Zac Patterson always has a smile on his face and puts so much energy into each performance on stage. Zac has recently taken on a new role at Potters and we had a chat with him to find out about how he is getting on, what the star cloth in the Atlas is really for and why he loves the Christmas Spectacular…
How are you getting on in your new role?
I’m really excited about it! I am getting a bit older now and I know that in a couple of years I won’t be able to keep up with the pace of the shows, so I am so grateful that Nicky Hathway has given me this new role as assistant Potters Theatre Company manager, as I love Potters and still want to be involved. Singers can be here for many years but it is different for dancers.
I am going to be promoting Potters Theatre Company to try and encourage more talent here through working more with colleges and doing more events and masterclasses. I am also swing cover for the shows but still tend to be in them most nights due to holiday, injury or illness! Obviously it is also about ensuring that standards are kept too as it is such a high standard here.
What is the best thing about working at Potters?
I am just so grateful to Potters for the experience they have given me and how they have looked after me over the years. I was about 18 when I first started, so have been here over ten years. Seeing how the Company has grown and what we have here now is amazing, and it has just got bigger and better over the years. We used to be excited about a projector at the back of the theatre but we now have an LED screen, the Atlas Theatre has doubled in size and we used to have to pull out the stage but it is now mechanical. The singers used to have Britney style head mics but now have professional in ear headphones and even some West End shows don’t have some of what we do.
The investment over the years means that we get the best talent here and we have the most incredible creative teams. Also the guests are so lovely and are so supportive to us all.
Can you tell us any interesting facts about Potters Theatre Company?
The star cloth in the Atlas Theatre isn’t for decoration – it actually deadens the sound and makes sure that everything sounds better. We also have two microphones hanging down on stage too, which guests actually can’t really see.
We’ve also been using ice buckets when it gets really hot and I think we will keep these backstage. It is actually to help us and to get the clothes off as they stick to us – there is a lot of glitter and sequins on some of them!
We also do a group warm-up before the shows and it is so important to do and really helps us to focus. A warm-up is definitely needed, especially for things like the can can!
What is your favourite Potters Theatre Company show to date?
The Christmas Spectacular is a real favourite for me as it is just such a feel good show and I love Christmas. Sharing that special time of year with guests is really special.
What age were you when you first started dancing?
I started dancing seriously when I was 13. I was in the class with much older students than me so I realised then that I may have the potential to be quite good at this.
What is your perfect day?
Teaching at PQA in the day, doing a show at Potters in the evening and then going home and watching Strictly Come Dancing back, as it is my favourite show. A day like this just incorporates everything I love best.
And how is PQA going?
Really well and guests are always asking me about it. It is now in its fourth year on a Saturday and we have 170 students. I am so proud of what we have achieved and we have three students now in full time performing arts college in London. It is amazing to see their confidence grow. I’ve also started a dance school locally in the Gorleston area, teaching after school.
Do you have any tips for anyone who wants to become a dancer?
Don’t give up and try and make it happen. If you want it you will work anywhere and Potters Theatre Company really is a great place to come and work, and it is a really high standard.
My top dance tip has to be to smile. If you smile and look like you’re enjoying yourself, then if you do the wrong step or have a little trip or fall no-one will notice. Also no-one likes a moody dancer