1st May 2018
Meet Hetty Burton
Hetty is very special member of our team as she is responsible for managing our network of brilliant performers, she has a unique perspective on Bakehouse as she is also a talented performer herself. Read on to find out what we look for in our Bakehouse crew and for a perfect example of why working with animals and children can be err…tricky!
What is your role at Bakehouse?
I’ve got two! Performer Manager and Performer.
Wowzer! What do your roles entail?
Looking after our incredibly talented performers and sometimes having the privilege of performing with them. From auditioning people to find the most engaging and entertaining performers around the country, booking them for jobs, writing scripts, and briefing them on their scripts and events, to being the first port of call for all our performers. I’m a trained, qualified and experienced actor, I started out as a performer for Bakehouse – I still LOVE getting dressed up and putting on a character for shows.
Any recent highlights?
The auditions we ran in March were very successful and a full-on, fabulous week. We have met some super qualified, professional and fun performers who can sing, dance, play multiple instruments, improvise and act up a storm. The preparation of finding highly skilled performers is a lot of work, reading CVs, watching showreels, sending invites, sourcing a good venue to give the space for our workshop audition and of course, travelling the length and breadth of the UK to meet them.
On the day it’s a real joy to meet performers face to face and work with them, putting them to the Bakehouse test, it’s important to select those who can run and play with our unique Bakehouse style. The performers we sign up have really been stress-tested so they can deliver our engaging and interactive work to the high quality we demand, while still being able to have fun and shine in their own way.
What are your tips for preparing for a Bakehouse audition?
There isn’t really any preparation needed – just bring your fun and energy, be open and, like any good improviser, support who you are working with. We aren’t looking for monologues or rehearsed work, we want to see how you improvise and how you work with other performers. If you have solid performance background, training and experience the quality of your work will shine through.
What you look for in a performer?
- Professional Training – our performers have the whole toolkit to draw on which really shows in the quality of their work
- Creativity – performers that take our scripts, build on them and put some of themselves into it, our performers aren’t carbon copies or word for word scripted
- Niceness – we like to work with people who we would like to hang out with so we know teams will get on and support each other
What are you looking forward to?
There are some fun jobs coming up and I’m looking forward to being a pirate in May for Bakehouse. What I’m really looking forward to is getting some of our new performers on their first jobs with us – it was so fun meeting them in the audition workshop – I can’t wait to work with them and give them the chance to bring brilliance, colour and joy to all corners of the UK!
Funniest Bakehouse moment?
Being Wildestra for Summer Streets as part of Regent Street’s Summer weekends. We released some beautiful butterflies to promote the great city rooftop garden they have on 13 of their buildings. I was dressed in an astroturf creation, with flowers and colour all over me. We got a big crowd, film crew and cameras all pointed at me, I opened the butterfly box and they all landed on me! Some even went down my top and I had to be careful not to breathe too hard to crush them while we tried to entice them out. I’m happy to say they got out safely and I hope they made it up to those gorgeous gardens in the skies of central London.
Favourite Bakehouse character to perform?
This is a tough question. I’m torn – I love playing pirates and I’ve been a strong and fierce female pirate, I’ve also enjoyed being a silly idiotic and scaredy-cat pirate – both are great fun, one puts women firmly in charge and the other really gets the kids laughing and puts them in control. But then I also love our adult events, where you get to put on a character that’s maybe a bit more biting – like the bored American Diner waitress who constantly chewed gum and was rude to the customers for a gig at the Royal Academy inspired by Dennis Hopper’s work.
If you are interested in becoming a Bakehouse performer please get in touch!