Avigail Herman recalls the early 1980s very fondly. As a young singer and musical theatre performer just starting out, she landed two of her first jobs working alongside the likes of Australian musical theatre diva Nancye Hayes and US showbiz legend Sammy Davis Jr.

The lessons she learnt just by watching both legendary entertainers had a profound impact on the young performer, as did their encouraging words of advice throughout the gigs they worked on.

Almost 25 years and many musicals and cabaret shows later, Herman admits she has never forgotten what those days were like. Her career mission these days is to pass on what she has learnt to the up-and-coming musical theatre talents of tomorrow.

The coming weeks are the busiest of her year as she travels the east coast of Australia in her role as head of NIDA’s Singer Dancer Actor musical theatre course, auditioning young students with ambitions of studying at the acclaimed acting school.

There is something important about giving back, Herman says. There is something just so fantastic about working with talented young people and seeing them grow.

NIDA’s year-long Singer Dancer Actor course covers acting and vocal techniques, dance and singing styles, and scene work from the music theatre repertoire. The course began in 1999 as a part-time short course, and has grown to now being a 24 hours a week course with 12 places on offer.

Among the graduates over the past seven years have been Priscilla‘s Daniel Scott, Titanic‘s Hayden Tee and Belinda Wollaston, and Fiddler On The Roof‘s Shaun Rennie.

Applications for the course are due by 8 November 2006, with auditions being held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

For more information contact 9697 7626 or visit the NIDA website.

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