IT’S the dream of every actor to see their name in lights – or at least, above the title of the show they’re in.
But you’ve got to start somewhere and in the case of loca girl KIRSTY INGRAM that somewhere is onstage, dressed as a ghoulish Geisha Ancestor in The Addams Family – The Musical Comedy.
By the time The Addams Family arrives in Milton Keynes Theatre next month (October), Kirsty will have exerted hundreds of hours of spectacularly spooky energy, singing and dancing her ghostly socks off in eight performances a week.
We caught up with Kirsty to finds out what it’s like being a frightlfully ghoulish Geisha.
“It’s an incredibly physical show” she says. On top of the eight performances a week we rehearse the ensemble stuff daily and then on Saturdays we have a ‘covers’ rehearsal.” As understudy, or cover, for the part of Wednesday Addams, everyone – cast, director, musical director, choreographer, crew and not least Kirsty herself – has to be totally confident that, if necessary, she could go on and be terrific in what is one of the leading roles in the show.
But this is the start of a dream come true for local girl Kirsty whose talent for dancing and singing were evident by the time she was 16 and who, by the time she was 18, gained a place to study Musical Theatre at BA degree level at the internationally respected Arts Educational School in London.
Now, just one year after graduating, Kirsty, who comes from Bozeat just across the county border in Northamptonshire, is living the dream and the fact that her family and friends can see her performing on her home turf, makes it even sweeter.
But there are potential dangers lurking in every show – and it’s not just the Addams Family’s skeletons in the cupboard or the instruments of torture in the cellar.
“The big worry for me is whether my wig is going to fall off” she confesses. “It’s very heavy and piled high and the choreographed dance numbers are really energetic. Besides that I’ve got several really quick changes and while it’s easy to get the costume I wear off, it’s secured with poppers and they take longer to do up to get it on. But I love the part; she’s sweet one minute and totally crazy the next. I knew nothing about Geishas but part of the rehearsal process was to give a presentation about the life of a Geisha so I did a lot of research and watched the film Memoirs of a Geisha and learnt how to do the make-up and wear the costume.”
Expending all that energy during the show ensures that the ensemble players – who are rarely offstage – don’t have to follow a fitness regime in their precious time off. “I’m a sociable person so I like to catch up with friends when I can but otherwise, on my days off, I’ll chill out and definitely have a lie-in! I eat as soon as I can after the show because I can’t leave it too late but otherwise I’ll just tend to snack – oh, and I do have a huge breakfast which helps me through the day.”
The other important thing that helps Kirsty through the day is ambition and her passionate commitment to being the best that she can possibly be. “If you want to do something” she says, “go for it. Don’t hold back. Don’t feel judged by anyone but try your hardest and make it happen. Playing in the ensemble in The Addams Family is hard work but I’d so much rather be onstage than not. It’s so rewarding . The adrenalin flows and I get such a buzz out of it every night. I feel very lucky to be in such a great show. It’s very, very funny. The choreography is a joy to dance, the music is really catchy and it’s a great family show that appeals to everyone. Catch it while you can, that’s what I say!”
The Addams Family is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 24th – 28th October. Tickets are on sale now from www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes