Spotlight on two young achievers

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Dedication has paid off for triple threats Samantha Leigh Dodemaide and Ash McCready, writes Sally Clark.

Samantha Leigh Dodemaide as Dorothy. Photo: Brian Geach.
Samantha Leigh Dodemaide as Dorothy. Photo: Brian Geach.

IN this issue’s column we shine the spotlight on two multi-skilled performers whose hard work and dedication see them
achieving great things.

Samantha Leigh Dodemaide had already performed in numerous musicals as a dancer and understudy, but being cast as Dorothy Gale in the upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz sees her realising a childhood ambition to be a leading lady. Ash McCready, on the other hand, started her professional career as a singer/dancer but is now touring the world in her capacity as director of Le Noir and Cirque Adrenalin.

Dodemaide’s previous stage credits include ensemble and understudy roles in Singing in the Rain, Anything Goes, Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line and King Kong, amongst others. In 2013, she was the winner of the prestigious ANZ Trustees Rob Guest Endowment Award, suggesting that it was just a matter of time, and the right role, before she had her chance to be the star of the show. “I had dreamt about being cast in a leading role since I was a little girl so, as you can imagine, it was a
very surreal and overwhelming moment when I found out it had become a reality,” she remarks.

The stage one audition saw Dodemaide and 400 other hopefuls submit videos of themselves singing the show’s iconic tune, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. “This was a challenging task as I am so used to live auditions,” Dodemaide says. “In a live audition you only get one shot, but when you film an audition you can pick and choose which take to sendoff. This may seem like a positive, and in some regard it is. It can also mean, however, that you become too obsessive about finding perfection
in every minor detail, which can potentially lead to a lack of spontaneity and life in a performance. So I only allowed myself to film the song a few times and I chose one that I was most happy with.”

Fortunately for Dodemaide, the video take she submitted caught the attention of the producers and she was short-listed for the next round of auditions – which were live. A few more call-backs followed before the final audition.

Asked what she likes most about the character of Dorothy, Dodemaide says, “She is an inquisitive, aspiring and brave young girl and, as a female protagonist. . . 

Want to read the rest of this articel? You can find it in the October/November issue of Dance Australia... out now! Buy the new issue at at your favourite magazine retailer or subscribe here, or purchase an online copy via the Dance Australia app.


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