Aussie Cheer Channel had the chance to interview Alex Lewtas from Bring It On: The Musical, we talked about her lead role in the show and her first experience with cheerleading!
Congratulations on getting the lead role, tell us a little bit about your character
Thank you very much! I am so excited and honoured to be playing the role of Campbell. She is such an optimistic and bright character who is made captain of the cheerleading squad, with big ambition and dreams for her future. She is faced with so many hurdles and challenges throughout the show, yet I love her determination, as she strives for perfection in all that she does. Instead of feeling defeated, Campbell continually fights to work towards her goals.
What has been some of your greatest accomplishments?
I am very lucky to have performed both all over Australia and overseas. In 2010, I travelled to Las Vegas, USA alongside my dance teachers and fellow students to represent Australian Dancers at the West Coast Dance Explosion Elite Competition. We competed together with many award-winning group performances, and I was lucky enough to be awarded 2nd place as a Musical Theatre Soloist. When I finished my HSC, I auditioned for the Australian Institute of Music and was accepted to study Music Theatre the following year. In May 2014 I performed my graduating recital from AIM, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Music Theatre). I am so lucky and thankful to have studied with very talented friends, teachers and mentors who have guided me towards great performance opportunities! And now, playing Campbell in Bring It On!
Have you ever cheered before? What has the experience been like for you?
I have never been involved in Cheerleading before, though I have always wanted to be! Growing up I danced competitively both all over Australia and in the US, so the world of eisteddfods and competitions in not unknown to me. However the cheerleading components are very different to dance, there are specific positions and movements that are not necessarily as fluid or free as dance and movement, which calls for perfection at every rehearsal. It has been so much fun training under the guidance of our cheer choreographer, Melissa Mackenzie, and learning all the DO’s and most importantly the DON’T’s of correct cheerleading practice!
Now that you’ve joined the Cheerleading World what do you like about it?
I love it! I love having the opportunity to perform the stunts and routines just like in the movies that I so often watched with girlfriends in high school. I love the happiness and joy surrounding it, along with the strength and stamina that is expected. I’m a big fan of the classic ‘Smile and Wave’ at the end of the routines!
What have you found the most challenging part of rehearsal?
This show requires a lot of stamina, both physically and vocally. Each member of the cast is required to be fit to perform the cheer stunts and routines, followed by our intense dance choreography all whilst singing at the same time. It is essential that we maintain great levels of strength and fitness, especially to be performing night after night, sometimes two shows a day – which I hope we are all building up to!
Do you take part in the stunting?
Yes! There are quite a few stunts that I perform with our wonderful and supportive ensemble. Though they tend to be a little scary when I am required to sing whilst being lifted into the air!
What is your favourite song in the show?
My favourite song to perform would have to be Bring It On – at the end of Act 1.
This is the moment where Campbell decides to get revenge on her rival Eva, by assembling a squad at Jackson High School and to beat her old squad at Nationals. The song is all about Campbell’s determination, fueled by her outrage of the challenges that have been thrown her way and her dreams being crushed by Eva, this is Campbell’s big moment to come back stronger than ever! It is also one of the more challenging pieces in the show to perform, with quite a number of big stunts and tricks, and heavy dance combinations, all whilst singing such a powerful song!
Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions?
I drink a LOT of water, green tea and more water before going on stage! I also like to take a bit of a relaxed walk around the stage to get a feel for the space that I will be performing in, have a nice big stretch and warm-up to feel really comfortable in my body. We have such a supportive cast & team, and I have made some wonderful friends who I can’t wait to share a few last-minute good luck hugs with before the show begins, and create our own rituals together.
Tell us is something most people don’t know about you
When I was younger I played junior AFL football with a team that consisted of more boys than girls, and my father was our coach! My Ballet teachers never liked me playing football, as I would always turn up to class with bruises on my knees underneath my ballet skirt. I suppose I was always a little distracted on the field, I had better luck doing cartwheels up and down the wing of the field as opposed to actually ever getting to kick the ball!
What is the best advice you were given?
My friends, family, mentors and teachers have all offered me so many wonderful words of wisdom, so it is difficult to pinpoint which was the best advice. However, usually it all comes down to something along the lines of ‘Just Keep Going’, no matter what the case or situation, to push through and trust that all the hard work will soon pay off, and you will be rewarded with complete Happiness.
Most recently I have come across a quote which is inspiring to me, particularly when I’m feeling nervous about the performances and the year ahead.
‘If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path toward happiness; don’t waste time with regret. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. ’
Who’s your biggest influence in your life?
I am constantly inspired by my friends; I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many talented, driven and hard working people. There are so many influential people who I look up to, for many different reasons – for their success in the entertainment industry, for their hardworking nature, for their kindness, for their talents, for their accomplishments or for their strength and style. Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Lady GAGA, Beyoncé, My singing teachers, My dance teachers, My own mother and so many friends – I am inspired by so many powerful and brave women, who motivate me to pursue my goals, and find happiness and strength in my life.
What are you plans for the future?
I am currently choreographing Keating! (The Musical) with Birdie Productions, which opens just a week after we close Bring It On! After these performances, I will be continuing my training and auditioning for whatever opportunities come my way, I look forward to working in both Australia and hopefully on an International stage. I am excited for what the future holds – whatever that may be!
Aussie Cheer Channel would like to thank Alex for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us we look forward to seeing Bring It On: The Musical in Sydney!