13 October 2016

Interview with Tom Whitelock - Sunny Afternoon Week

Who'd have thought it, it's already the penultimate day of Sunny Afternoon Week! Today's interview is with Tom Whitelock, who plays Pete Quaife!

Em: Who/what inspired you to get into music and acting? 

Tom: Primarily my parents. They encouraged me to have music lessons and got me involved in local theatre from a very young age - I guess I got hooked early!

Em: What's your favourite quote from Sunny Afternoon?

Tom: "Don't want to spend my life living in a rock'n'roll fantasy".  I can't help but enjoy the irony of saying those words while doing exactly that each night.

Em: What's your favourite thing about performing in the West End?

Tom: Getting to be a rock star!

Em: What 3 items in your dressing room could you not live without?

Tom: Phone charger, our desk fan (it gets super hot backstage) and currently rock tape.

Em: What's your opinion on Cameron Mackintosh's recent controversial comments about understudies?

Tom: All I'll say is, understudies are the backbone of our industry, without them, shows would literally stop running.  They deserve recognition for doing a hard job.

Em: Is there anything you'd like to say to people who use phones in theatres?

Tom: Stop it! If you're there to watch a show, why is your phone even on? Take the opportunity to switch off from your life and enjoy a show for a couple of hours.  Social media will still be there waiting afterwards.  Otherwise, why bother buying a ticket? Also, enjoy experiencing something live and not through yet another screen!

Em: What's your LEAST favourite thing about performing in the West End?

Tom: Having to use the tube during afternoon/evening rush hour.

Em: Is it weird being in a show where you play real people?

Tom: Not really. The show is a version of The Kinks' story. The characters versions of the real people. They're not the people themselves. You can't BE someone else, just an interpretation of a character.

Em: What advice would you give to someone like me who wants to be a performer when they're older?

Tom: Work hard and be nice to people. That's my mantra for life in general, but it really applies in this industry.  Keep going, keep working and it will eventually pay off.  Be nice to people because
a) no one likes a dick (and people will remember if you are)
and b) you never know who might be in a position to help you out in the future (they'll also remember if you're nice!)

Em: Is there anything else you'd like to say to my readers?

Tom: Come and see Sunny Afternoon before it leaves the West End! Bring all your friends too!

You can keep up to date with what Tom is up to on Twitter @TomWhitelock, and with the rest of Sunny Afternoon Week @ohmymusicals!

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