Story/Interview January 30, 2019
Pupil Interview: West End musical actor Daniel Wilmot
Daniel Wilmot has appeared in several West End musicals including Annie Jr and The Secret Garden. We asked Daniel about his career and experiences at InterHigh.
Fitting in your studies around your acting career must be challenging, why did you join InterHigh and how does it compare to your previous educational experiences?
It is very hard to fit both in, especially when school is so intense, which it can be. I know school does need to be the priority, but at the same time I wasn’t prepared to give on what I love to do and hope to do as a career. So, when we heard about InterHigh, I thought it was the perfect way to combine school and my passion, because there are less hours, so I’m not constantly late to rehearsals, I don’t waste time on travelling and I can do my lessons anywhere! Interhigh are also more accepting of your other important commitments and they are happy to work around you.
You’ve appeared in West End musicals such as Annie Jr and The Secret Garden, how did you get involved in performing?
Well, I have been involved in performing since I was 4 as my sister was also in the Musical Theatre industry and I used to watch all of her shows and watch the DVD’S of her shows on repeat because I loved it so much. Since then I always wanted to get involved I even learnt the dances just from watching the videos. I joined my current theatre school, The British Theatre Academy, when I was 10, and I performed in nearly 20 shows since then!
What’s been the highlight of your career so far and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of highlights, so it’s hard to pick one, but if I had to choose, I would say being able to perform at The Minack Theatre in Cornwall, because it’s just the most amazing experience. It is an open-air theatre that was carved out of stone and the stage is also made of stone and it sits directly by the sea. It’s really beautiful and I’ve been lucky enough to perform there every year since I was 11!
When you made your West End debut, did the size of the show make you nervous or more excited before walking on stage for the first time?
I felt a lot more excited because I knew that there were many people who had never seen us on stage before, and it was exciting to be able to perform to new audience each night.
What was your favourite moment on stage?
I’ve had so many favourite moments… but one of the best moments was in my favourite show ‘The Addams Family’, when on the opening night we walked out onto the stage and got into position… Just seeing the audience immediately filled me with adrenaline and I was so energised for the rest of the show! This feeling is just amazing, and I only get when I’m on stage.
Any bloopers or funny stories you can share with us?
When I was playing Tobias in Sweeney Todd I was only 11 and it was my first, really big lead role. I was quite nervous, and, during this big solo song, my mind suddenly went blank and just completely forgot the lyrics! So I just started talking randomly about something to do with the show as the music played, because I forgot the words, but nobody in the audience even realised. I was so stressed, but it was funny, as everyone backstage laughed and said it was a ‘great save’!
What has the reaction been since you first appeared on stage from your friends & family?
The reaction from my family and friends has just been great, they’re all so accepting and so proud of everything I am doing and how well I’m progressing, and I couldn’t feel more loved or supported.
Is acting something you’d like to do full-time after you’ve completed your studies, or would you like to do something else?
Yes, I want to be in Musical Theatre for all of my life! It’s exactly what I want to do as a career. Not only do I love it so much, but it would be such a great bonus to get paid for it too! And I’m prepared to work as hard as I have to, to get to where I want to be.
You can study at InterHigh wherever there’s an internet connection, what are the most unusual places you’ve had a live lesson?
I went on holiday to Ibiza and I sat by the pool doing my lesson to make sure I was still learning, but I was able to go on holiday in term time.
Can you describe why InterHigh is a good option for actors and would you recommend it to your peers and if so why?
I think it’s really perfect for actors. It helps with the time aspect, because the school day is shorter and there is no travel, so you have more time to get to rehearsals, shows etc. It also allows you to do your lesson anywhere and whenever you are free, as all lessons are recorded. If you miss a day due to a show or audition, you can just do the lesson later. InterHigh gives you all the tools to manage your learning yourself, so if you have enough self-motivation, then I would definitely recommend it.
Aside from signing up to the InterHigh Activity Weekend School Play, what advice would you give to InterHigh pupils interested in getting involved in acting?
My advice would be to just get out there and get into your local theatre school and just keep working your way up. You can’t expect to just go straight to the top and work in the West End, you need to work your way up and with practice you will get where you want to be.