Q&A with Gretel Scarlett, Sandy in Grease the musical, Singer, Actress

Published on 21/10/2014

Bloch blog | Gretel Scarlett
It has been a very busy year for the suberbly talented Aussie performer Gretel Scarlett. Not only has she been touring the country in the iconic musical Grease as the lead role of Sandy, she has also just released her debut solo album titled 'Hopelessly Devoted'. The Bloch Team caught up with Gretel and got an insight into her stellar career so far.
Can you tell us about some of the roles you have performed?
I graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2008 and was cast in the 2009 Australian Tour of Breast Wishes making my professional debut in the role of Sal. I was then cast in the 10th Anniversary tour of Mamma Mia! understudying and performing the main juvenile roles of Sophie Sheridan, Ali, and Lisa. After Mamma Mia! I then played the Witch's Mother in the 2010-2012 Australian and Asian productions of Wicked the Musical, as well as understudying and performing the roles of Elphaba and Nessarose. I'm currently playing the starring role of Australia's Sandy, opposite Rob Mills, in Grease the Musical.
What is your favorite role to date?
I absolutely love playing Sandy in Grease. It's fun to play two completely different characters and sing some fantastic songs! Most nights, the audiences are incredible and it's all about the number 1 party musical. However, I really enjoyed my time understudying the role of Elphaba in Wicked. She's a beautiful, strong and intelligent female. A character like her is very rare.

Bloch Blog | Q&A Gretel ScarlettWho inspired you to be a performer?
As a child, performers like Ann Reinking, Shirley McClaine and Barbara Streisand were my go to icons, but as an adult, actresses like Toni Collette and Meryl Streep are my inspiration.
If you weren’t a performer, what would you be?
After studying full time Ballet at Alegria Dance Studios in Sydney and before being accepted into the music theatre course at WAAPA, I was actually studying Medical Radiation Science in Nuclear Medicine at The University Of Sydney. So ideally, I was going to be a Nuclear Medicine Physician. Always have a back-up plan!
What is your ultimate Bloch product?
I'm in love with my black draped pocket full length pants. So comfy! 
Do you remember your first Bloch purchase?
It would have to be a pair of full sole pink leather ballet shoes when I was about 4! Mind you, my mum bought them.
What is your dance bag essential?
Always a jumper or sweater. I can get cold rather easy and I don't like to be caught in freezing situations. They are great for warm up and cool down.

What dance shoes do you wear?
I have a lot of dance shoes. I wear Bloch Splitpro Chorus Shoe, Slipstream Jazz Shoe, Tap Flex and Seranade Strong pointe shoes.

Bloch Blog | Q&A Gretel Scarlett

What features do you look for in a pointe shoe?
A long vamp and a strong shank. I have high arches and a strong pointe, so I require a strong sole as I used to go through pointes rather quickly.

What inspires you to push past your limits?
I believe you are your only competition. Comparison is the thief of joy. Inspiration should come from within, and not simply to please others or do it for attention. Generally when I get to stage door after the show, meeting a lot of little fans and aspiring young performers, hearing them say how much they are inspired by my 'Sandy' is always heart warming.

What is your first memory of dance?
When I was 4, I remember performing my very first eisteddfod solo. It was a song and dance titled "There's a grasshopper loose in QLD" and I was a singing/dancing grasshopper. I remember getting to the end of the number and hearing the applause. Instead of doing my bow and running off stage, I began to blow kisses like I had just finished performing for the queen... I think that was a major sign of what was to come!

What would surprise people about you?
I can rap! Haha! When I was on Wicked I would often write a rap and film it to post to the cast at the end of seasons. It was a lot of fun and a big thing I miss about being in the ensemble of shows.

What is your favourite quote?
"You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." - Dita Von Teese.

What advice do you have for aspiring performers?

Work hard. Train hard. Study hard. Practise and don't simply judge other performers. You must be willing to criticise your own work and be open to suggestions. That's why we have directors and choreographers. And be kind.

Make sure to keep up to date with Gretel and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @gretelscarlett

  • Q&A with Gretel Scarlett, Sandy in Grease the musical, Singer, Actress