INTERVIEW WITH HOLLIE CASSAR

Date of Birth:  25th December, 1988

Where do you live? Wimbledon, London

Status: Engaged

Star Sign: Capricorn

Main occupation: Singing Teacher & Musical Theatre Performer

Media-related occupation: Singer / Actress / Dancer / Musician

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HOLLIE CASSAR is originally from Malta, but she moved to the UK after winning the Television Musical Theatre Competition, L-Isfida. The prize was a three-year scholarship at BodyWork Company Dance Studios, Cambridge, where she won the award for Outstanding Musical Theatre Artist. She furthered her training at the Royal Academy of Music, funded by the Malta Arts Scholarship and the Janatha Stubbs Foundation. Hollie has also obtained an ATCL Diploma in Solo Piano and is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter.

Tell us about your journey to become a three in one: performer, songwriter and teacher.

I have been involved in theatre and music from a very young age, thanks to the encouragement I received from my parents and teachers. During my childhood in Malta, I attended drama, dance, singing and piano lessons and performed in plays and musicals at school, as well as with theatre companies such as Masquerade.

I then moved to the UK in 2007 after winning the Television Musical Theatre Competition, L-Isfida and receiving a three-year scholarship at BodyWork Company Dance Studios in Cambridge. I furthered my training at the Royal Academy of Music in London, funded by the Malta Arts Scholarship and the Janatha Stubbs Foundation. So far, my professional career has been very varied and I have also worked as an actor-musician. In between performing, I teach singing at various institutions including The Urdang Academy in London.

As the theatre industry is very unpredictable, being able to teach is an extremely useful skill to have. It helps that I actually enjoy teaching as much as performing. Apart from working in theatre, I am also an aspiring singer-songwriter. I was due to record my album last year, but I spent most of the year performing outside of London, so I never actually had the time to go into the studio. I’m hoping to get that done this year!

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How long have you been living and working in London, and why such a decision?

I moved to London in 2010 after gaining a place to study at the Royal Academy of Music and have been based there ever since. Apart from the fact that most auditions happen in London, all of my teaching work is also based in the city.

You seem to shine bright in singing, acting and dancing. Which of them do you prefer most, and why?

I enjoy all three of them equally for different reasons, but I also have a strong passion for playing musical instruments. My most recent project has been to learn how to play the drums, which I absolutely adore! Shows that incorporate all four of these skills are probably the ones I enjoy most simply because you always have something to do.

Is fashion an important part of your life?

Yes. I consider fashion yet another way to express myself. I am a big fan of vintage clothing and love finding a good bargain in charity shops.

What is your favourite thing in your whole house?

That’s a hard question, but I think I’d have to say my digital drum-kit. I absolutely love winding down by playing them. They are slightly addictive though and I often get carried away and spend hours at a time playing them.

What percentage of life do you spend shopping?

It depends. Do you mean clothes shopping? If so, I can go for weeks or months without buying anything, but then I will usually go on a big shopping spree and buy quite a few things at one go, depending what I need and like. That being said, I’d rather buy one really nice slightly expensive thing that I know I will use, than five things that I won’t ever really wear.

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More on Hollie:

Theatre credits include: Fairy Aubergine / Rat Scrofula (Actor-Musician) in Dick Whittington: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto (City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds), Various (Actor-Musician) in the Spa Bridlington’s Summer Repertory Season, Fairy Aubergine (Actor-Musician) in Jack and the Beanstalk: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto (City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds), Carmen Diaz in Fame – The Musical (Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage), Principal Vocalist on board the Queen Victoria (Belinda King Creative Productions / Cunard), creating the role of Elissa in Steps (Waterloo East Theatre), Anita in West Side Story (Cork Opera House), Ensemble in Crazy for You (London Palladium), Kay in Whose Life is it Anyway? and Alice in The Secret Garden (Manoel Theatre, Malta).

Directing credits include: Director, choreographer and musical supervisor for Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (University of Westminster) and Musical Director for Food, Glorious Food! (Royal Academy of Music).

Concerts include: St. George’s Day Celebration Concert (Trafalgar Square), The Investiture of Stephen Sondheim (Royal Academy of Music) and Beyond the Barricade (Manoel Theatre, Malta).

Recordings include: Female Soloist for Evil Urges: Original Soundtrack Recording (Invisible Arts Productions / Chaos Group) and Rosetta in 1565 The Musical: Original Cast Recording (Masquerade Theatre Company, Malta).

Television credits include: Commercial for DFS Sofas.

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