Young guns Rarmian Newton and Sarah McCreanor from How To Train Your Dragon - The Arena Spectacular talk auditioning, acting and acrobatics
In the sunny courtyard of stylish South Melbourne eatery Chez Dre, 18-year-old Rarmian Newton and 19-year-old Sarah McCreanor are ordering suitably teenage meals, involving side orders of macarons and French toast. The pair take the lead roles in the DreamWorks arena spectacular How to Train Your Dragon (alongside animatronic dragons).
So, tell us about the show!
Sarah McCreanor: It’s a live version of the Dreamworks film: How To Train Your Dragon, bringing everything to life. It’s a cast of 24 dragons alongside 23 human cast members, it’s a fire breathing, flying over the audiences heads, stunt work, special effects...
Rarmian Newton: Not to mention a huge 1000 square metre projection along the floor which projects all the mountains and the sea of Bourke.
What was auditioning like?
RN: The audition process was pretty funny actually, We got in there, and we did improvisational exercises, like "imagine there’s a huge 40 dragon coming at you, breathing fire, what do you do? Oh, and chuck in some stunts while you’re at it." It was really fun!
SM: I didn’t know what the first audition was for! All I got was the title, and all I was told was that it was acrobatics and acting, and I thought, "Yeah... that’s something I really enjoy so I’ll just have a go." Hearing the scale of the show and everything that was going to be involved, it was overwhelming, I was like "Wow, this is going to be incredible!"
Do you remember where you were when you found out you’d landed a role?
SM: I was sitting at uni, by myself, getting ready to tell the lecturer that I didn’t have anything prepared for my presentation that was due in five minutes, then I got a call saying I’d just been cast as Astrid, and I was like, "Wow, okay, that’s a good excuse!"
RN: I was on the tram, I got the call from my agent and I basically screamed with joy. Ninety per cent of the tram turned around to look at me, and I looked back and thought, "If you guys just found out about that, you’d be screaming too!"
If we had to do all the acrobatics you two are charged with we’d wet our pants with fear. Are you freaking?
SM: Well yeah, I mean..
RN: It’s hard not to be.
SM: It’s going to be a challenge. It’s hard not to be scared, but I’m more excited.
RN: Yeah, just jump straight into it.
You’ve scored the roles many young actors dream of. What’s your advice for people who want to be where you are?
SM: Something I’ve always aimed for is versatility. You don’t have to be great at everything, just have a go. If you are doing something and it’s working out, pursue it!
RN: Never hold back. Don't think of performing or auditions as a competition. If you go in there and perform and have fun with it, the audience is bound to have a good time too. Have a go at everything, never hold back.
How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular, Hisense Areana, 2-11 Mar 2012