Performer Stuff Presents “In the Holding Room” Industry Podcast Episode 13

Written by: Christiaan Abbott

May 5th, 2021

Performer Stuff continues with episode 13 of the podcast “In the Holding Room.” The podcast, hosted by Christiaan Abbott, features industry insiders and Broadway professionals to help you crush your next audition! New episodes drop on Performer Stuff every Wednesday.

Episode Summary

Ria Jones, West End star and leading lady tells us about some of her auditions, including auditioning for Hal Prince to become the youngest Eva Peron at just 19 years of age. My “Thank You 5” segment is about the importance of journaling. In “Professor’s Corner” this week, Broadway powerhouse, Kim Criswell gives advice on song selections for auditions and being brave enough to be yourself.

Intro to this Episode

In this episode of “In The Holding Room,” we are thrilled to be joined by the incomparable Ria Jones. Ria is an internationally renowned West End star of the highest caliber. She has performed leading roles in numerous West End musicals and sung in theaters and concert halls worldwide. As well as performing as a soloist on three Royal Variety Shows, she has also sung, by Royal request at Buckingham Palace. At 19 she became the youngest actress ever to play the role of Eva Peron in the musical Evita followed shortly by her West End debut in the musical Chess, in which she played the roles of both Svetlana and Florence. She then went on to play Grizabella in Cats at the New London Theatre, (where she stayed for two years). Her next role was as Fantine in Les Misérables, at Manchester’s Palace Theatre, followed by the national tour, and the West End. Then came the role of the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Apollo Hammersmith, and the national tour. Most recently Ria was seen performing the role of Norma Desmond in the West End production of Sunset Boulevard, a role that she originally created in the workshop production.

In “Thank you 5” this week, I talk about the importance of journaling for performers. Yes, we all know to take notes during rehearsals, but those notes can lead to some exceptional journal entries.

Kim Criswell is going to be with us in “Professors Corner” this week to talk about song selection and making brave and bold choices. Kim’s Broadway credits include starring as Lucy, opposite Sting, in The Threepenny Opera directed by John Dexter, and appearing in the original Broadway cast of the 1982 Best Musical Tony winner Nine, first as Francesca, then taking over the leading role of Claudia. Other Broadway original cast credits include The First, Baby, and Stardust. On the West Coast, she was the original Grizabella in Cats, singing “Memory” at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles, and also appeared as Lalume in Kismet for Opera Pacific.  She starred in the original West End productions of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens and The Slow Drag, as well as revivals of Annie Get Your Gun and Dames at Sea, and as the Mother Abbess in the acclaimed production of The Sound of Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. And those are just some of her incredible credits!

Click on the video below to watch “In the Holding Room” Episode 13

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