being taught to listen to yourself and judge what your body needs to warm up before each show has been vital. Fourth Monkey taught me how to craft a warm-up that works for me, depending on what I need at the time. For this particular show, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to do a full warm up, once you had finished the get-in and had got changed into costume. The great training Fourth Monkey gave me meant I have a whole load of warm-ups and exercises that I can do in a short timeframe, to make sure I go on stage ready and energised.
Keep every show fresh! Surprise each other and have fun, no show will be the same.
A great lesson that Angela Gasparetto taught us on day one of first year, ‘Early is on time, on time is late, late? Don’t bother!’
The last thing (and most important) to be a nice person to work with. Being open, considerate and easy to work with is something that is super important, especially in this industry. People will remember you for being a giving and friendly actor. Be kind – it’s free!
What are your plans following the tour?
Nothing concrete as of yet! But my agents are sending me auditions and self-tapes to do, so I’m getting a lot of practice. I’m trying to tick off a lot of the things I wanted to do this year. I’m looking into making a showreel, getting some new headshots and trying to find a new day job. I would love to create some of my own work, direct and definitely move more as well!
Do you have any advice for graduating actors who might be interested in producing their own work?
Drink a lot of water, try all of the food, sleep as much as you can when you can (front seats of a van can be comfy!). Don’t be afraid to take some time to just be on your own. Tours can be intense so explore, take a walk, do some yoga somewhere, call a family member or friend and enjoy! Time goes fast!