Meeting your idols (confession: mine is Cheryl Baker)

In Dance, Features, Inspiring people, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion by Andrew WrightLeave a Comment

Those who know me well will know I am not a fan of networking, first nights or showbiz parties. Therefore avoiding cameras at all costs! I’d much rather spend time walking the dog whose demands on me go no further than throwing a ball for hours on end or water-based adventures with the unruly hose pipe! So when someone stops me to comment on a show, I am always thrown that people have the foggiest who I am. Especially when the dreaded baseball hat is off and my follicle challenged self is on display!

I was quietly browsing the aisle of my local Waitrose today when suddenly a woman burst out from behind a selection of Special Buys to disclaim her undying love for the choreography in Half A Sixpence. I was totally thrown by her somewhat crazed assault. Her passion and love for the work I had created was truly overwhelming – all of this before 11am in the cereal aisle, who’d have thought?!!! Even the store security guard gave her a funny look when she started to demonstrate the twist step and knocked various jars off the shelves in doing so!!! Fellow shoppers were ducking out of the way of her flying limbs which seemed to resemble an out of control helicopter!  I didn’t quite know what to say and instead mumbled my gratitude whilst thinking I wonder if this is being captured in the CCTV! It would make for a good episode of You’ve Been Framed, plus £250… quids in!!!!

Whilst sipping my free coffee (thank you Waitrose) I then got to think about my idols and how they inspired and motivated me and just what it feels like to actually meet one of them – though in my case not in a supermarket!

I have many idols but one truly sticks out. This is now confession time, as a teenage boy I was completely obsessed with the group Bucks Fizz. I used to make my poor Dad come to every concert accompanied by my fellow Fizz friend Suzy. Her and I knew every word, every dance step, every fact about the group. We were full on, madcap groupies and as a teenage boy was deeply infatuated with Cheryl Baker. Cut forward to a few years ago when I was directing the tour of Happy Days imagine my reaction when our brilliant casting director Anne Vosser mentioned that CHERYL BAKER was coming into audition.  WHAAAAAT???! I think was my initial reply. I had to seriously pull myself together and try to behave like a/ an adult and b/ someone who knew what they were doing! In Cheryl came and to be honest I can’t even remember what words came out – I would like to think I made sense bit I can’t guarantee anything! Well thankfully Cheryl was an utter delight both on and off stage and meeting and working with her certainly didn’t disappoint.

I only hope that this lady from Waitrose felt the same about me and didn’t go back to her friends saying that Andrew Wright was a huge disappointment plus he didn’t even  join in the twist step with me – he is no fun at all!!

She really did brighten my day and confirm my thought that being involved in theatre truly can affect people and their lives in a positive way. I personally feel from now on we should all do the twist step whilst shopping, for why walk through life when you can dance?

Andrew Wright on RssAndrew Wright on Twitter
Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright is an award-winning choreographer, whose myriad credits from the West End, Chichester, Bath, Leicester and elsewhere, include: Mrs Henderson Presents, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, 42nd Street, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, High Society, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, Saturday Night Fever, A Little Night Music, Follies, Oliver!, The Showgirl Within, Almost Like Being In Love, Stepping Out, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, By Jeeves, I Sing and Soul Traders. He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour), for which he was nominated for Best Director/Choreographer in the Broadway World Awards 2014. Andrew was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed. He blogs at a-wright.com and tweets at @AndrewWright5.
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Andrew Wright on RssAndrew Wright on Twitter
Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright is an award-winning choreographer, whose myriad credits from the West End, Chichester, Bath, Leicester and elsewhere, include: Mrs Henderson Presents, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, 42nd Street, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, High Society, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, Saturday Night Fever, A Little Night Music, Follies, Oliver!, The Showgirl Within, Almost Like Being In Love, Stepping Out, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, By Jeeves, I Sing and Soul Traders. He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour), for which he was nominated for Best Director/Choreographer in the Broadway World Awards 2014. Andrew was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed. He blogs at a-wright.com and tweets at @AndrewWright5.

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