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Q:  How do you feel you have changed as a performer since you first went on as a Swan?

A:  I guess the obvious answer is that I have matured.  I would say that I have gained more confidence as a performer and as a person.  By confidence, I really mean being more comfortable about myself and who I am.  I am a lot more aware now of what I am capable of doing when I put my mind to it, of what is happening around me, how I can fit in and still maintain my integrity.  AMP has been a great place to explore things that I would not have had the chance to do anywhere else.  I am constantly  learning from others and am surprising myself!

Q:  Of the roles you have played for AMP so far, which do you feel the closest to and why?

A:  As far as feeling close to a role goes, I have to say that there is nothing to beat having a role made especially for you.  I have been fortunate enough to have two such roles, The Angel in Cinderella and Angelo in The Car Man.  With the latter, I feel I was given a certain amount of creative freedom that I had not experienced before.  It simply meant that I had the chance to  make brave character choices and not necessarily ones that people were expecting.  That is when work becomes exciting for me, having the confidence of a Director and working with a company  of people to take risks to achieve something new and interesting.

Q:  What do you think has been the most challenging aspect of working for AMP?

A:  AMP is quite a volatile company and I believe this is one of the reasons it has achieved what it has.  Every project brings a new challenge, making me want to come back wanting to be better, fitter and more convincing than before,  I am the kind of person that enjoys the constant challenge that is working for AMP!

Q:  Matthew Bourne has obviously developed a way of working over the years.  Can you describe your method of working and how it has developed?

A:  I don't know that I am aware that I have any particular method of working but I do believe in giving myself to every part that I undertake, sink or swim - maybe that is my method!  I would say that a lot more thought goes into anything I do now; for example, being aware of all the choices available, character and choreographical, not just those I feel most comfortable with.  I also think that learning a role requires a different approach than that of creating one.  The biggest challenge in playing a role originally created for someone else, is trying to extract the things I can identify with and make my own and at the same time, keep within the context of the piece and true to the initial character and choreography.  Creating a role enables me to completely immerse myself in a story and find exciting new ways fo breathing life and colour into a new character.

Q;  Over the years you have had to deal with a fairly heavy amount of media attention, particularly around Swan Lake.  How do you think your feelings towards this aspect of your life have change?

A:  Having to live up to the responsibility of playing The Swan in Swan Lake on Broadway at the age of 21 had an effect on me.  It was certainly one of the times that I realised a lot about life in this kind of business.  Learning how easy it could be to lose control of what you really want out of your career and just be swept away by all the hype and frivolous things that surround it.  I do think of it as the least important thing in my working life and am very aware of its crossover into my private life.  A certain amount of the right publicity is important in the job I do and therefore is a necessary evil  I believe it's important to be aware of whats being said about you, whether you agree with it or not.  The more publicity I have done, the more I have learnt to be selective about what kind of media attention I wish to entertain.  The worst thing for me is reading or seeing pictures in magazines of people who have no real talent, no real job or reason for being there, except for the ability to court the media and attract publicity.  When I need to put things into perspective I remember the saying, "Today's news will be wrapped around tomorrow's fish'n' chips".

Q:  How would you like your career to develop in the future? Is dance still as high on the agenda as it was 5 years ago?

A:  I always find it funny to look back on the things  I have done.  When I do, I am usually quite surprised by all the amazing chances I have had, fantastic places I have performed, the great people I have met and I forget the fact that it has all happend in such a short space of time.  At the moment I think that AMP is possibly the only thing that keeps me dancing, keeps me wanting to achieve more as a dancer.  I very much enjoy the acting side of the work and who knows, maybe I can carry that on after I have danced until I can dance no more...!

Q:  During your time with AMP is there any particular moment that sticks out in your mind as memorable or special to you?

A;  That's a very difficult question to answer.  I guess that in a strange way, much of my growing up or developing has been done during my time with AMP and there are simply too many special moments.  Creating the Neopolitan Dance, being asked to learn The Swan, watching the sun rise over Edinburgh on tour, performing at the Royal Albert Hall, the last night of Cinderella, the first night of The Car Man....

Q:  If the whole dancing thing hadn't worked out for you, what do you think you might have been doing?  Do you have any other hidden talents?

A:  In all honesty I never gave myself the chance to think that the dancing thing might not work out.  Once I knew, around the age of thirteen or fourteen, that was it.  That was what I wanted to do and so I was going to do it.  It is the best way round really because if I really wanted to, I could spend the rest of my life searching for a different thing to do. All the time knowing that in a sense I had already achieved something that I really wanted to do, more than anything.

Q:  If you could pick only one thing in your career to date that you could be remembered for, what would it be and why this in particular?

A:  Another very difficult question..!  I still hope that the best things are yet to come...Ask me again in a few years time.
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summer 2001
Q&A  WITH WILL KEMP
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Q:  The final stage of your training was with the Royal Ballet.  What made you give that all up to work for AMP?

A:  I never really thought of it as giving up anything.  I believe that I moved into another area of dance sure, but I think that I probably carried over a lot of things that were embedded in me from the Royal Ballet Upper School.  Some of which I have since chosen to lose and some that I believe have set me in very good stead.  I knew that I had made the right choice in joining AMP for the premiere of Swan Lake in 1995.  I loved the idea and felt very much at home with the choreography, feeling confident I could bring something to it.  I think the major challenge back then was to fit into a very different environment than the one I was used to - the style of work, the working day, the people and so on.