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Spotlight on Savi Alumni: Ashley Goh

Another Savi alumni going from strength to strength is Ashley Goh as they prepare to head off into the forest to prepare for the role of Bo Peep in Red Riding Hood at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Ashley is an OG from our online courses, creating digital theatre and showed us a flair for more than just acting with directing & video editing skills. (Seriously - watch out for whatever multi-talented Ashley does next!)

We caught up with them just before the busy Christmas schedule kicks off.

Ashley, huge congratulations on your role at Stratford East this Christmas. We would love to know a little about the audition process for this show. Thank you so much! I loved the audition process for Red Riding Hood because, as well as the sides for my character, I had free reign on my song choices for both the first tape and my recall, just with some light direction ie. a song that you love that shows you off, and a song that showed storytelling. During the recall we actually started with a song I hadn’t prepared at all-I think the director Robert Shaw Cameron asked me what songs I sang in the shower, and we started with that song instead! Really made me relax honestly, even though there was a lot to prepare for the recall it made it easy to have fun and play around. The most nerve-wracking part was the fact that I had to rap for my recall, something I’d only really ever done in my room to an audience consisting of my cat. For some reason, I thought I’d be able to handle rapping not to a beat despite having practiced with one-why are my silliest decisions always spontaneously during in-person auditions? Needless to say they asked for just a tape of the rap, which I actually did to the beat, and ad-libbed some lines I felt would be in character. Bow was pretty easy to improvise for as they’re quite a modern take on their character, and I was also given the early script so I had the full picture of what she was like, and additionally got excited about the show because I really enjoyed the script. Two weeks later I stopped off at a Leon after work and noticed I had a missed call from my agent, with just a message to call them back. My agent rarely calls me so before trying to hope for anything I called back…and was told I got the part! I think one of the first things I said was “I’m employed!” Haha! Did you take anything from Savi Online that has helped you with your professional work? Oh tons! It was actually my jump back into acting after the first lockdown happened, and also during the time where I decided I’d try to get work on my own instead of trying for drama school again. It helped with so many elements of my career, from acting techniques, to emailing etiquette, to social media and self taping. I feel it is a very modern and much needed approach to today’s industry, and really helped get me out there even just starting out. The first time I directed was also thanks to Savi Online! It definitely cultivated my creativity and erased any fears about being a multi-hyphenate. I met a ton of like-minded creatives too, and have worked with many people I met there since the courses. Savi Arts also always keep in contact with everyone, so whenever they know of a possible opportunity things are sent through to everyone who’s participated before. It really cultivates a healthy working relationship with other actors and industry workers. You’ve also been singing in the West End a couple of times this year, what was that like? Kind of mind-blowing honestly! Performing on the West End was something I hoped to happen maybe a few years down the line, if at all, so for the opportunity to come this year, and twice at that, was definitely a pinch-me moment! I was actually hit with a hot case of imposter syndrome after the first time I performed, at Pride at the Palace. The day after I just stayed in bed all day, thinking my performance was horrific and that the audience all came away from my performance thinking I didn’t deserve to be on that stage. Weirdly though, the day after my breakdown I had my recall for Red Riding Hood. Opportunities come at the strangest times I swear! Fortunately the second time I performed on the West End was with a bunch of people I knew really well, so I felt much better about that performance as it was more about putting the writer’s work out there rather than just being about myself. I’m sure you won’t mind me saying you’re a brilliant activist on Twitter for representation within this industry, so who are some other creatives we should be looking out for who are making meaningful & engaging work? Honestly I mostly retweet the real activists! The most I do is make sure I retweet things after reading them and make sure they have credible sources. The person who really opened my eyes to how the UK musical theatre industry is for people of colour was CherAnn Thorkinson(she/her)’s Creative Voices(@CreativeVoicesUk on Twitter and Instagram). It was initially a bi-weekly Zoom where CherAnn would invite various musical theatre performers of colour to talk about how they got into the industry and their experiences whilst working. She now runs it as a podcast on Spotify as Creative Voices Uk Podcast, which is a must-listen. Creative Voices is also doing a concert next year, so keep an eye out for that! Another fantastic activist and creative is Tabby Lamb(she/they) at @TheTabbyLamb on Twitter and @badgenby on Instagram. As well as writing brilliant plays and tweets, she also runs Theatre Queers, a weekly Zoom(and sometimes in person!) meet-up for queer people in theatre! There’s so many people creating incredible, innovative and diverse art that I could go on for hours! Some other mentions are provocative musical and playwright Hilmi Jaidin(he/him) @HilmiJaidin, trans actress Sis Thee Activist(she/her) @ucancallmesis, and Harrison Knights(he/him) who runs True Voices Cabaret(TVC) @TVC_LDN a cabaret for trans performers. Social media is a great place to find unique creators who are speaking up and making work for underrepresented voices, so I’d definitely encourage a Twitter search to find some! What are you most looking forward to about Red Riding Hood? Working with a cast for a long time! For the last year or so I’ve been in shows/workshops/concerts that haven’t been longer than a week and a half, so I can’t wait to work with a group and really get to know each other in person for the next two months! What are your goals, aims and ambitions for 2022? Performing wise, I’d love to do more screen acting. I used to do a lot a few years ago, but I’ve learned so much since then that I want to apply to my work now. Next year I’m moving into London so it should be a or easier to build up my showreel. It’ll also let me see a lot of my friends’ shows and take in person classes, so I’m very excited about that. Outside of performing, I’d really like to write more songs. I used to write a lot when I was younger, but felt that there wasn’t much I wanted to say. Nowadays it feels like my head is almost overflowing with thoughts, so hopefully next year I’ll be able to put pen to paper and create something exciting in my free time. Even if no one sees it, I’m very curious of what I can create. I feel like I’m at the place now where it’s within my ability to write, make music, and a music video to match, it’s just a matter of going ahead and doing it. Apart from that, I’m pretty open to the future. Curveballs can come at anytime anywhere, especially in this industry, so I can only work hard and keep facing my fears!

You can catch ASHLEY GOH in Red Riding Hood at Theatre Royal Stratford East this Christmas. Break-a-leg from all of us at Savi Arts! X

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