Isaac Gryn will finish in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Chichester Festival Theatre on September 7. Two days later, he will graduate. It really has been a great start to his professional career.
“I finished the course at ArtsEd in June, and it was like a two-week turnover before starting this. I was able to have a short holiday. And then I started. It was great.
“ArtsEd is quite a renowned musical theatre course where we are given a lot of amazing opportunities by our principal. We were able to come along to this casting day where a lot of casting agents came along including the casting agent for Chichester. We had an audition and I sang songs, and then a month later, I got a message from our principal Chris saying there was an audition for the role of Will Parker in Oklahoma! at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer. The casting agent from Chichester had handpicked a couple of people to come along for the Oklahoma! auditions.
“It was just amazing. I feel so humbled to be given this opportunity by (director) Jeremy (Sams), and it is just such an amazing show. The great thing is that I am still learning. For me, you want to take jobs that you can still learn from. As an actor, you never finish your education. You just start getting paid for it! I am hoping that the whole experience will give me a new-found confidence and make me realise that I am able to trust my ability. The normal route that a graduate takes is either unemployment or ensemble work. I am certainly not putting ensemble work down, but I have gone into a supporting lead role. I am being given numbers that I have to do. There are solo numbers. There is a pressure to bring characterisation into it all. For me, it is about trusting my ability to do it and to realise that all the pressures will pay off.”
Yes, there is pressure: “But it is a healthy pressure. It is nerve-racking, but I am raring to go, and I just don’t think you can do anything without feeling the pressure. But it is good to feel the pressure.
“I would not say that musical theatre is my thing specifically. I would say that I am performer and actor who can dance and sing. I think being bracketed as a musical theatre performer is something that I would want to be careful with. There is a stigma when you get bracketed as just that. I want to be able to go into film or theatre or just a pure dance piece, using all my attributes and to be able to put everything into a single performance. I have done performance art as well. That’s something that I am really interested in. I love musical theatre, but for me the most appealing thing about the project is the project itself, not whether it is musical theatre or whatever.”
And it is great to be at the CFT: “I knew of Chichester because it is so renowned. I am a London boy, but there are so many Chichester productions that transfer into London. I have seen Half A Sixpence, Guys and Dolls and Gypsy, so I have always been aware of Chichester. But actually I was saying to my principal Chris that one of my dream jobs would be a stint at Chichester.”