Drew is an Olivier Award winning director and choreographer. He is also the Artistic Director of The McOnie Company and an Associate Artist at The Old Vic. Drew won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In the Heights and was nominated for the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Jesus Christ Superstar.
It was such a privilege to have such an inspiring creative in the studio. Take a look at Drew’s thought provoking and intuitive answers. We love “Spend your time working on the things that make you different”. In our ever evolving world its important to carve out your own path and relish in it.
MONDAY 29TH MAY 2023, LONDON
Yellowbelly: What are your top tips for actors auditioning for your shows?
Drew: “Don’t make too many pre-made decisions about what you think we are looking for. Turn up and be alert to the info that’s given to you in the space and be alive to change. For me theatre is an inherently collaborative art form and I am looking for team mates that encourage creativity.”
Yellowbelly: What advice do you have for performers wanting to transition to the Creative side of the industry, I.e. choreography and directing?
Drew: “Get in tune with what your body of work will stand for. Commit to the enjoyment of its creation not its success. Think about who you are in service of and what I mean by that is, be really sure you are doing it to serve the people who need to hear your voice and not to be in control of people. Focus on the doing, not the being.”
Yellowbelly: Do you have any advice for graduates about to enter the industry?
Drew: Spend your time working on all the things that make you different. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to all those people on Instagram. Whilst they are scrolling and perfecting their filters, spend your time perfecting the skill of removing artificial filters in your performance.
Yellowbelly: What are the differences in working on the West End and Broadway? If so, what would you like to see implemented in the UK?
Drew: “The unions are wildly different. The fact they call it ‘Coffee Break’ and not ‘Tea Break’. The stage management structure and what they look after is completely different. But ultimately… the lights go down and the humans come out to play and you could be anywhere in the world.”
Yellowbelly: When looking at a headshot. What stands out to you?
Drew: “The eyes. Science can explain most things in the world but the energy in peoples eyes can never be explained away.”