A MORAY performer is one of just two people from the UK chosen to attend an intensive course in America on the act of cabaret.
Katie Williamson (24) described passing an audition to attend the prestigious nine-day workshop at Yale University as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I’m so excited about going,” said Katie, who attended Greenwards and Elgin High before going on to obtain a first class degree from The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts.
Along with local friends, she recently held a concert at Fogwatt Hall to raise money to attend the International Cabaret Conference, scheduled to take place next month.
At the moment, the musician and actress calls London home, working as a session singer at the exclusive Arts Club in Mayfair.
“I came down to London from Liverpool about two years ago and I’ve been mainly gigging, doing cabaret things, since. The Arts Club is for members only so it is quite fancy and that is paying the bills at the moment. I’ve also done a few other bits and bobs since graduating, like panto and that sort of thing,” she said.
“Now, I’m away to specialise in cabaret. It is an intensive course and it finishes with a showcase on Broadway. I can’t wait.
“I’d really like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the concert at Fogwatt because it raised so much money and I wouldn’t be able to go if it hadn’t done it.”
Cabaret is a form of entertainment which can feature comedy, song, dance, and theatre and usually sees the audience sitting around tables watching events unfold. “It is your own sort of act,” Katie explained, “and can be quite personal.
“You can have a set of songs that are all somehow connected and you also have patter with the audience; it is quite like doing a one-woman show.”
Now preparing to stand centre-stage on Broadway, Katie said she never dreamed of a career on stage during her early teens.
“I was really shy at school. I didn’t do drama or anything,” she said. “I had played the piano since I was young and thought I would be a music teacher, but started singing as I didn’t have another instrument for my Higher music exam. Before I knew it, I was loving it and I’ve never looked back.”
A total of 39 students from around the world will take part in the conference, which features classes and lectures covering cabaret performance techniques such as acting for singers, lyric interpretation, focus and concentration, act structure, act writing, material research, and comedic development.