Natalie Brown

EP 11: Natalie Brown

IG: @nataliebrownlv

Episode Transcript (autogenerated)

Dane: [00:00:00] You booked it. Episode 11, Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane Reis, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer. You know, cause training usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world.

[00:00:32] Fellow entertainers, my drive here at you booked it is to share the inspiring and incredible journeys of successful entertainers. We are here to support your journey. So go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join the, you booked it, email community, where we dig deep into truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you book that next audition, submission or gig.

[00:00:59] If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support and search for you. Booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app, where you can subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode, leave a rating and review and to show our appreciation for your fingers crossed five star rating and review. I will give you a shout out on an upcoming episode at now.

[00:01:22] Let’s do this. Oh, righty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today, Natalie Brown. Are you ready for this, Natalie? 

[00:01:34] Natalie: [00:01:34] I’m ready. Let’s 

[00:01:35] Dane: [00:01:35] do it. Fantastic. Wow. Natalie is originally from Sydney, Australia, where she studied in musical theater. She has been fortunate to entertain audiences all over the globe from universal studios, Japan international bookings on multiple cruise lines to Las Vegas.

[00:01:53] You may have even seen her singing in Vegas. Hit shows such as Vegas, the show at planet Hollywood and pinup at the stratosphere. Natalie has also been seen in a multitude of corporate events commercials, and the hit TV show, curb, your enthusiasm, Natalie, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done.

[00:02:13] But why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps, who you are, where you’re from, where you’re currently calling home and a little bit about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:02:27] Natalie: [00:02:27] Well, they have that’s quite the intro. Thank you. You’re welcome. Yeah, I, yeah, I mean, I grew up in kind of a small town, called tem BMB, you know, straight 

[00:02:36] Dane: [00:02:36] love Australian city.

[00:02:38] They’re telling names, 

[00:02:39] Natalie: [00:02:39] right? It’s it’s whenever people ask where I’m from, I say Sydney, because nobody’s going to know where telling me on views, but every now and then I’ll meet someone who knows where it is. But yeah, it’s about an hour North of Sydney. and yeah, I came to the. States have been living in America now for 17 years.

[00:02:54]I have lived all over the States really, LA New York, Miami for a brief stint and yeah, I’ve called Las Vegas home for the last eight years. And, I absolutely love it here. I kind of wish I had, moved here sooner to be honest. But I love the town. I love the and payment industry here in the community.

[00:03:15]and yeah, I’ve pretty much worked as a singer dancer actress. I consider myself pretty decent at all of those things and, you know, well, yeah, I started out as a dancer first. And so then I sort of realized that you have to kind of have other skills too, you know? Make sure that you’re always employable, in this industry.

[00:03:34] So, yeah, that’s kind of what I do, but mostly these days, mostly just singing as I get older. yeah. So singing basically anywhere in town, I did cover band stuff in Las Vegas too. And like I said, as you mentioned the shows, and. I have little hobbies on the side. Like I also like to crochet surprisingly enough.

[00:03:52]so yeah, I started making actually it was for the Vegas golden Knights, hockey team. I started sort of getting into hockey and then I started crocheting the colors of the Vegas golden Knights stuff and sort of selling it online and stuff. This is a little hobby. and I also love. Dogs. I have three little rescue dogs and I love them and they’re my life.

[00:04:13] And I do not have children, but they are my children. And I also have a wonderful husband. He’ll be very happy that I mentioned him in.

[00:04:25] Yeah. Perfect. 

[00:04:26] Dane: [00:04:26] Yeah. You know what I love about Vegas? Cause like you I’ve lived in a lot of different places, worked in a lot of different markets and I think the easiest way that I can sum up Las Vegas is that it is the perfect city for entertainers who wants to entertain for living, because there’s just so much of it here.

[00:04:44] Natalie: [00:04:44] Yeah, exactly. There’s different kinds. You know what I mean? Like I’ve been here for eight years and yes, I’ve done some shows, but I did band work. There’s there’s also like conventions. It’s a whole other industry, really. I mean, you know, I know dancers who kind of just freelance and they make enough money doing that.

[00:05:03] You know what I mean? There’s always a convention now. Yes. This is definitely pre COVID-19, but, you know, there’s just always something going on here. you can pretty much. Sustain yourself financially from just doing entertainment work. And I really don’t think there’s any other city in the U S or the world.

[00:05:22]quite frankly, that, that you can say that about, I mean, yes, you know, New York and LA have a big entertainment industry, but it’s kind of more like, you’re very, very lucky if you book a Broadway show, you know, the chances of that happening and very rare, and those people that have it a very lucky, but you always had to have another job.

[00:05:42] You know, you always have to have some other job to keep the money coming in, but in Vegas you can pretty much sustain yourself some entertainment. Yeah. I love that. It’s amazing. 

[00:05:54] Dane: [00:05:54] Yeah. I would agree with you from everything that I’ve experienced personally in my life. That that is absolutely true. Yeah.

[00:05:59] The Vegas market. 

[00:06:00] Natalie: [00:06:00] Yeah. Yup. 

[00:06:02] Dane: [00:06:02] All right. Well, let’s move on to the next section here. 

[00:06:04] Natalie: [00:06:04] Yeah. 

[00:06:05] Dane: [00:06:05] So of course I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote that you’d like to share with everybody? 

[00:06:13]Natalie: [00:06:13] Yeah. Gosh. Okay. I would say choose your battles. You know, sometimes you’ll be in a show and, you know, there’ll be either a cast member or a director that’s or something that, you know, you’d go home.

[00:06:29] And you, you think about the situation that happened in you’re just frustrated about it. It’s just like, just let, just forget it, like, just choose your battles. It’s not worth. Getting in an argument over, or it’s not worth losing sleep over, just choose it. But yeah, some things are important and some things are worth worrying about, or, you know, let’s say you, you con hit this note or you can’t whatever, you know.

[00:06:52] Yes, absolutely. That is a battle that you want to. Okay, nice. but you know, there’s so many little things it’s just not worth fighting over, you know what I mean? So it’s just kind of like, One of my, a director of mine told me that years ago. I was actually like the dance captain, the show captain, and she ended up being.

[00:07:12] Massive influence in my life. she’s still in my life to this day and she was a huge mentor for me. and she sat me down one day cause I was getting so frustrated because this one particular dancer just wasn’t taking no for me, you know, as a dance captain, you have to give notes and maintain the show.

[00:07:29] And I was so frustrated at this one dancer who just, she just wouldn’t take know she wouldn’t do it, whatever. And she looks at me, you know, Barbara Epstein, who I will talk more about later, she goes, Natalie, choose your battles. And I went, Oh, okay. Yeah. She’s like, it’s not worth it. She’s either not capable of taking the note.

[00:07:45] She’s not going to do it. Just forget it. You’ve given her the note. Don’t worry about it. You know what I mean? And I was like, but don’t you want me to, you want me to be the dance captain? You want me to? You know what I mean? I took pride in it, but it’s just not worth. The anguish and frustration over little things.

[00:08:01] I like that. You know what I mean? So, I mean, that’s like, it’s more from like a dance captain perspective. but you know, I’ve, it’s still, I mean, I find that every day, like, you know, choose your battles. Like, do I get into a Facebook commentary with somebody that you lose your battles? That’s not where the, you know, so somebody cuts in front of you at the supermarket.

[00:08:17] Don’t worry about it. You know what I mean? So anyway, I’ve kind of, yeah, I kind of liked that little quote. 

[00:08:21] Dane: [00:08:21] I love it. Yeah. Taking the, taking the time to maybe try not to be so reactionary and analyze it just for two seconds and make a decision. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can certainly keep you out of trouble and keep you in the good books with the people that you need to be friends with.

[00:08:37] Natalie: [00:08:37] Absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:08:40] Dane: [00:08:40] Well, let’s go on to this next section now. Now you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think you’d agree that the entertainment industry is one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. 

[00:08:57] Natalie: [00:08:57] Oh yeah. 

[00:08:58] Dane: [00:08:58] And, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and to have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

[00:09:07] And while of course, yes, we’re going to have outrageous amounts of fun and excitement, and there’s such a high being an entertainer and being on that stage, there’s also. Our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures that we’re never going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through.

[00:09:25] So tell us, what is one key challenge or obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it. 

[00:09:35] Natalie: [00:09:35] Okay. I would say wanting everyone to like me. Okay. It was a huge challenge to me, you know? yeah. And I think in my twenties, you know, I mean, I started working straight out of high school.

[00:09:51] I didn’t, I didn’t go to college in Australia. It’s not as, sort of pushed upon you to go to college in a, so I left Australia at 18. I started working and blah, so as a result, you know, I was working with people who were older than me or more experienced than me and I was always given. Either a dance captain position, a vocal captain position from a young age.

[00:10:16] Right. And I think, Some people met that with resistance. Some of the older cast members, because I was 20 and I’m in charge of 30 and 40 are not in charge of, you know what I mean? But as a dance captain. And so in my nature, I want to be everybody’s friend and I want everyone to like me and. Sometimes that’s not going to happen.

[00:10:37] And I would really take it personally. And I would, you know, I just wanted so badly everyone to like me and sometimes to the detriment of my job, you know, as a dance captain, you can’t pick and choose who you give a note to or who you don’t give a note to. You have to do your job. And I would sometimes, yeah.

[00:11:02] In my mind, not give someone a note because I wanted that person to like me. It’s sad to admit that now I’m like, Oh my gosh, wow. Like I really cared that much about it. People like me, but As the years went on and you kind of just realize that you have a job to do, and you’re not, I’m going to make friends with every single person and that’s fine.

[00:11:22] You know, we all don’t have to be busy buddies. But we have a job to do. And you have to do a show now. Yes. Is it better? And a lovely work environment when everybody gets along. Great. Sure. But it’s not necessary to be best friends with everybody. And I think the main. Learning now I don’t, I don’t think I’ve necessarily mastered it.

