Talent by the theatre-full!

  • By Natalie Bradshaw
  • 12 Jun, 2016

Britain really does have variety, if last night is anything to go by! Natalie and Jim went along to the finals of Britain Does Variety, to take a look, and take part too!

Everyone has heard of Britain's Got Talent. This year, we watched the fabulous magician, Richard Jones take the title, bagging himself £250,000 and a spot at the Royal Variety Performance. We were pleased to see something different win - we have had enough of dancing dogs, singing youngsters and dance troops (which, let's face it, since Diversity have barely nudged the talent bar up at all!), and even though we were cheering for dancers Shannon & Peter (Mr Parker was a tutor at KS Dance Ltd, when Natalie was studying there), it was brilliant that a brand new style of act made it to the title.

Talent competitions are everywhere...

Around every corner is a competition - for singing, dancing, performing... If you can do it, and put it on stage, you can probably compete for a title in a talent show. Jim has previously guest starred as presenter and performer at UK Unsigned, and Natalie has competed in multiple dance challenges throughout her career - but it was Britain Does Variety which caught our eye this year.

We entered Natalie, and her classical talents, into the competition, in the hopes of getting to the final, and meeting some fantastic industry professionals, and after two trips to Chelmsford, Essex, we were on our way to perform in St Albans Arena on Saturday 11th June 2016! The decision to not enter Jim was purely based on wanting to be able to watch the show as well as perform - we wanted to view everybody else, at the same time! Maybe next year, we will swap over!
Natalie, dressed and ready to go!

The big day arrived!

Setting off at midday, we stopped to grab drinks and sandwiches, before driving through the rain to St Albans - a fairly easy drive! The show was running slightly late from the morning session, so we had a bit of a wait before we could go through for a sound check - which gave us enough time to say hello to fellow Chelmsford finalists, The Funtime Flappers , and to meet some new acts - including Cherish Holly Denise Bristow , a fellow classical singer, who was revving up to sing  Time To Say Goodbye . We were also filmed for Channel 5, who were following the story of comedy dance duo Right Said Bruv - a pair of very funny guys, with their Stavros Flatley-style performance, which left the audience in stitches. They are going to be featured on a Tattoo Cover Up programme - check it out soon, on Channel 5, and find out for yourself just how lovely these guys really are!

Eventually, we all filed into the large auditorium at the Alban Arena. Plush red chairs, stacked high in theatre style seating, stared directly at a large stage, and a crew, busy resetting the lighting bars. After a quick discussion as to what was going to happen throughout the day, every act had the opportunity for a sound check, before it was time to get ready. It's always important to make the most of your sound checks for events - take a tip from Natalie: "If you have higher notes, make sure you practice them! Sound engineers sometimes think that the microphones will automatically adjust, but with a soprano voice especially, microphones sometimes don't know what has hit them, and can crack or pop when you soar up high. Mention this, and always, always have a try!" .

Getting ready...

Applying makeup is a key part to getting ready.
Getting ready is an important time before any performance - and when you have a panel of judges to impress, looking and sounding your best is truly essential! Natalie used a lot of Arbonne makeup, including their CC Cream, which stays on all day, and their eye shadows, which are super high pigment, and last ages! False eyelashes finished off her look - and a plait on one side of her hair is her signature style for performing. it gives a modern twist to her look, showing that she is fairly young to be performing this style of song! Check our blog for a video of how we do our makeup for our upcoming tour!

Warming up the voice was an even bigger importance! Breathing exercises, and lots of scales until the performance time were the order of the day! We love this WikiHow on How to Warm Up Your Voice  - complete with fun little pictures! Singing through your song is a good idea too - and it refreshes lyrics in your memory!

The correct song choice is essential...

The above video, featuring Sarah Brightman, is the inspiration for the performance which Natalie gave. The song is of course, the well known  My Heart Will Go On  from  Titanic  - with the big twist being that the lyrics are Italian! This gives the audience something to latch on to, and pulls at their heart strings, whilst being something completely new, and totally different.

Watching other performers on stage, demonstrating the song you have chosen, is a good idea for getting ideas - but don't copy them completely. Be yourself!

And that is exactly what Natalie did, when, at the end of a very long, very hot, and very tiring show of variety, she came on stage, as number 26 of 30, and performed Il Mio Cuore Va . The audience reaction was amazing - spectators are made up of friends and family of the other acts in the competition - so for many of them to burst into spontaneous applause as Natalie soared up to her highest note was a massive compliment. The final cheer was mind blowing - the loudest of the evening, and Natalie left the stage with a huge smile on her face! 

The winners!

The competition had prizes for vocalists, dancers and variety acts - a first and second place for each. Then, there was to be an overall winner.

