MonologueSlam Is A Great Celebration Of Amazing Talent
It's just over three weeks to go until MonologueSlam returns to The REP and we've been busy catching up with the returning champions. First up is Billy Vale, who will be returning to defend his Youth Round title on 12 May…
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I'm Billy, I'm 14 and I live in Studley, Warwickshire. I started school at Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) after auditioning and gaining a place on the Musical Theatre Pathway in September last year and I absolutely love it. Since the age of 8 I have been performing in many local musical theatre productions and would love to have a career in the performing arts when I am older. I love football, am a DJ and play the drums. I also fundraise for Birmingham Children's Hospital in memory of my brother George.
What first encouraged you to audition for MonologueSlam?
Being totally honest, in April last year before my first MonologueSlam, I had never performed a monologue! I am used to singing, dancing and acting in musicals but I had never performed a solo monologue. A friend of mine who is an actress sent me the details and said I would really enjoy it, so I found a monologue I liked and applied to audition not really knowing what to expect.
How does it feel to be returning to defend your title?
I was absolutely gobsmacked to have won the first slam I entered, as it was my first ever performance of a monologue, so I really could not believe it when I won a second time. I feel privileged and excited that I get the opportunity and experience to perform a third time. I like making people laugh, so I try to find a comedic monologue to perform. I am looking forward to the audience's reaction to the monologue I've prepared for this Slam.
What have you been up to since the last slam?
Since the last Slam I have filmed a book promotion about space for Carlton Books. I performed as Buddy the Elf in Elf the Musical in December with The Harlequins Drama Group in Redditch and I passed my Grade 5 Drums. I had a brilliant week's work experience at Touch FM radio station and was even allowed to be on air! I have also continued my fundraising for Birmingham Children's Hospital in memory of my brother George and I was asked to sing recently at the opening of the newly built Magnolia House at the hospital, for which I raised about £3,000.
Have you got any other exciting projects on the horizon?
I am a member of Birmingham Institute of Theatre Arts who are the entertainment for the next MonologueSlam in Birmingham, so it's going to be a busy night for me! We have been rehearsing hard for our next show In The Heights, which is actually going to be staged in The STUDIO at The REP on 14 and 15 July, and I am playing the part of Sonny. I am also going to be playing the title role in Peter Pan The Musical at The Palace Theatre, Redditch in June. I get to fly in this!
What would you say to someone thinking of auditioning in the future?
You won't regret it. It is a fantastic experience, great fun, no pressure in a really friendly and supportive atmosphere. It is a good networking experience meeting other actors, especially the adult performers, and I have learnt so much from watching everyone perform.
Why should be people come and see the slam?
It is something different - sometimes very funny, sometimes very moving and professionally organised and presented. It is an entertaining evening and also a great celebration of the amazing talent in this area.
Describe the slam in three words…
Incredibly entertaining talent.
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