[00:11:44]so I think I’m still kind of working on it, but it’s definitely okay. Not, you know, my, my actions and my thoughts, what they were when I was 20. You know what I mean? I know I’m like, that’s cool. Like I’ve kind of learned from it. And I do think I’ve come out the other side better because of it. Cause you just, if you just have to knowledge that and just say, yo, you know what.

[00:12:05] Not everybody has to like me. And particularly in those positions as a dance captain or vocal captain, or those positions are tough. And I really commend anybody, who is a dance captain that is really. Doing that very well. And I see it a lot, even in Vegas too, actually, you know, Jen, Jordan Vegas, the show, she does a wonderful job of that.

[00:12:26] She just does the job. She’s very, concise. She’s very clear. Okay. Okay. She doesn’t necessarily need you to be her friend, you know what I mean? And, but that means that she’s great at her job. And I wish that I could have been more like her actually in my twenties. 

[00:12:44] Dane: [00:12:44] I think part of it is also. You know, trusting that the people that you’re doing, the show with that they’re doing it because they also are proud of the work that they’re doing and what they’re bringing to the table.

[00:12:56] They’re proud of the project or the show or the gig or whatever it might be. You have to trust that they want the best for whatever the project is, as well as what’s going to make them look really good and feature them as well. And. Not trying to look at the subtext that might be there may or may not be there, in trying to make people, your friends, but just, and trust that we’re all in this together.

[00:13:19] Yep. And yes, you might get frustrated because zero people like doing cleaning rehearsals, it’s just the way it is. Right. But we, we do them and we know really in our soul that it is the thing that we need to do because it’s going to make everyone. Better than Michelle more successful. Everything. 

[00:13:41] Natalie: [00:13:41] Exactly.

[00:13:42] Exactly. I mean, the show is good. You sell tickets, the show stays open, you know, so 

[00:13:47] Dane: [00:13:47] exactly perfect. 

[00:13:48] Natalie: [00:13:48] Yup. Absolutely. 

[00:13:50] Dane: [00:13:50] Well, let’s move on to the next section now to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time that you realized, yes, I’m going to be an entertainer for a living or yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer.

[00:14:07] Tell us about that. 

[00:14:09] Natalie: [00:14:09] So when I was 15, I came to the United States for the first time. it was with, performing groups in Australia. We have these like high school dance sort of concerts. It was in the time it was called the Rocca Stedford, it’s a, it was a, I think it was 1992. This was, and, I was so lucky to be part of this trip.

[00:14:29] There was about 200 Australians students from all around Australia. Oh wow. And we came to LA San Diego. Okay. Washington, DC and New York. And we’ll go on for about three weeks. And, you know, my parents putting half the money and I worked. to make up the other half of the money. So I, you know, came to the United States.

[00:14:50] I was so excited and I mean, I had dreamed about visiting the United States. It’s just such an iconic, you know, country though. It was like, Oh my gosh, America. So we went to, New York and we saw Les MIS on Broadway. And at the time Debbie Gibson was playing, Ebony, which was my equity and was like the role that I always wanted to play.

[00:15:11] And I love Debbie Gibson as a teenager. You know, this is when she was, you know, in her, in her heyday kind of painter. And, after the show, we got to do a little kind of question and answer with some of the costs. And I remember just being in, Oh, I’ve. Of the fact that I’m actually talking to this, but you know what I mean?

[00:15:31] They’re right there on stage. And we did this question and answer and, and just being there in New York city and feeling that energy, and that was it. I came home from that trip and I’m like, I ha this is I have to do this. And my, my mom and my dad even saw in me something clicked my energy. When I came home, I was so focused.

[00:15:52] I wanted to take all of the dance lessons, all the singing lessons, all the water. Do you know what I mean? It really just. 

[00:15:58] Dane: [00:15:58] Everything and anything that could get you an 

[00:16:00] Natalie: [00:16:00] edge. Absolutely. I’m like, I need to step it up. And before that, I mean, I definitely loved it. Of course I love singing and dancing, but I was a little bit more focused on my social life or my friends that are the da, you know, and, but that trip when I went to New York and saw Lamees on Broadway, I went, Oh my God, like I have to do this.

[00:16:21] And yeah, I really, after that, like I said, it just shifted. Mean to it into a whole different gear. And it was, it was amazing. And yeah. And then years later I ended up living there just like sometimes I have to remind myself. How far I’ve come, you know what I mean? Do you mean distance wise from Australia?

[00:16:39] I’m telling me I’m B. and to hear, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s awesome. And sometimes when I’m feeling down on myself, but you know, I’m like, you know what, Natalie, you know, you have to remind yourself of your accomplishments that you, that you’ve done. And that 15 year old girl in New York, when I watched, you know, if you had told me that I would have been living in America years later, I wouldn’t have believed that no, Sorry.

[00:16:58] Dane: [00:16:58] I love that story. That’s great. 

[00:17:00] Natalie: [00:17:00] It was awesome. It was amazing. I still remember it. Yeah. 

[00:17:03] Dane: [00:17:03] Beautiful. Well, let’s piggyback on that question and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the audition and call backs. Those were part of it. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment?

[00:17:18] Makes it your favorite? Hooked it moment. 

[00:17:22] Natalie: [00:17:22] So it was the end of 2000, the year 2000. I was living in Sydney at the time. I was working at a theme park with some friends of mine, and we saw all these auditions or universal studios, Japan four, it was the opening like, so this was the opening cast. They had just built this theme pocket on Saka, Japan.

[00:17:43] And we were all like, we have to turn up to this audition and I, in my mind, I’m just like, I’m getting this job. I’m getting this job. I was so determined. They wanted, like lookalikes, like they had like a Marilyn Monroe kind of impersonator. Me and my friends  yeah. Rented out like a Marilyn Monroe dress.

[00:18:04] Like we went now, I didn’t get the job as the Marilyn Monroe. but they had also had auditions for singers and dancers. So I went to every audition. I went to the acting auditions. As Marilyn Monroe, Betty boop. the only audition that I didn’t do for them was, the stats. They needed people as well for, you know, like the Waterworld show in the wild West show.

[00:18:26] But so I, I couldn’t do that, but so, yeah, so we turned up and, I did the singing and dancing, you know, you have to sing kind of, you know, you know, verse and a chorus of whatever. And I remember I turned up just full makeup. Well, like I was just like, Getting this job. And then we had to do a dance, you know, so they kind of cut us, you know, made a call, a callback to come back later in the day.

[00:18:50] And I remember one of my friends was there and she’s like, she just looked at me and she goes, okay, you’re getting this job. And I’m like, no, I know I’m, I’m getting it. Like she was 

[00:19:01] Dane: [00:19:01] just seeking something. I already know. 

[00:19:03] Natalie: [00:19:03] She’s just, it was just something about it. And, so. They, we finished the dance call.

[00:19:09] We finished the singing, they sort of narrowed us down and they took me outside and they offered me contract on the day. Amazing. It was insane. And on my, like, I was literally screaming. I was like, it was for the, right. A Frankenstein in the, it was the beetle juice monster, best show. It would have been, you know?

[00:19:28] Yeah. I was like beside myself now my, my best friend at the time. She was still doing the acting audition. She was actually, she got hired as may West. So she was in the acting audition. And then my other two friends were doing the stunt audition. So they were still there and I’m like waving at them. I’m like, I got it.

[00:19:47] I got it. I got the job, but I didn’t know if they had or not. So I’m kind of sitting around and I’m waiting for them to finish their audition. And then they got offered the job to my best friend got offered the job. She got the contract right there. And then. And my other two friends who got hard as, as, as men.

[00:20:04] I think one of them, I actually was in the Terminator show, and the other one was in the wild West show. So we just were just beside ourselves. And I think the audition was around September and we left Sydney around like, New Zealand was something like that, you know, round at the end of December. And I mean, I literally was just jumping up and down.

[00:20:26] And I remember the other guy who was the stunt guy. He literally came down the hall, pick me up and like, he’s like, I got it too. And we were all so excited. I mean, just being part of that opening cast and crew, you mean, it was just, just incredible. And, you know, I. I wish that I, sometimes I had that tenacity now, you know what I mean?

[00:20:47] Like you go into an audition with that much sort of confidence in that much. Yeah. Like I was, I was getting that job and I feel really, that was still is one of my best auditions ever. 

[00:21:01] Dane: [00:21:01] I love that. It’s so cool that you got to go on that contract with so many of your friends that is, I can only imagine you guys had a blast when you were in Japan.

[00:21:11] Natalie: [00:21:11] It was amazing. It was, I mean, it was life changing, absolutely life changing. And I was, I ended up being there three years. I did. Okay. I kept on extending my contract and that’s where, I met Barbara Epstein. She was the director of the show in Japan. And she’s the one, you know, that shows me to be the show captain.

[00:21:27]and that formed a mentor relationship with her. And then we also became friends. we’re still like mother and daughter. She’s like my American mom. I mean, I call her almost every other day. She lives in LA. I am still best friends with her. she’s, it’s, it’s amazing. Yeah, yeah. Incidentally. Yeah.

[00:21:46] That’s how I came to the States. Cause I met my, first husband there and we worked together in Japan and that’s how I came to the site. So it truly, truly, truly was life changing and every single sense of the word. 

[00:21:56] Dane: [00:21:56] Wow. Absolutely. And it’s so cool as well, to be part of an inaugural something or an original cast, something it’s just a different experience when you get to create these things.

[00:22:08] Natalie: [00:22:08] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we had a month of rehearsals for, for costs, so there was like four brought a Frankenstein for, you know, Dracula’s for, you know, so, yeah. because you know, the theme parks seven days a week and you have to have multiple pasts and, yeah, it was, it was just absolutely life changing.

