The episode provides an in-depth look into Emma Hatton’s journey from being an aspiring athlete to becoming a star in London’s West End, known for her roles in mega-hit musicals like “We Will Rock You,” “Wicked,” “Evita,” and “Cats.” Emma’s transition from long jumping to musical theatre is an intriguing part of her story. During a year off from sports, she attended the London School of Musical Theatre, a decision that changed her career trajectory.
Emma discusses the toll her career aspirations took on her personal relationships, including the end of her previous marriage. She took this as a lesson to push even harder for success. In her initial years, her raw talent carried her through. However, Emma emphasizes the importance of truly connecting with the music, as it is a key determinant in musical theatre.
One of the most grueling aspects of Emma’s job is the intense performance schedule—eight shows a week. She talks about the strategies she employs to sustain her performances both physically and mentally. While acknowledging the responsibility that comes with her roles, she puts it into context by comparing it to the life-and-death decisions her sister, a paramedic, has to make.
Emma delves into the nitty-gritty of portraying characters with authenticity and how she acclimatizes to the high-pressure environment of the West End. She emphasizes the role of social support, how she copes with rejection, and the unique pressures that come with hitting the ‘big notes’ in a performance.
Other noteworthy aspects include her insights on performance preparation, focusing on controllable factors, and the need for mental and physical fortitude. Emma discusses the advantages her sporting background provides in preparing her for the demands of theatrical performance.
The episode wraps up with Emma highlighting her current focus: leveraging her experiences and insights to support and inspire others aspiring to make it in the challenging yet rewarding world of musical theatre.
10:00 Emma’s origins as a long jumper, following her passion to study sport
17:08 Not sure what next, take a year out to do something interesting and fun – London School of Musical Theatre
18:17 The cost on personal relationships for Emma when aspiring for success in her career
22:12 Honouring Emma’s previous marriage by being extra determined to succeed
29:02 Early successes from Emma’s raw talent, feeling the music, learning to sing by listening to people
36:09 The determinants of musical theatre and the importance of connecting with the music
38:01 Pacing and sustaining performance to offset the cost of 8 shows each week
44:00 The responsibility of the roles balanced by the context of a paramedic sister
49:51 Portraying the characters appropriately
59:30 Acclimatising to the pressure of performing on the West End
1:04:30 Importance of social support
1:09:10 Preparation and focusing on what you can control
1:12:13 Coping with rejection
1:20:13 Pressure of the big notes and the external pressure of holding a role
1:23:50 Pressure to perform when you’re not physically or mentally 100%
1:33:00 Getting into the right mindset for performing and the benefit of having a sporting background, doing what it takes to get the performance out
1:42:20 Emma now supporting and championing others to learn from her insights
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