10 Jun Famous 5 ?’s – Starring Sarah O’Gleby
This week we are featuring one of the newest up and coming choreographers in the industry! Fresh off from choreographing the opening number at the 73rd annual Tony Awards, Sarah O’Gleby!! The epitome of well rounded performer turn choreographer/director! She is intelligent, talented, beautiful, kind and fun!! We hope you find her story, her journey and her answers as inspiring as we did!
I’m originally from the UK And performed in many shows in the West End before moving to New York. I’ve assisted Rob Ashford for a long time as well as performing for him to begin with , then transitioning to being his Dance Captain, then Associate. Over the years we have choreographed for Broadway, the Oscars, the Tonys, the Kennedy Center Honors, Opera and movies. I now choreograph in my own right, this past year I directed and choreographed a new musical ‘Mythic’ in the west end. The Kennedy Center Honors, for brands such as Hermes, Robin Hood Foundation, I just did my first Encores ‘High Button Shoes’ with John Rando. I’m also Jimmy Fallons personal Choreographer on all his projects.
1- How/Why did you transition from performer to Director/Choreographer?
I feel like I fully transitioned over when I was performing in a Broadway show and I realized that the audiences response was having no affect on me. It’s a dream to perform on Broadway and I was so lucky as I performed in many West end and Broadway shows and I realized I was taking someone’s dream spot and that my dreams were now focused in a different direction.
2- What is something you would go back and tell your younger self about this business?
So many things…I cried so many tears after getting cut, not booking the job, it feeling so deeply personal. But it’s not personal at all, it’s a big puzzle, and a very different puzzle for each project and it’s if you fit into that puzzle or not. I wish every performer could get the chance to listen to the decisions made and why, I would have cried so many less tears!!!
3- What is some memorable moments that you have had or witnessed that have inspired you and your work?
Working with Hugh Jackman in the Oscars about 8/9 years ago will always stay with me. We had about 200 people working on this 5 minute number and he made a point of knowing everyone’s names. He was the first to arrive, the last to leave. His work ethic was beyond!
4- What is your biggest pet peeves at auditions or in a rehearsal process?
I can sometimes get frustrated when I’m trying to describe an ‘emotion or thought process’ on a step and if I maybe demonstrate it not on the ‘Foot’ I choreographed it on. (Say I dance it and go on my right foot instead of the left) and someone then points that out. I immediately know that’s not the kind of mind I want to work with if that’s more important to them.
5- What is the number 1 tip you can give to anyone auditioning?
Auditioning is such a tricky process and all creative teams are looking for different kinds of people. I love people that are very much at ease with themselves (which I know is so hard to be at in auditions). People who are being generous to everyone else in the room. I really try to create a fun room so people can relax and enjoy it, more like a class. I love it when people are reacting off the energy around them, rather than in their own zone.