THE ENDEAVOUR ARCHIVES: CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF MORSE ON SCREEN
Interview copyright © Damian Michael Barcroft 2017
Sharlette – “Mimi”
An exclusive ENDEAVOUR interview
by Damian Michael Barcroft
With thanks to the man in the hat! – Sam SEB Collective
DAMIAN: Hi Sharlette, thanks for doing this. Before we talk about ENDEAVOUR, can you take us back to your childhood and musical influences – who were the artists that inspired you and your singing as a little girl?
SHARLETTE: Hi Damian, and likewise. As a child I had a very mature and eclectic taste in music. I listened to artists like Jimmy Ruffin, Ben E King, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and George Michael. I used their music as a child to train my vocals daily (I didn’t know I was doing that at the time) and I grew a real passion to sing and write songs from listening to their music.
DAMIAN: How would you describe your sound?
SHARLETTE: I would describe my sound as Pop, Soul, Blues with an influence of Rock.
SHARLETTE: I came onto the music scene in 2014 (doing my first showcase at Pop Revue at Freedom Bar in Soho)
I most certainly hit the ground running, working hard to develop my craft, doing as many shows as possible and collaborating with people. It’s been an amazing experience so far because I have met some truly amazing people.
SHARLETTE: Apparently, a member of the production team had seen me singing live in the West End. They mentioned me to Mike Lennox (the director) and Helen Ziegler (the producer) who then looked me up on YouTube. After that I was contacted by the casting department who asked me if I would be interested in taking part in the casting process. I went along a few days later and then some time passed before I was contacted again and they told me I got the part. I was extremely honoured to be chosen. They’re such a great bunch of people to work with.
DAMIAN: Looking back on that ridiculously hot day filming on location at New College in July, I remember having to either sit down or hide in the shade. How the hell did you manage to sing and dance take after perfect take from eight in the morning until wrapping for the day at six in the evening?
SHARLETTE: I was very well looked after from start to finish and aside from being looked after I was running on adrenaline. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. I was doing what I love to do and when it was all finished, I wanted to do it again!
DAMIAN: Appearing in a show of this calibre must have been a big deal for you. Honestly, what were your thoughts the previous evening – nervous? – did you get any sleep?
SHARLETTE: I had a plan the night before to ensure that I would get the sleep that I needed. It was more excitement that kept me awake than anything.
I had all faith that it would go well because everyone involved was so professional, everything was planned to the letter!
Although I knew all of this, I just wanted to get it all right on set. So yes I was a little nervous, but an excited kind of nervous!
DAMIAN: I mean, it’s not just remembering your lyrics and all the choreography -a big dance number involving numerous dancers and complicated camera setups- but also the fact that there’s the star of the show, Shaun Evans, Dakota Blue Richards, writer Russell Lewis, composer Matthew Slater, all the many technicians and extras, not to mention the local press all in attendance watching your every move, how did you cope with all this pressure?
SHARLETTE: I put myself in the hands of the people looking after me. Especially Sammy Murray, the choreographer who I’d met a few weeks before. She had been an inspiration to me from the beginning. She kept me calm and focused. Her enthusiasm and sense of fun is infectious. Also the assistant director, Francesco kept me informed of what was happening throughout the day and made sure that I had plenty of cold drinks and rest or shade, he was fantastic and thoroughly professional. Roger Tooley the steadicam operator had to follow as I danced all over the set, whilst holding the heavy camera, so I think it was harder for him than anyone else.
I must add that everyone you mentioned were extremely pleasant throughout my whole experience of being around them!
DAMIAN: And I think it’s safe to say you’ve never been filmed by a drone before?
SHARLETTE: Nope! That was a very interesting experience, we just took care to perform perfectly, that part ran very smoothly.
DAMIAN: You were performing on the rather large green of the New College quad, presumably you and the dancers rehearsed somewhere else?
SHARLETTE: Yes, we did our rehearsals in dance studios in London with the view of the set in mind. Sammy Murray the Choreographer, did an amazing job of visualizing everything and being creative putting together a fantastic dance routine.
SHARLETTE: I absolutely loved it! Charlotte had a design in mind to have the two layers of material with flowers in between. When putting it together, Charlotte paid attention to the finest details, I really appreciate the work she put into making me look and feel great on the day of the filming. It was incredibly creative.
DAMIAN: And what are you up to at the moment?
SHARLETTE: I’m currently writing songs for myself to perform and I’m also in collaboration with a producer called ENV who is signed to Notting Hill Music & Publishing, writing songs for other artists.
Take That and Arianna Grande both have concerts at the O2 this year and I will be performing in the VIP lounge of both of these concerts. I’m also confirmed to perform at The Cornbury Festival this year in July where Bryan Adams will be headlining and I regularly perform at Caffe Nero in Heathrow Airport and the Pizza Express Venues.
DAMIAN: Sharlette, thank you very much indeed.
SHARLETTE: Thank YOU very much!
Check out the following links if you would like to see Sharlette perform or want more information about her music:
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