[00:22:31]aye. I just absolutely. W it’s just like, there’s just no words to explain. And Japan was a beautiful country. I loved every single, every single minute there. It was just wonderful. Yeah. And like I said, Barbara Epstein became such a huge part of my life also. Oh, another fun fact. When I came to the States in 94 as well with my parents and my sister, we came to the States, traveled around, we went to universal studios in Hollywood.

[00:23:02] And I saw a show at universal studios. Hollywood was the Flintstones show. It was like, Holly rock or something like that. Gosh, Bob going to kill me for not remembering the name of it. but I was obsessed. I went back to watch that show that day. Like my parents, they all did other things and I’m like, yeah, no, no, no.

[00:23:19] I’m going to go back and watch that show. I was blown away that there was a show that good in a theme park, it was, it was like a Broadway quality. Production, this, this Flinstone show at universal studios, Japan in 1994. And I just, like I said, it blew me away that there was something so great and such a wonderful production in a theme park.

[00:23:42] Well, when I, I went to Japan. Yeah. January of 2001. Guess who the director was, all of that show Barbara Epstein, and now I’m working with her. I could not believe it. I was like, 

[00:23:56] Dane: [00:23:56] that is full circle story. I love that. 

[00:24:01] Natalie: [00:24:01] Right. I, she, she, you know, they have us all the big cast meeting the very first day. She’s like on Barbara Epstein, I’ve directed this.

[00:24:08] And like, I sat down, I’m like, wait, God, you’re the one that directed the Flintstone shot. Like, I, I mean, it was, it was insane. Then I told her that, you know, later I’m like, just so you know, I saw your show in 94. I was obsessed with it. And now she’s like my book. I mean, I, I, at her house in LA, she has a picture of like the sketch from like, from the set, the Flintstones show, like framed.

[00:24:33] And I’m like, That’s it. Yeah. Yeah. She changed my life. She absolutely changed my life. It was insane. And another one of those moments where, you know, you’re on the right path, you know what I mean? It was awesome. Yeah. So again, just as just to tag onto that, I just remembered when I saw the show in 94 and I’m like, and then, yup.

[00:24:52] So that universal studios, Japan. Okay, 

[00:24:55] Dane: [00:24:55] love it. All right. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections of the interview. I like to call it the grease lightning round. And I’m going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible. Boom, boom, boom. One after another.

[00:25:11] Are you ready? 

[00:25:13] Natalie: [00:25:13] I’m ready. 

[00:25:13] Dane: [00:25:13] Great. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:25:25] Absolutely you I’m sure are not alone. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

[00:25:35] Natalie: [00:25:35] Take the note. Not if someone gives you a note, take it. That’s my back. Not justify it. Take the note. 

[00:25:43] Dane: [00:25:43] Say thank you. Yeah. Third question. What is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID?

[00:25:51] What was something that was working for you before our industry went on? Pause? 

[00:25:57] Natalie: [00:25:57] I would say for me right now and prior, it was just being grateful for cast members. Being grateful for those cast members that are just beacons of light and just, you know, just good, good people, really, really grateful for them.

[00:26:16] Okay. It changes, it changes your day and I’m super grateful for them. 

[00:26:20] Dane: [00:26:20] Yeah, absolutely. It can make it, it can make and break and evening of 

[00:26:24] Natalie: [00:26:24] shows for sure. 

[00:26:26] Dane: [00:26:26] Absolutely. Yeah. And the fifth question now, this is one of my favorites. If you had to start your career from scratch, but still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve experienced.

[00:26:38] Yeah. Oh, in your entire career, in the entertainment industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or keep it the same? 

[00:26:48] Natalie: [00:26:48] I would say keep studying and keep practicing. Keep learning. I think it’s a little bit of a regret of mine possibly. yeah. There’s not a lot of things that I’m going to do differently necessarily.

[00:26:59] You know what I mean? Cause it all leads you to this place. But I would say for me, I wish that I had possibly just, I kept taking a few more classes or kept taking a few more, voice lessons or, you know, cause I think you have to keep up on your skills. You really do. You have to just, so I think that I would just, if I had to do anything differently, I would just go back and.

[00:27:20] Yes. Okay. Classes. 

[00:27:22] Dane: [00:27:22] Yeah, I agree. Cause I think it’s, it is really easy. You know, if you’re in a show, you know, you’re working five, six days a week, you have your schedule. You, the whole show may be easy, might be hard, but it’s regular and you get this routine and it’s easy to let the, let the training go and let the continual advancement of your skills.

[00:27:44] It’s kind of. Go away because you’re like, look, I’m, I booked it. I’m here. I’m doing this. I’m getting paid to do what I love. Yeah. But to know that we should always be honing our skills 

[00:27:53] Natalie: [00:27:53] for sure. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. 

[00:27:55] Dane: [00:27:55] Alright. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you have learned from your successful career in this industry that you would like to leave with our listeners?

[00:28:07] Natalie: [00:28:07] I would say always be prepared. Now that goes for rehearsals and auditions. I think at auditions, you turn up, be prepared, you know, be prepared for callback. Be prepared, have, have danced clothes in your bag, have dance shoes in your bag, have shoes that you’re comfortable dancing in. you know, be prepared, research the show.

[00:28:31] What are you, what are you auditioning for? Have you seen the show? Do you know what it’s about? Do you know what role you’re going for? You know, what role they think you would be right for? No, always be prepared. I think being realistic about your, about your skillset too, you know what I mean? That helps you to go into an audition where you’re really not right for anything that’s, I mean, you can go to every audition you want, but yeah.

[00:28:59] Prepare yourself for what that audition is, you know? And so then let’s say you book, it, prepare yourself for the first day of rehearsals. You know, if you’ve been given a script ahead of time, we’ll get it. Now. If they want you to be off book the off book, if they want you to have your lyrics memorize, if you’re a singer, memorize your lyrics.

[00:29:19]As a dancer, be prepared for the rehearsals, you know, make sure you’re stretched and warmed up and ready to go. Don’t turn off at 10 o’clock hustle. When you just stumbled out of bed at nine 45, like. Be prepared. I think just going to help you, you definitely won’t regret it. So it’s kind of a win, win situation, you know, and I think I’ve seen it sometimes when people haven’t been prepared either at an audition or at rehearsals.

[00:29:50] And, and really kind of stands out like a sore thumb. You know what I mean? You really noticed that when you like everybody, else’s fairness, one person hasn’t learned any of their lyrics. Really. You notice it. And I think when you have that and you see that in rehearsal, then you go, Oh, that’s that’s, that’s what she’s talking about.

[00:30:06] Oh shit. Yeah. That’s really. That’s really awkward. That’s uncomfortable because that person doesn’t know what they’re doing, you know, so, 

[00:30:14] Dane: [00:30:14] yeah. And I, you know, I, I will even go to these such minute things. I’ve when I first started auditioning in that whole scene, I remember rocking up to an audition. I’d have one pair of shoes.

[00:30:25] I would have had my Lucas, but they were, felt bottoms. 

[00:30:28] Natalie: [00:30:28] Right. 

[00:30:29] Dane: [00:30:29] And it turns out I needed things that were rubberized. You know what I mean? On the bottom, because the floor in the room. Was a mess. He was like ice skating with those felt bottom shoes. So yeah, little things like that have all your possible shoe options, any kind of potential scenario you might have to run into, just have it in your bag.

[00:30:51] That’s why, that’s why everyone has a giant bag 

[00:30:53] Natalie: [00:30:53] of these 

[00:30:55] Dane: [00:30:55] what’s going to happen. And those are the people. Hello? Learn their lesson because they messed it up one or two times. 

[00:31:01] Natalie: [00:31:01] Oh yeah. I had a call back in Sydney once I remember. And they said, okay, can you come back at whatever? And I had to race home and get, you know, my song book or something like that.

[00:31:11] I’ll get my shoes, whatever it was. And just further to that as well. I think each city in particular, and I’m talking about America, auditioning in New York is very different to auditioning and Vegas is very different to auditioning in Los Angeles. And I think knowing your market and most girls will agree with me with that.

[00:31:31] You can turn up in us. Full face of makeup and you know, hair done and you turned it up, put that in LA and people will look at you. Like you’re crazy, but in Vegas, that’s what we need is this, you know what I mean? Wow. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, because the more research you do on it, you’ll again, it’s only going to benefit you.

[00:31:52] So, yes, just to tag on that, be prepared, but also know your city. No, you know, generally how it’s done in that particular city, you know, so for sure. Yeah. It’s only going to benefit you in the end, 

[00:32:06] Dane: [00:32:06] for sure. Well, yeah. Well, let’s wrap up this interview and it’s time to give yourself a plug. So where can we find you?

[00:32:15] How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote? 

[00:32:19] Natalie: [00:32:19] Sure. I mean, you know, our show Vegas, the show is, is not running right now. but it’s a wonderful show. It’s a family friendly, it’s got dancers, singers, specialty acts a live band. It was about a 13 page live band. like I said, it runs seven days a week, seven o’clock and nine o’clock show it’s that it’s inside the miracle mile shops at planet Hollywood.

[00:32:43] And it’s just a wonderful, wonderful show. It pays homage to. Vegas in the heyday. instead of pays, you know, it’s not necessarily impersonators, but we do pay homage to some of the best, you know, acts that, that have ever graced the stage in Vegas. Like the rat pack, you know, Sonny and Cher, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Elvis Presley.

[00:33:04] It’s just, it’s a wonderful, wonderful show and I can’t wait for it to get back up and running. You can also follow me on Instagram, Natalie Brown, LV. And, it’s mostly just pictures of my dogs to be 

[00:33:17] Dane: [00:33:17] dog lovers out there, 

[00:33:18] Natalie: [00:33:18] dog lovers. Yes. But, I post a lot of fun stuff up there too. About the show.