Cherish bagged herself 2nd place, with her classical performance, and first place went to 16 year old Jenna Darrell, who sang a lovely version of audition "go-to number"  Don't Rain On My Parade . Her performance was lively and animated, and the judges could obviously see potential. Overall winner was a variety act, and they bagged a contract to perform with Thompson Holidays - how amazing?!

Natalie may not have won, but the experience was brilliant, and the feedback from the audience was outstanding, with many saying they had her down as top place from the moment she sang. It solidified our confidence in our Full Beam Team, and we even had our name in the programme, so a lot of people have looked into us since the competition.

The judges had a very long day - with the Under 16 group in the morning as well - and so making a decision after a busy show must have been difficult. Oh, and a fire alarm going off at the end meant that nobody had the chance to ask for feedback - so it's on it's way via email next week instead!

Should I enter a talent competition?

Entering a talent competition isn't all about winning. It's about networking, and spreading the news that you really are as good as you think - especially if you get through to the final! You never know who might see your performance - and it's such a confidence booster to hear the audience appreciating your act! 

If you have free time, a passion for your art, and the confidence to get up on stage and perform to a large crowd, and some stern faced judges (not quite Simon Cowell, but still pretty scary, staring at you and scribbling notes!) then you really have nothing to lose! And make sure you let us know if you're planning on performing in one any time soon! Good luck!

Britain Does Variety website can be found here .

What's Happening

By Natalie Bradshaw 10 Oct, 2017
Eastbourne is playing host to a BRAND NEW singing competition!

We need audience members for Shine Bright Tonight, which is happening on 15th November at TJ's Nightclub, Eastbourne! With six artists from the local area battling it out in front of our panel of three judges, it's set to be an amazing night - with a cash prize up for grabs for the lucky winner!

For the audience, it's a night to remember, filled with excellent music from hand selected young performers. You never know, you could be watching a future star! You'll get to hear feedback from our judges, including industry professionals and representatives from BBC, and mingle with owners of some of the biggest businesses in town.

On arrival, there's a complimentary drink, and then to sweeten the deal, all money from the bar on the night goes to Children In Need - supporting an amazing cause!

This is not a night to be missed, but tickets are limited - so make sure you visit the website to purchase tickets now!

See you there!
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We have been providing activities now for nearly two years, and working closely with some of the biggest care home providers in the UK has certainly helped to shape our business, performers, and the shows we put together - and now, we are pushing forward with putting Full Beam Productions at the head of a new era of care home entertainment; one which comes away from war time classics, and sleepy songs, and instead creates excitement, smiles, laughter and fun for that short hour in which we are invited into the lives of those being cared for.

It's a very rewarding business to be in, but it's also one which needs to be done correctly for it to be effective. Today, I'm breaking down exactly how Full Beam Productions works, and how our approach puts a refreshing new spin on activities, and hopefully takes a step towards shaping the future of entertainment in a care home environment.
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Each week we will be bringing you a different blog post, or video, or both (!), taking you backstage and behind the scenes of our wardrobe department, as we prepare for each of our upcoming shows. Learn with our step by step videos how to create our props and costumes - or follow our tips for how to find the best bargains for specific dance numbers and performances.

We really hope that you find our new blogs interesting and informative - and if you think of anything that you would like to see us talking about, let us know by commenting below! Don't forget to let us know if you try to make your own version of our feature each week too!
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In June 2016, Full Beam Productions owners, Natalie Bradshaw & Jim Pyle, were introduced to Nicole Allen - a girl with so much energy, and so much enthusiasm for life, despite suffering from the illness cystic fibrosis.

Nicole travelled around all of the care home performances, and 14 consecutive showings of Miss V & The Beamers throughout Summer, with the company, and the creative team were quick to cast her as the lead role in the James Penguin: Christmas Impossible  pantomime that December too - there was nobody better for the tap dancing, Agent P role!

As Jim & Natalie sat down at the end of 2016, to discuss which charity should be chosen for fundraising the next year, it seemed like there was no other option as good as this one - raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust was the first, and final decision.

"Nicole was inspirational throughout the tour - she had completed a month away from home before coming to the final rehearsal, and hitting the road for 14 consecutive shows. She could have told us that it was too much, that she was tired - but she persevered until the very end, and continues to do so even now. She's a true member of the Full Beam Team, and we want to help her - and supporting this charity does exactly that."
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2016 has been a whilrlwind year for Full Beam Productions. We sat down this weekend, whilst enjoying a few festive days off, and managed to flick through some of our old photos and videos, from the past year, and we are amazed by how far our little company has come in such a short space of time. So we thought we would make a video, to show you how great it has been, and to say thank you for being there, every step of the way!
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Edited February 2017.
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