It’s performance companies auditions week 2023!

Portrait photos of Unsigned artists Ansu Njai, Ruby Sue, Cara Knox and Amber Green for a blog about auditions at The Garage

We’re holding auditions for our Breakin’ Crew, FleX, Fusion, Theatre, and Unsigned performance companies all next week. There’ll also be a free workshop for our Contemporary 50+ members to try out our newest group – Forward

Each is perfect for performers with a bit of experience under their belt who are ready to push themselves more and create work for audiences. You can read more about each company and when auditions are by clicking here.

Our Unsigned music programme members recently rounded off their time with us with a gig at The Waterfront in Norwich. There’s still time to grab a spot before auditions next Thursday. You’ll find everything you need to know in the link above. If you’re not sure it’s for you, here’s what this year’s participants thought.

Amber Green noticed a leap in her confidence since signing up.

She said: “Just being able to dance around and actually have fun rather than focusing on playing it right. My guitar playing has improved so much. I used to struggle and get panicky. I’ve been taught how to balance my focus and my stage presence. I’ve got so many contacts and opportunities as well. Unsigned has really benefited me.”

Ansu Njai found he can be more himself while also exploring different ideas.

He said: “There’s certain things I never would’ve tried before without this programme. My music’s quite private to me. So for me to actually show it to people… You’ve helped me step out of that, to represent myself more musically.

“You’ve definitely helped me find my sound more and expanded my range. I’ve got an ear for different music now. You get different ideas from it and put who you are into it.”

Cara Knox couldn’t believe the gig was the end of her Unsigned experience. It may’ve gone quickly, but she says it’s been incredible.

“I was working full-time during Unsigned and recently decided to leave and become a full-time musician. That would’ve been really daunting if I didn’t have tutors Millie Manders, Emma O’Reilly, Carl Cole, and the support of The Garage and the other artists.

“I’ve learned a lot about the business side. Things like mailing lists, marketing, social media; how to contact promoters, organisers, fellow artists, how to network; different finance streams, things like Patreon. It’s been huge.

“Musically it’s helped with my performance. I’m getting better speaking in between songs. Being a little more natural. I’ve started to find my feet with addressing the audience, engaging with them, that banter.

“It’s kind of endless what I’ve learned. Mostly it’s confidence, asserting myself, expressing how I want songs to go, leading a band… The tutors have given me the language to do that which has been amazing.”

 

Ruby Sue said she’s now a whole different person on stage.

“I’m able to connect with my songs a lot more, which is something that I struggled with before. I lost focus sometimes when I was performing and just rocked out which I didn’t realise was noticeable until Millie and Carl pointed it out. 

Millie and Emma have both been really helpful in planning my EP release later in the year. I know now I’ve the skills and the connections. I just wanted to become a better musician and I’ve done that in all aspects. These are skills that will be with me for life.”

Tutor Emma said working with Amber, Ansu, Cara and Ruby has been a joy.

She added: “The Waterfront gig is really important. It’s one of the key venues in Norwich and an opportunity for them to play for local booking agents, meet photographers, meet other artists; to share their progress, skills and creative vision. That’s a beautiful thing to be able to witness and support.

“Me, Millie, Carl, Paul Thompson… We want to take some of the hard work out for them. We’re their industry big sibling. We want to make sure they don’t have to do as much of the figuring out as we did, and understand the parameters for professionalism. 

“We also want them to know how to stay true to their vision. They’ve all brought such different things to the table. That’s one of the amazing things about Unsigned is you can design the programme around them – their needs, how they want to develop and it’s really cool to see it happen.”

Unsigned is funded by Youth Music and the Norfolk Music Hub.

Auditions for Breakin’ Crew, FleX, Fusion, Theatre, Unsigned; and the free workshop for our Contemporary 50+ members to try out Forward will start the week commencing 4 September.

Our autumn term of dance, drama, music, and fitness classes start on Monday 11 September. 

Our friendly front of house team are happy to answer any questions. Give them a call on 01603 283382 or email info@thegarage.org.uk

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