[00:33:22]I just started getting on chick talk. I don’t know if I’m doing it right, Dane. I really 

[00:33:30] Dane: [00:33:30] I’m much more of an observer when it comes to tech talk at the moment. Right? I mean, 

[00:33:35] Natalie: [00:33:35] me too, I started doing a couple of tick-tock things, but then I actually, I call it going down the ticktock rabbit hole because you just start scrolling and scrolling and there’s some funny things out there is.

[00:33:45] And I think it’s a bit of light comic relief. Right now with everything that’s happening in the world. I kind of go on there just to have a bit of a laugh, but, you know, you can always find me on there as well. I think it’s either naturally Brown or Natalie Brown. Yeah. That’s basically it. And Like I said, I can’t wait for our industry to get back up and running and, to get back out there and do the things that we all I love to do. So, yeah. 

[00:34:09] Dane: [00:34:09] Wonderful. Well, Natalie, thank you so much for being on this interview today and joining me, it’s been a pleasure to have 

[00:34:17] Natalie: [00:34:17] you. Thank you so much, Dane. Thank you for having me.

[00:34:21] Dane: [00:34:21] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join our free email community. Where we dig deep into a continually growing resource of truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you advance your entertainment career. Don’t miss an episode.

Natalie Brown

Dane: [00:00:00] You booked it. Episode 11, Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane, Reese, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer. You know, cause training usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world.

[00:00:32] Fellow entertainers, my drive here at you booked it is to share the inspiring and incredible journeys of successful entertainers. We are here to support your journey. So go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join the, you booked it, email community, where we dig deep into truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you book that next audition, submission or gig.

[00:00:59] If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support and search for you. Booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app, where you can subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode, leave a rating and review and to show our appreciation for your fingers crossed five star rating and review. I will give you a shout out on an upcoming episode at now.

[00:01:22] Let’s do this. Oh, righty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today, Natalie Brown. Are you ready for this, Natalie? 

[00:01:34] Natalie: [00:01:34] I’m ready. Let’s 

[00:01:35] Dane: [00:01:35] do it. Fantastic. Wow. Natalie is originally from Sydney, Australia, where she studied in musical theater. She has been fortunate to entertain audiences all over the globe from universal studios, Japan international bookings on multiple cruise lines to Las Vegas.

[00:01:53] You may have even seen her singing in Vegas. Hit shows such as Vegas, the show at planet Hollywood and pinup at the stratosphere. Natalie has also been seen in a multitude of corporate events commercials, and the hit TV show, curb, your enthusiasm, Natalie, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done.

[00:02:13] But why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps, who you are, where you’re from, where you’re currently calling home and a little bit about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:02:27] Natalie: [00:02:27] Well, they have that’s quite the intro. Thank you. You’re welcome. Yeah, I, yeah, I mean, I grew up in kind of a small town, called tem BMB, you know, straight 

[00:02:36] Dane: [00:02:36] love Australian city.

[00:02:38] They’re telling names, 

[00:02:39] Natalie: [00:02:39] right? It’s it’s whenever people ask where I’m from, I say Sydney, because nobody’s going to know where telling me on views, but every now and then I’ll meet someone who knows where it is. But yeah, it’s about an hour North of Sydney. and yeah, I came to the. States have been living in America now for 17 years.

[00:02:54]I have lived all over the States really, LA New York, Miami for a brief stint and yeah, I’ve called Las Vegas home for the last eight years. And, I absolutely love it here. I kind of wish I had, moved here sooner to be honest. But I love the town. I love the and payment industry here in the community.

[00:03:15]and yeah, I’ve pretty much worked as a singer dancer actress. I consider myself pretty decent at all of those things and, you know, well, yeah, I started out as a dancer first. And so then I sort of realized that you have to kind of have other skills too, you know? Make sure that you’re always employable, in this industry.

[00:03:34] So, yeah, that’s kind of what I do, but mostly these days, mostly just singing as I get older. yeah. So singing basically anywhere in town, I did cover band stuff in Las Vegas too. And like I said, as you mentioned the shows, and. I have little hobbies on the side. Like I also like to crochet surprisingly enough.

[00:03:52]so yeah, I started making actually it was for the Vegas golden Knights, hockey team. I started sort of getting into hockey and then I started crocheting the colors of the Vegas golden Knights stuff and sort of selling it online and stuff. This is a little hobby. and I also love. Dogs. I have three little rescue dogs and I love them and they’re my life.

[00:04:13] And I do not have children, but they are my children. And I also have a wonderful husband. He’ll be very happy that I mentioned him in.

[00:04:25] Yeah. Perfect. 

[00:04:26] Dane: [00:04:26] Yeah. You know what I love about Vegas? Cause like you I’ve lived in a lot of different places, worked in a lot of different markets and I think the easiest way that I can sum up Las Vegas is that it is the perfect city for entertainers who wants to entertain for living, because there’s just so much of it here.

[00:04:44] Natalie: [00:04:44] Yeah, exactly. There’s different kinds. You know what I mean? Like I’ve been here for eight years and yes, I’ve done some shows, but I did band work. There’s there’s also like conventions. It’s a whole other industry, really. I mean, you know, I know dancers who kind of just freelance and they make enough money doing that.

[00:05:03] You know what I mean? There’s always a convention now. Yes. This is definitely pre COVID-19, but, you know, there’s just always something going on here. you can pretty much. Sustain yourself financially from just doing entertainment work. And I really don’t think there’s any other city in the U S or the world.

[00:05:22]quite frankly, that, that you can say that about, I mean, yes, you know, New York and LA have a big entertainment industry, but it’s kind of more like, you’re very, very lucky if you book a Broadway show, you know, the chances of that happening and very rare, and those people that have it a very lucky, but you always had to have another job.

[00:05:42] You know, you always have to have some other job to keep the money coming in, but in Vegas you can pretty much sustain yourself some entertainment. Yeah. I love that. It’s amazing. 

[00:05:54] Dane: [00:05:54] Yeah. I would agree with you from everything that I’ve experienced personally in my life. That that is absolutely true. Yeah.

[00:05:59] The Vegas market. 

[00:06:00] Natalie: [00:06:00] Yeah. Yup. 

[00:06:02] Dane: [00:06:02] All right. Well, let’s move on to the next section here. 

[00:06:04] Natalie: [00:06:04] Yeah. 

[00:06:05] Dane: [00:06:05] So of course I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote that you’d like to share with everybody? 

[00:06:13]Natalie: [00:06:13] Yeah. Gosh. Okay. I would say choose your battles. You know, sometimes you’ll be in a show and, you know, there’ll be either a cast member or a director that’s or something that, you know, you’d go home.

[00:06:29] And you, you think about the situation that happened in you’re just frustrated about it. It’s just like, just let, just forget it, like, just choose your battles. It’s not worth. Getting in an argument over, or it’s not worth losing sleep over, just choose it. But yeah, some things are important and some things are worth worrying about, or, you know, let’s say you, you con hit this note or you can’t whatever, you know.

[00:06:52] Yes, absolutely. That is a battle that you want to. Okay, nice. but you know, there’s so many little things it’s just not worth fighting over, you know what I mean? So it’s just kind of like, One of my, a director of mine told me that years ago. I was actually like the dance captain, the show captain, and she ended up being.

[00:07:12] Massive influence in my life. she’s still in my life to this day and she was a huge mentor for me. and she sat me down one day cause I was getting so frustrated because this one particular dancer just wasn’t taking no for me, you know, as a dance captain, you have to give notes and maintain the show.

[00:07:29] And I was so frustrated at this one dancer who just, she just wouldn’t take know she wouldn’t do it, whatever. And she looks at me, you know, Barbara Epstein, who I will talk more about later, she goes, Natalie, choose your battles. And I went, Oh, okay. Yeah. She’s like, it’s not worth it. She’s either not capable of taking the note.

[00:07:45] She’s not going to do it. Just forget it. You’ve given her the note. Don’t worry about it. You know what I mean? And I was like, but don’t you want me to, you want me to be the dance captain? You want me to? You know what I mean? I took pride in it, but it’s just not worth. The anguish and frustration over little things.

[00:08:01] I like that. You know what I mean? So, I mean, that’s like, it’s more from like a dance captain perspective. but you know, I’ve, it’s still, I mean, I find that every day, like, you know, choose your battles. Like, do I get into a Facebook commentary with somebody that you lose your battles? That’s not where the, you know, so somebody cuts in front of you at the supermarket.

[00:08:17] Don’t worry about it. You know what I mean? So anyway, I’ve kind of, yeah, I kind of liked that little quote. 

[00:08:21] Dane: [00:08:21] I love it. Yeah. Taking the, taking the time to maybe try not to be so reactionary and analyze it just for two seconds and make a decision. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can certainly keep you out of trouble and keep you in the good books with the people that you need to be friends with.

[00:08:37] Natalie: [00:08:37] Absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:08:40] Dane: [00:08:40] Well, let’s go on to this next section now. Now you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think you’d agree that the entertainment industry is one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. 

[00:08:57] Natalie: [00:08:57] Oh yeah. 

[00:08:58] Dane: [00:08:58] And, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and to have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

[00:09:07] And while of course, yes, we’re going to have outrageous amounts of fun and excitement, and there’s such a high being an entertainer and being on that stage, there’s also. Our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures that we’re never going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through.

[00:09:25] So tell us, what is one key challenge or obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it. 

[00:09:35] Natalie: [00:09:35] Okay. I would say wanting everyone to like me. Okay. It was a huge challenge to me, you know? yeah. And I think in my twenties, you know, I mean, I started working straight out of high school.

[00:09:51] I didn’t, I didn’t go to college in Australia. It’s not as, sort of pushed upon you to go to college in a, so I left Australia at 18. I started working and blah, so as a result, you know, I was working with people who were older than me or more experienced than me and I was always given. Either a dance captain position, a vocal captain position from a young age.

