Entertainer Brett Trotter joined me for a Coffee Break to chat about his current role in Stage Art’s production of Spring Awakening, growing up in Ballarat and his career to date.
You’re currently performing in Spring Awakening which is being at Chapel off Chapel until 10 June. Are you able to tell me more about the show?
Spring Awakening is a musical that is based on a play by Franz Wedekind that was originally banned when first shown in the 19th century it’s a show that mainly focuses on the consequences of sexual repression which can be confronting at times but there is also a lot of beauty in the piece.
What role do you play and can tell me a bit about your character?
I play Moritz Steifel, Moritz is a teen who is struggling to deal with the effects that puberty is having on his body and his mind, this in turn with the pressures put on him by his father send him in a downward spiral.
Has the show bought you any challenges as an actor?
The show brings a lot of challenges for an actor, the character is somewhat on the spectrum so I must portray that with care and the same time he is consumed by sadness, having to put myself through that mindset every performance is utterly exhausting but it is one of the most rewarding roles I have ever played.
Who else is in the cast of Spring Awakening?
There is a cast of about 17 in Spring Awakening, with people ranging from all ages from as young as 17 to near 60, the whole cast is an amazing bunch and probably one of the most cohesive and caring casts I’ve ever worked with.
Brent, you have links to Ballarat, are you able to tell me more about this?
I guess you could call them links haha actually I was born and grew up in Ballarat, where I grew my passion for the theatre, my first show being the 2001 BLOC production of Oliver! Ever since that production I’ve never looked back. Ballarat has always a massive encouragement for young people in theatre, in fact many of Ballarat Theatre’s alumni are currently working all throughout the entertainment field from stage all the way to the big screen.
You worked on a Disney Cruise Line in the USA. Can you share some of your experiences?
Disney Cruise Line was my first ever professional gig. At the ripe age of 19 I was flown to Canada to rehearse for a month and then spent 10 months sailing the Carribbean I was a MainStage performer and played roles such as Peter Pan, Aladdin and even as a giant puppet of Slinky Dog in Toy Story the musical. Working for a company as massive as Disney was a tremendous experience being such a young age and I hold the memories of that contract with great fondness.
Are you able to tell me about your involvement with Alexander Productions?
When I was about 16, I was offered a scholarship and flew to Sydney to do a Junior opera workshop which was run by Alexander Productions, the workshop was amazing, getting to work with Musical Directors of the Australian Opera and many famous singers, the week culminated with a performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
What was it like travelling to China with the Melbourne Piano Trio?
In 2014, I was lucky enough to be asked to travel China on a singing tour with three other singers. China was never on my “to travel” list so I was rather surprised how much I enjoyed my time there, we saw some amazing things and performed at some stunning theatres, we even appeared on a televised concert in front of a crowd of about 15000 people it was quite surreal.
What was like to work on Ned: A New Australian Musical?
Ned was a wonderful experience, one of my biggest dreams was to originate a role in a musical and that dream came true, and to top it off in an Australian musical. In Ned I played Steve Hart who was Dan (brother of Ned) Kelly’s best friend and also a noted member of the Kelly Gang, we were even lucky enough to wear armour designed by some Ned Kelly experts but it was only about a third of the weight luckily.
While undertaking my research I discovered you’ve got some circus skills. What are these skills?
Someone is saying I have circus skills?! Ah wait I did learn to stilt walk while I was working at Sovereign Hill, it was for a School Holdiay Program based around Magic, a terrifying experience to say the least.
Do you have any hobbies?
Hobbies, this is a weird question for me because my hobby is actually my job, Acting/singing are my hobbies I’m just lucky enough to get paid to do them on occasion.
What is your favourite food?
I love all food, really I do. but you can’t go past a good pizza.
Do you have a favourite movie?
Favourite movie is a tough one, I have a lot of films that I love and more and more are added to that list all the time, but i can tell you that if I’m feeling a bit ill, I’ll probably chuck on Back to the Future to get me through it.
What is your idea of a good holiday?
A good holiday to me is somewhere I can relax, that could be a beach, a nice hotel or even having a cold beer at a bar in a new city a holiday is pointless if you take all your stress with you to another place.
What is the last album you listened to?
Last album I listened to was John Mayer’s latest but I don’t remember being blown away.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what items would you take with you?
A whole heap of food and water haha.
Is there anything which you don’t you leave home without?
My keys because if I lock myself out it’ll cost a fortune to get back in, believe me.
What’s next for Brent Trotter?
I am doing a one night only concert performance of Ned: A New Australian Musical reprising my role of Steve Hart but apart from that, I don’t really know but that’s the beauty of it all, if I knew then it wouldn’t be fun finding out.
Brent Trotter is currently performing in Stage Art’s production of Spring Awakening which is being staged at Chapel off Chapel until 10 June. For further information about StageArt Australia, visit the website here.
Images supplied. Photos by Belinda Strodder.