[00:10:16] Right. And I think, Some people met that with resistance. Some of the older cast members, because I was 20 and I’m in charge of 30 and 40 are not in charge of, you know what I mean? But as a dance captain. And so in my nature, I want to be everybody’s friend and I want everyone to like me and. Sometimes that’s not going to happen.

[00:10:37] And I would really take it personally. And I would, you know, I just wanted so badly everyone to like me and sometimes to the detriment of my job, you know, as a dance captain, you can’t pick and choose who you give a note to or who you don’t give a note to. You have to do your job. And I would sometimes, yeah.

[00:11:02] In my mind, not give someone a note because I wanted that person to like me. It’s sad to admit that now I’m like, Oh my gosh, wow. Like I really cared that much about it. People like me, but As the years went on and you kind of just realize that you have a job to do, and you’re not, I’m going to make friends with every single person and that’s fine.

[00:11:22] You know, we all don’t have to be busy buddies. But we have a job to do. And you have to do a show now. Yes. Is it better? And a lovely work environment when everybody gets along. Great. Sure. But it’s not necessary to be best friends with everybody. And I think the main. Learning now I don’t, I don’t think I’ve necessarily mastered it.

[00:11:44]so I think I’m still kind of working on it, but it’s definitely okay. Not, you know, my, my actions and my thoughts, what they were when I was 20. You know what I mean? I know I’m like, that’s cool. Like I’ve kind of learned from it. And I do think I’ve come out the other side better because of it. Cause you just, if you just have to knowledge that and just say, yo, you know what.

[00:12:05] Not everybody has to like me. And particularly in those positions as a dance captain or vocal captain, or those positions are tough. And I really commend anybody, who is a dance captain that is really. Doing that very well. And I see it a lot, even in Vegas too, actually, you know, Jen, Jordan Vegas, the show, she does a wonderful job of that.

[00:12:26] She just does the job. She’s very, concise. She’s very clear. Okay. Okay. She doesn’t necessarily need you to be her friend, you know what I mean? And, but that means that she’s great at her job. And I wish that I could have been more like her actually in my twenties. 

[00:12:44] Dane: [00:12:44] I think part of it is also. You know, trusting that the people that you’re doing, the show with that they’re doing it because they also are proud of the work that they’re doing and what they’re bringing to the table.

[00:12:56] They’re proud of the project or the show or the gig or whatever it might be. You have to trust that they want the best for whatever the project is, as well as what’s going to make them look really good and feature them as well. And. Not trying to look at the subtext that might be there may or may not be there, in trying to make people, your friends, but just, and trust that we’re all in this together.

[00:13:19] Yep. And yes, you might get frustrated because zero people like doing cleaning rehearsals, it’s just the way it is. Right. But we, we do them and we know really in our soul that it is the thing that we need to do because it’s going to make everyone. Better than Michelle more successful. Everything. 

[00:13:41] Natalie: [00:13:41] Exactly.

[00:13:42] Exactly. I mean, the show is good. You sell tickets, the show stays open, you know, so 

[00:13:47] Dane: [00:13:47] exactly perfect. 

[00:13:48] Natalie: [00:13:48] Yup. Absolutely. 

[00:13:50] Dane: [00:13:50] Well, let’s move on to the next section now to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time that you realized, yes, I’m going to be an entertainer for a living or yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer.

[00:14:07] Tell us about that. 

[00:14:09] Natalie: [00:14:09] So when I was 15, I came to the United States for the first time. it was with, performing groups in Australia. We have these like high school dance sort of concerts. It was in the time it was called the Rocca Stedford, it’s a, it was a, I think it was 1992. This was, and, I was so lucky to be part of this trip.

[00:14:29] There was about 200 Australians students from all around Australia. Oh wow. And we came to LA San Diego. Okay. Washington, DC and New York. And we’ll go on for about three weeks. And, you know, my parents putting half the money and I worked. to make up the other half of the money. So I, you know, came to the United States.

[00:14:50] I was so excited and I mean, I had dreamed about visiting the United States. It’s just such an iconic, you know, country though. It was like, Oh my gosh, America. So we went to, New York and we saw Les MIS on Broadway. And at the time Debbie Gibson was playing, Ebony, which was my equity and was like the role that I always wanted to play.

[00:15:11] And I love Debbie Gibson as a teenager. You know, this is when she was, you know, in her, in her heyday kind of painter. And, after the show, we got to do a little kind of question and answer with some of the costs. And I remember just being in, Oh, I’ve. Of the fact that I’m actually talking to this, but you know what I mean?

[00:15:31] They’re right there on stage. And we did this question and answer and, and just being there in New York city and feeling that energy, and that was it. I came home from that trip and I’m like, I ha this is I have to do this. And my, my mom and my dad even saw in me something clicked my energy. When I came home, I was so focused.

[00:15:52] I wanted to take all of the dance lessons, all the singing lessons, all the water. Do you know what I mean? It really just. 

[00:15:58] Dane: [00:15:58] Everything and anything that could get you an 

[00:16:00] Natalie: [00:16:00] edge. Absolutely. I’m like, I need to step it up. And before that, I mean, I definitely loved it. Of course I love singing and dancing, but I was a little bit more focused on my social life or my friends that are the da, you know, and, but that trip when I went to New York and saw Lamees on Broadway, I went, Oh my God, like I have to do this.

[00:16:21] And yeah, I really, after that, like I said, it just shifted. Mean to it into a whole different gear. And it was, it was amazing. And yeah. And then years later I ended up living there just like sometimes I have to remind myself. How far I’ve come, you know what I mean? Do you mean distance wise from Australia?

[00:16:39] I’m telling me I’m B. and to hear, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s awesome. And sometimes when I’m feeling down on myself, but you know, I’m like, you know what, Natalie, you know, you have to remind yourself of your accomplishments that you, that you’ve done. And that 15 year old girl in New York, when I watched, you know, if you had told me that I would have been living in America years later, I wouldn’t have believed that no, Sorry.

[00:16:58] Dane: [00:16:58] I love that story. That’s great. 

[00:17:00] Natalie: [00:17:00] It was awesome. It was amazing. I still remember it. Yeah. 

[00:17:03] Dane: [00:17:03] Beautiful. Well, let’s piggyback on that question and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the audition and call backs. Those were part of it. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment?

[00:17:18] Makes it your favorite? Hooked it moment. 

[00:17:22] Natalie: [00:17:22] So it was the end of 2000, the year 2000. I was living in Sydney at the time. I was working at a theme park with some friends of mine, and we saw all these auditions or universal studios, Japan four, it was the opening like, so this was the opening cast. They had just built this theme pocket on Saka, Japan.

[00:17:43] And we were all like, we have to turn up to this audition and I, in my mind, I’m just like, I’m getting this job. I’m getting this job. I was so determined. They wanted, like lookalikes, like they had like a Marilyn Monroe kind of impersonator. Me and my friends  yeah. Rented out like a Marilyn Monroe dress.

[00:18:04] Like we went now, I didn’t get the job as the Marilyn Monroe. but they had also had auditions for singers and dancers. So I went to every audition. I went to the acting auditions. As Marilyn Monroe, Betty boop. the only audition that I didn’t do for them was, the stats. They needed people as well for, you know, like the Waterworld show in the wild West show.

[00:18:26] But so I, I couldn’t do that, but so, yeah, so we turned up and, I did the singing and dancing, you know, you have to sing kind of, you know, you know, verse and a chorus of whatever. And I remember I turned up just full makeup. Well, like I was just like, Getting this job. And then we had to do a dance, you know, so they kind of cut us, you know, made a call, a callback to come back later in the day.

[00:18:50] And I remember one of my friends was there and she’s like, she just looked at me and she goes, okay, you’re getting this job. And I’m like, no, I know I’m, I’m getting it. Like she was 

[00:19:01] Dane: [00:19:01] just seeking something. I already know. 

[00:19:03] Natalie: [00:19:03] She’s just, it was just something about it. And, so. They, we finished the dance call.

[00:19:09] We finished the singing, they sort of narrowed us down and they took me outside and they offered me contract on the day. Amazing. It was insane. And on my, like, I was literally screaming. I was like, it was for the, right. A Frankenstein in the, it was the beetle juice monster, best show. It would have been, you know?

[00:19:28] Yeah. I was like beside myself now my, my best friend at the time. She was still doing the acting audition. She was actually, she got hired as may West. So she was in the acting audition. And then my other two friends were doing the stunt audition. So they were still there and I’m like waving at them. I’m like, I got it.

[00:19:47] I got it. I got the job, but I didn’t know if they had or not. So I’m kind of sitting around and I’m waiting for them to finish their audition. And then they got offered the job to my best friend got offered the job. She got the contract right there. And then. And my other two friends who got hard as, as, as men.

[00:20:04] I think one of them, I actually was in the Terminator show, and the other one was in the wild West show. So we just were just beside ourselves. And I think the audition was around September and we left Sydney around like, New Zealand was something like that, you know, round at the end of December. And I mean, I literally was just jumping up and down.

[00:20:26] And I remember the other guy who was the stunt guy. He literally came down the hall, pick me up and like, he’s like, I got it too. And we were all so excited. I mean, just being part of that opening cast and crew, you mean, it was just, just incredible. And, you know, I. I wish that I, sometimes I had that tenacity now, you know what I mean?

[00:20:47] Like you go into an audition with that much sort of confidence in that much. Yeah. Like I was, I was getting that job and I feel really, that was still is one of my best auditions ever. 

[00:21:01] Dane: [00:21:01] I love that. It’s so cool that you got to go on that contract with so many of your friends that is, I can only imagine you guys had a blast when you were in Japan.

[00:21:11] Natalie: [00:21:11] It was amazing. It was, I mean, it was life changing, absolutely life changing. And I was, I ended up being there three years. I did. Okay. I kept on extending my contract and that’s where, I met Barbara Epstein. She was the director of the show in Japan. And she’s the one, you know, that shows me to be the show captain.

[00:21:27]and that formed a mentor relationship with her. And then we also became friends. we’re still like mother and daughter. She’s like my American mom. I mean, I call her almost every other day. She lives in LA. I am still best friends with her. she’s, it’s, it’s amazing. Yeah, yeah. Incidentally. Yeah.

[00:21:46] That’s how I came to the States. Cause I met my, first husband there and we worked together in Japan and that’s how I came to the site. So it truly, truly, truly was life changing and every single sense of the word. 

[00:21:56] Dane: [00:21:56] Wow. Absolutely. And it’s so cool as well, to be part of an inaugural something or an original cast, something it’s just a different experience when you get to create these things.

[00:22:08] Natalie: [00:22:08] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we had a month of rehearsals for, for costs, so there was like four brought a Frankenstein for, you know, Dracula’s for, you know, so, yeah. because you know, the theme parks seven days a week and you have to have multiple pasts and, yeah, it was, it was just absolutely life changing.

[00:22:31]aye. I just absolutely. W it’s just like, there’s just no words to explain. And Japan was a beautiful country. I loved every single, every single minute there. It was just wonderful. Yeah. And like I said, Barbara Epstein became such a huge part of my life also. Oh, another fun fact. When I came to the States in 94 as well with my parents and my sister, we came to the States, traveled around, we went to universal studios in Hollywood.

[00:23:02] And I saw a show at universal studios. Hollywood was the Flintstones show. It was like, Holly rock or something like that. Gosh, Bob going to kill me for not remembering the name of it. but I was obsessed. I went back to watch that show that day. Like my parents, they all did other things and I’m like, yeah, no, no, no.

[00:23:19] I’m going to go back and watch that show. I was blown away that there was a show that good in a theme park, it was, it was like a Broadway quality. Production, this, this Flinstone show at universal studios, Japan in 1994. And I just, like I said, it blew me away that there was something so great and such a wonderful production in a theme park.

[00:23:42] Well, when I, I went to Japan. Yeah. January of 2001. Guess who the director was, all of that show Barbara Epstein, and now I’m working with her. I could not believe it. I was like, 

[00:23:56] Dane: [00:23:56] that is full circle story. I love that. 

[00:24:01] Natalie: [00:24:01] Right. I, she, she, you know, they have us all the big cast meeting the very first day. She’s like on Barbara Epstein, I’ve directed this.

[00:24:08] And like, I sat down, I’m like, wait, God, you’re the one that directed the Flintstone shot. Like, I, I mean, it was, it was insane. Then I told her that, you know, later I’m like, just so you know, I saw your show in 94. I was obsessed with it. And now she’s like my book. I mean, I, I, at her house in LA, she has a picture of like the sketch from like, from the set, the Flintstones show, like framed.

[00:24:33] And I’m like, That’s it. Yeah. Yeah. She changed my life. She absolutely changed my life. It was insane. And another one of those moments where, you know, you’re on the right path, you know what I mean? It was awesome. Yeah. So again, just as just to tag onto that, I just remembered when I saw the show in 94 and I’m like, and then, yup.

[00:24:52] So that universal studios, Japan. Okay, 

[00:24:55] Dane: [00:24:55] love it. All right. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections of the interview. I like to call it the grease lightning round. And I’m going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible. Boom, boom, boom. One after another.

[00:25:11] Are you ready? 

[00:25:13] Natalie: [00:25:13] I’m ready. 

[00:25:13] Dane: [00:25:13] Great. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:25:25] Absolutely you I’m sure are not alone. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

[00:25:35] Natalie: [00:25:35] Take the note. Not if someone gives you a note, take it. That’s my back. Not justify it. Take the note. 

[00:25:43] Dane: [00:25:43] Say thank you. Yeah. Third question. What is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID?

[00:25:51] What was something that was working for you before our industry went on? Pause? 

[00:25:57] Natalie: [00:25:57] I would say for me right now and prior, it was just being grateful for cast members. Being grateful for those cast members that are just beacons of light and just, you know, just good, good people, really, really grateful for them.

[00:26:16] Okay. It changes, it changes your day and I’m super grateful for them. 

[00:26:20] Dane: [00:26:20] Yeah, absolutely. It can make it, it can make and break and evening of 

[00:26:24] Natalie: [00:26:24] shows for sure. 

[00:26:26] Dane: [00:26:26] Absolutely. Yeah. And the fifth question now, this is one of my favorites. If you had to start your career from scratch, but still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve experienced.

[00:26:38] Yeah. Oh, in your entire career, in the entertainment industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or keep it the same? 

[00:26:48] Natalie: [00:26:48] I would say keep studying and keep practicing. Keep learning. I think it’s a little bit of a regret of mine possibly. yeah. There’s not a lot of things that I’m going to do differently necessarily.

[00:26:59] You know what I mean? Cause it all leads you to this place. But I would say for me, I wish that I had possibly just, I kept taking a few more classes or kept taking a few more, voice lessons or, you know, cause I think you have to keep up on your skills. You really do. You have to just, so I think that I would just, if I had to do anything differently, I would just go back and.

[00:27:20] Yes. Okay. Classes. 

[00:27:22] Dane: [00:27:22] Yeah, I agree. Cause I think it’s, it is really easy. You know, if you’re in a show, you know, you’re working five, six days a week, you have your schedule. You, the whole show may be easy, might be hard, but it’s regular and you get this routine and it’s easy to let the, let the training go and let the continual advancement of your skills.

[00:27:44] It’s kind of. Go away because you’re like, look, I’m, I booked it. I’m here. I’m doing this. I’m getting paid to do what I love. Yeah. But to know that we should always be honing our skills 

[00:27:53] Natalie: [00:27:53] for sure. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. 

[00:27:55] Dane: [00:27:55] Alright. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you have learned from your successful career in this industry that you would like to leave with our listeners?

[00:28:07] Natalie: [00:28:07] I would say always be prepared. Now that goes for rehearsals and auditions. I think at auditions, you turn up, be prepared, you know, be prepared for callback. Be prepared, have, have danced clothes in your bag, have dance shoes in your bag, have shoes that you’re comfortable dancing in. you know, be prepared, research the show.

[00:28:31] What are you, what are you auditioning for? Have you seen the show? Do you know what it’s about? Do you know what role you’re going for? You know, what role they think you would be right for? No, always be prepared. I think being realistic about your, about your skillset too, you know what I mean? That helps you to go into an audition where you’re really not right for anything that’s, I mean, you can go to every audition you want, but yeah.

[00:28:59] Prepare yourself for what that audition is, you know? And so then let’s say you book, it, prepare yourself for the first day of rehearsals. You know, if you’ve been given a script ahead of time, we’ll get it. Now. If they want you to be off book the off book, if they want you to have your lyrics memorize, if you’re a singer, memorize your lyrics.

[00:29:19]As a dancer, be prepared for the rehearsals, you know, make sure you’re stretched and warmed up and ready to go. Don’t turn off at 10 o’clock hustle. When you just stumbled out of bed at nine 45, like. Be prepared. I think just going to help you, you definitely won’t regret it. So it’s kind of a win, win situation, you know, and I think I’ve seen it sometimes when people haven’t been prepared either at an audition or at rehearsals.

[00:29:50] And, and really kind of stands out like a sore thumb. You know what I mean? You really noticed that when you like everybody, else’s fairness, one person hasn’t learned any of their lyrics. Really. You notice it. And I think when you have that and you see that in rehearsal, then you go, Oh, that’s that’s, that’s what she’s talking about.

[00:30:06] Oh shit. Yeah. That’s really. That’s really awkward. That’s uncomfortable because that person doesn’t know what they’re doing, you know, so, 

[00:30:14] Dane: [00:30:14] yeah. And I, you know, I, I will even go to these such minute things. I’ve when I first started auditioning in that whole scene, I remember rocking up to an audition. I’d have one pair of shoes.

[00:30:25] I would have had my Lucas, but they were, felt bottoms. 

[00:30:28] Natalie: [00:30:28] Right. 

[00:30:29] Dane: [00:30:29] And it turns out I needed things that were rubberized. You know what I mean? On the bottom, because the floor in the room. Was a mess. He was like ice skating with those felt bottom shoes. So yeah, little things like that have all your possible shoe options, any kind of potential scenario you might have to run into, just have it in your bag.

[00:30:51] That’s why, that’s why everyone has a giant bag 

[00:30:53] Natalie: [00:30:53] of these 

[00:30:55] Dane: [00:30:55] what’s going to happen. And those are the people. Hello? Learn their lesson because they messed it up one or two times. 

[00:31:01] Natalie: [00:31:01] Oh yeah. I had a call back in Sydney once I remember. And they said, okay, can you come back at whatever? And I had to race home and get, you know, my song book or something like that.

[00:31:11] I’ll get my shoes, whatever it was. And just further to that as well. I think each city in particular, and I’m talking about America, auditioning in New York is very different to auditioning and Vegas is very different to auditioning in Los Angeles. And I think knowing your market and most girls will agree with me with that.

[00:31:31] You can turn up in us. Full face of makeup and you know, hair done and you turned it up, put that in LA and people will look at you. Like you’re crazy, but in Vegas, that’s what we need is this, you know what I mean? Wow. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, because the more research you do on it, you’ll again, it’s only going to benefit you.

[00:31:52] So, yes, just to tag on that, be prepared, but also know your city. No, you know, generally how it’s done in that particular city, you know, so for sure. Yeah. It’s only going to benefit you in the end, 

[00:32:06] Dane: [00:32:06] for sure. Well, yeah. Well, let’s wrap up this interview and it’s time to give yourself a plug. So where can we find you?

[00:32:15] How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote? 

[00:32:19] Natalie: [00:32:19] Sure. I mean, you know, our show Vegas, the show is, is not running right now. but it’s a wonderful show. It’s a family friendly, it’s got dancers, singers, specialty acts a live band. It was about a 13 page live band. like I said, it runs seven days a week, seven o’clock and nine o’clock show it’s that it’s inside the miracle mile shops at planet Hollywood.

[00:32:43] And it’s just a wonderful, wonderful show. It pays homage to. Vegas in the heyday. instead of pays, you know, it’s not necessarily impersonators, but we do pay homage to some of the best, you know, acts that, that have ever graced the stage in Vegas. Like the rat pack, you know, Sonny and Cher, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Elvis Presley.

[00:33:04] It’s just, it’s a wonderful, wonderful show and I can’t wait for it to get back up and running. You can also follow me on Instagram, Natalie Brown, LV. And, it’s mostly just pictures of my dogs to be 

[00:33:17] Dane: [00:33:17] dog lovers out there, 

[00:33:18] Natalie: [00:33:18] dog lovers. Yes. But, I post a lot of fun stuff up there too. About the show.

[00:33:22]I just started getting on chick talk. I don’t know if I’m doing it right, Dane. I really 

[00:33:30] Dane: [00:33:30] I’m much more of an observer when it comes to tech talk at the moment. Right? I mean, 

[00:33:35] Natalie: [00:33:35] me too, I started doing a couple of tick-tock things, but then I actually, I call it going down the ticktock rabbit hole because you just start scrolling and scrolling and there’s some funny things out there is.

[00:33:45] And I think it’s a bit of light comic relief. Right now with everything that’s happening in the world. I kind of go on there just to have a bit of a laugh, but, you know, you can always find me on there as well. I think it’s either naturally Brown or Natalie Brown. Yeah. That’s basically it. And Like I said, I can’t wait for our industry to get back up and running and, to get back out there and do the things that we all I love to do. So, yeah. 

[00:34:09] Dane: [00:34:09] Wonderful. Well, Natalie, thank you so much for being on this interview today and joining me, it’s been a pleasure to have 

[00:34:17] Natalie: [00:34:17] you. Thank you so much, Dane. Thank you for having me.

[00:34:21] Dane: [00:34:21] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join our free email community. Where we dig deep into a continually growing resource of truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you advance your entertainment career. Don’t miss an episode.

Natalie Brown

Dane: [00:00:00] You booked it. Episode 11, Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane, Reese, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer. You know, cause training usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world.

[00:00:32] Fellow entertainers, my drive here at you booked it is to share the inspiring and incredible journeys of successful entertainers. We are here to support your journey. So go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join the, you booked it, email community, where we dig deep into truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you book that next audition, submission or gig.

[00:00:59] If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support and search for you. Booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app, where you can subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode, leave a rating and review and to show our appreciation for your fingers crossed five star rating and review. I will give you a shout out on an upcoming episode at now.

[00:01:22] Let’s do this. Oh, righty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today, Natalie Brown. Are you ready for this, Natalie? 

[00:01:34] Natalie: [00:01:34] I’m ready. Let’s 

[00:01:35] Dane: [00:01:35] do it. Fantastic. Wow. Natalie is originally from Sydney, Australia, where she studied in musical theater. She has been fortunate to entertain audiences all over the globe from universal studios, Japan international bookings on multiple cruise lines to Las Vegas.

[00:01:53] You may have even seen her singing in Vegas. Hit shows such as Vegas, the show at planet Hollywood and pinup at the stratosphere. Natalie has also been seen in a multitude of corporate events commercials, and the hit TV show, curb, your enthusiasm, Natalie, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done.

[00:02:13] But why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps, who you are, where you’re from, where you’re currently calling home and a little bit about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:02:27] Natalie: [00:02:27] Well, they have that’s quite the intro. Thank you. You’re welcome. Yeah, I, yeah, I mean, I grew up in kind of a small town, called tem BMB, you know, straight 

[00:02:36] Dane: [00:02:36] love Australian city.

[00:02:38] They’re telling names, 

[00:02:39] Natalie: [00:02:39] right? It’s it’s whenever people ask where I’m from, I say Sydney, because nobody’s going to know where telling me on views, but every now and then I’ll meet someone who knows where it is. But yeah, it’s about an hour North of Sydney. and yeah, I came to the. States have been living in America now for 17 years.

[00:02:54]I have lived all over the States really, LA New York, Miami for a brief stint and yeah, I’ve called Las Vegas home for the last eight years. And, I absolutely love it here. I kind of wish I had, moved here sooner to be honest. But I love the town. I love the and payment industry here in the community.

[00:03:15]and yeah, I’ve pretty much worked as a singer dancer actress. I consider myself pretty decent at all of those things and, you know, well, yeah, I started out as a dancer first. And so then I sort of realized that you have to kind of have other skills too, you know? Make sure that you’re always employable, in this industry.

[00:03:34] So, yeah, that’s kind of what I do, but mostly these days, mostly just singing as I get older. yeah. So singing basically anywhere in town, I did cover band stuff in Las Vegas too. And like I said, as you mentioned the shows, and. I have little hobbies on the side. Like I also like to crochet surprisingly enough.

[00:03:52]so yeah, I started making actually it was for the Vegas golden Knights, hockey team. I started sort of getting into hockey and then I started crocheting the colors of the Vegas golden Knights stuff and sort of selling it online and stuff. This is a little hobby. and I also love. Dogs. I have three little rescue dogs and I love them and they’re my life.

[00:04:13] And I do not have children, but they are my children. And I also have a wonderful husband. He’ll be very happy that I mentioned him in.

[00:04:25] Yeah. Perfect. 

[00:04:26] Dane: [00:04:26] Yeah. You know what I love about Vegas? Cause like you I’ve lived in a lot of different places, worked in a lot of different markets and I think the easiest way that I can sum up Las Vegas is that it is the perfect city for entertainers who wants to entertain for living, because there’s just so much of it here.

[00:04:44] Natalie: [00:04:44] Yeah, exactly. There’s different kinds. You know what I mean? Like I’ve been here for eight years and yes, I’ve done some shows, but I did band work. There’s there’s also like conventions. It’s a whole other industry, really. I mean, you know, I know dancers who kind of just freelance and they make enough money doing that.

[00:05:03] You know what I mean? There’s always a convention now. Yes. This is definitely pre COVID-19, but, you know, there’s just always something going on here. you can pretty much. Sustain yourself financially from just doing entertainment work. And I really don’t think there’s any other city in the U S or the world.

[00:05:22]quite frankly, that, that you can say that about, I mean, yes, you know, New York and LA have a big entertainment industry, but it’s kind of more like, you’re very, very lucky if you book a Broadway show, you know, the chances of that happening and very rare, and those people that have it a very lucky, but you always had to have another job.

[00:05:42] You know, you always have to have some other job to keep the money coming in, but in Vegas you can pretty much sustain yourself some entertainment. Yeah. I love that. It’s amazing. 

[00:05:54] Dane: [00:05:54] Yeah. I would agree with you from everything that I’ve experienced personally in my life. That that is absolutely true. Yeah.

[00:05:59] The Vegas market. 

[00:06:00] Natalie: [00:06:00] Yeah. Yup. 

[00:06:02] Dane: [00:06:02] All right. Well, let’s move on to the next section here. 

[00:06:04] Natalie: [00:06:04] Yeah. 

[00:06:05] Dane: [00:06:05] So of course I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote that you’d like to share with everybody? 

[00:06:13]Natalie: [00:06:13] Yeah. Gosh. Okay. I would say choose your battles. You know, sometimes you’ll be in a show and, you know, there’ll be either a cast member or a director that’s or something that, you know, you’d go home.

[00:06:29] And you, you think about the situation that happened in you’re just frustrated about it. It’s just like, just let, just forget it, like, just choose your battles. It’s not worth. Getting in an argument over, or it’s not worth losing sleep over, just choose it. But yeah, some things are important and some things are worth worrying about, or, you know, let’s say you, you con hit this note or you can’t whatever, you know.

[00:06:52] Yes, absolutely. That is a battle that you want to. Okay, nice. but you know, there’s so many little things it’s just not worth fighting over, you know what I mean? So it’s just kind of like, One of my, a director of mine told me that years ago. I was actually like the dance captain, the show captain, and she ended up being.

[00:07:12] Massive influence in my life. she’s still in my life to this day and she was a huge mentor for me. and she sat me down one day cause I was getting so frustrated because this one particular dancer just wasn’t taking no for me, you know, as a dance captain, you have to give notes and maintain the show.

[00:07:29] And I was so frustrated at this one dancer who just, she just wouldn’t take know she wouldn’t do it, whatever. And she looks at me, you know, Barbara Epstein, who I will talk more about later, she goes, Natalie, choose your battles. And I went, Oh, okay. Yeah. She’s like, it’s not worth it. She’s either not capable of taking the note.

[00:07:45] She’s not going to do it. Just forget it. You’ve given her the note. Don’t worry about it. You know what I mean? And I was like, but don’t you want me to, you want me to be the dance captain? You want me to? You know what I mean? I took pride in it, but it’s just not worth. The anguish and frustration over little things.

[00:08:01] I like that. You know what I mean? So, I mean, that’s like, it’s more from like a dance captain perspective. but you know, I’ve, it’s still, I mean, I find that every day, like, you know, choose your battles. Like, do I get into a Facebook commentary with somebody that you lose your battles? That’s not where the, you know, so somebody cuts in front of you at the supermarket.

[00:08:17] Don’t worry about it. You know what I mean? So anyway, I’ve kind of, yeah, I kind of liked that little quote. 

[00:08:21] Dane: [00:08:21] I love it. Yeah. Taking the, taking the time to maybe try not to be so reactionary and analyze it just for two seconds and make a decision. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can certainly keep you out of trouble and keep you in the good books with the people that you need to be friends with.

[00:08:37] Natalie: [00:08:37] Absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:08:40] Dane: [00:08:40] Well, let’s go on to this next section now. Now you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think you’d agree that the entertainment industry is one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. 

[00:08:57] Natalie: [00:08:57] Oh yeah. 

[00:08:58] Dane: [00:08:58] And, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and to have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

[00:09:07] And while of course, yes, we’re going to have outrageous amounts of fun and excitement, and there’s such a high being an entertainer and being on that stage, there’s also. Our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures that we’re never going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through.

[00:09:25] So tell us, what is one key challenge or obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it. 

[00:09:35] Natalie: [00:09:35] Okay. I would say wanting everyone to like me. Okay. It was a huge challenge to me, you know? yeah. And I think in my twenties, you know, I mean, I started working straight out of high school.

[00:09:51] I didn’t, I didn’t go to college in Australia. It’s not as, sort of pushed upon you to go to college in a, so I left Australia at 18. I started working and blah, so as a result, you know, I was working with people who were older than me or more experienced than me and I was always given. Either a dance captain position, a vocal captain position from a young age.

[00:10:16] Right. And I think, Some people met that with resistance. Some of the older cast members, because I was 20 and I’m in charge of 30 and 40 are not in charge of, you know what I mean? But as a dance captain. And so in my nature, I want to be everybody’s friend and I want everyone to like me and. Sometimes that’s not going to happen.

[00:10:37] And I would really take it personally. And I would, you know, I just wanted so badly everyone to like me and sometimes to the detriment of my job, you know, as a dance captain, you can’t pick and choose who you give a note to or who you don’t give a note to. You have to do your job. And I would sometimes, yeah.

[00:11:02] In my mind, not give someone a note because I wanted that person to like me. It’s sad to admit that now I’m like, Oh my gosh, wow. Like I really cared that much about it. People like me, but As the years went on and you kind of just realize that you have a job to do, and you’re not, I’m going to make friends with every single person and that’s fine.

[00:11:22] You know, we all don’t have to be busy buddies. But we have a job to do. And you have to do a show now. Yes. Is it better? And a lovely work environment when everybody gets along. Great. Sure. But it’s not necessary to be best friends with everybody. And I think the main. Learning now I don’t, I don’t think I’ve necessarily mastered it.

[00:11:44]so I think I’m still kind of working on it, but it’s definitely okay. Not, you know, my, my actions and my thoughts, what they were when I was 20. You know what I mean? I know I’m like, that’s cool. Like I’ve kind of learned from it. And I do think I’ve come out the other side better because of it. Cause you just, if you just have to knowledge that and just say, yo, you know what.

[00:12:05] Not everybody has to like me. And particularly in those positions as a dance captain or vocal captain, or those positions are tough. And I really commend anybody, who is a dance captain that is really. Doing that very well. And I see it a lot, even in Vegas too, actually, you know, Jen, Jordan Vegas, the show, she does a wonderful job of that.

[00:12:26] She just does the job. She’s very, concise. She’s very clear. Okay. Okay. She doesn’t necessarily need you to be her friend, you know what I mean? And, but that means that she’s great at her job. And I wish that I could have been more like her actually in my twenties. 

[00:12:44] Dane: [00:12:44] I think part of it is also. You know, trusting that the people that you’re doing, the show with that they’re doing it because they also are proud of the work that they’re doing and what they’re bringing to the table.

[00:12:56] They’re proud of the project or the show or the gig or whatever it might be. You have to trust that they want the best for whatever the project is, as well as what’s going to make them look really good and feature them as well. And. Not trying to look at the subtext that might be there may or may not be there, in trying to make people, your friends, but just, and trust that we’re all in this together.

[00:13:19] Yep. And yes, you might get frustrated because zero people like doing cleaning rehearsals, it’s just the way it is. Right. But we, we do them and we know really in our soul that it is the thing that we need to do because it’s going to make everyone. Better than Michelle more successful. Everything. 

[00:13:41] Natalie: [00:13:41] Exactly.

[00:13:42] Exactly. I mean, the show is good. You sell tickets, the show stays open, you know, so 

[00:13:47] Dane: [00:13:47] exactly perfect. 

[00:13:48] Natalie: [00:13:48] Yup. Absolutely. 

[00:13:50] Dane: [00:13:50] Well, let’s move on to the next section now to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time that you realized, yes, I’m going to be an entertainer for a living or yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer.

[00:14:07] Tell us about that. 

[00:14:09] Natalie: [00:14:09] So when I was 15, I came to the United States for the first time. it was with, performing groups in Australia. We have these like high school dance sort of concerts. It was in the time it was called the Rocca Stedford, it’s a, it was a, I think it was 1992. This was, and, I was so lucky to be part of this trip.

[00:14:29] There was about 200 Australians students from all around Australia. Oh wow. And we came to LA San Diego. Okay. Washington, DC and New York. And we’ll go on for about three weeks. And, you know, my parents putting half the money and I worked. to make up the other half of the money. So I, you know, came to the United States.

[00:14:50] I was so excited and I mean, I had dreamed about visiting the United States. It’s just such an iconic, you know, country though. It was like, Oh my gosh, America. So we went to, New York and we saw Les MIS on Broadway. And at the time Debbie Gibson was playing, Ebony, which was my equity and was like the role that I always wanted to play.

[00:15:11] And I love Debbie Gibson as a teenager. You know, this is when she was, you know, in her, in her heyday kind of painter. And, after the show, we got to do a little kind of question and answer with some of the costs. And I remember just being in, Oh, I’ve. Of the fact that I’m actually talking to this, but you know what I mean?

[00:15:31] They’re right there on stage. And we did this question and answer and, and just being there in New York city and feeling that energy, and that was it. I came home from that trip and I’m like, I ha this is I have to do this. And my, my mom and my dad even saw in me something clicked my energy. When I came home, I was so focused.

[00:15:52] I wanted to take all of the dance lessons, all the singing lessons, all the water. Do you know what I mean? It really just. 

[00:15:58] Dane: [00:15:58] Everything and anything that could get you an 

[00:16:00] Natalie: [00:16:00] edge. Absolutely. I’m like, I need to step it up. And before that, I mean, I definitely loved it. Of course I love singing and dancing, but I was a little bit more focused on my social life or my friends that are the da, you know, and, but that trip when I went to New York and saw Lamees on Broadway, I went, Oh my God, like I have to do this.

[00:16:21] And yeah, I really, after that, like I said, it just shifted. Mean to it into a whole different gear. And it was, it was amazing. And yeah. And then years later I ended up living there just like sometimes I have to remind myself. How far I’ve come, you know what I mean? Do you mean distance wise from Australia?

[00:16:39] I’m telling me I’m B. and to hear, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s awesome. And sometimes when I’m feeling down on myself, but you know, I’m like, you know what, Natalie, you know, you have to remind yourself of your accomplishments that you, that you’ve done. And that 15 year old girl in New York, when I watched, you know, if you had told me that I would have been living in America years later, I wouldn’t have believed that no, Sorry.

[00:16:58] Dane: [00:16:58] I love that story. That’s great. 

[00:17:00] Natalie: [00:17:00] It was awesome. It was amazing. I still remember it. Yeah. 

[00:17:03] Dane: [00:17:03] Beautiful. Well, let’s piggyback on that question and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the audition and call backs. Those were part of it. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment?

[00:17:18] Makes it your favorite? Hooked it moment. 

[00:17:22] Natalie: [00:17:22] So it was the end of 2000, the year 2000. I was living in Sydney at the time. I was working at a theme park with some friends of mine, and we saw all these auditions or universal studios, Japan four, it was the opening like, so this was the opening cast. They had just built this theme pocket on Saka, Japan.

[00:17:43] And we were all like, we have to turn up to this audition and I, in my mind, I’m just like, I’m getting this job. I’m getting this job. I was so determined. They wanted, like lookalikes, like they had like a Marilyn Monroe kind of impersonator. Me and my friends  yeah. Rented out like a Marilyn Monroe dress.

[00:18:04] Like we went now, I didn’t get the job as the Marilyn Monroe. but they had also had auditions for singers and dancers. So I went to every audition. I went to the acting auditions. As Marilyn Monroe, Betty boop. the only audition that I didn’t do for them was, the stats. They needed people as well for, you know, like the Waterworld show in the wild West show.

[00:18:26] But so I, I couldn’t do that, but so, yeah, so we turned up and, I did the singing and dancing, you know, you have to sing kind of, you know, you know, verse and a chorus of whatever. And I remember I turned up just full makeup. Well, like I was just like, Getting this job. And then we had to do a dance, you know, so they kind of cut us, you know, made a call, a callback to come back later in the day.

[00:18:50] And I remember one of my friends was there and she’s like, she just looked at me and she goes, okay, you’re getting this job. And I’m like, no, I know I’m, I’m getting it. Like she was 

[00:19:01] Dane: [00:19:01] just seeking something. I already know. 

[00:19:03] Natalie: [00:19:03] She’s just, it was just something about it. And, so. They, we finished the dance call.

[00:19:09] We finished the singing, they sort of narrowed us down and they took me outside and they offered me contract on the day. Amazing. It was insane. And on my, like, I was literally screaming. I was like, it was for the, right. A Frankenstein in the, it was the beetle juice monster, best show. It would have been, you know?

[00:19:28] Yeah. I was like beside myself now my, my best friend at the time. She was still doing the acting audition. She was actually, she got hired as may West. So she was in the acting audition. And then my other two friends were doing the stunt audition. So they were still there and I’m like waving at them. I’m like, I got it.

[00:19:47] I got it. I got the job, but I didn’t know if they had or not. So I’m kind of sitting around and I’m waiting for them to finish their audition. And then they got offered the job to my best friend got offered the job. She got the contract right there. And then. And my other two friends who got hard as, as, as men.

[00:20:04] I think one of them, I actually was in the Terminator show, and the other one was in the wild West show. So we just were just beside ourselves. And I think the audition was around September and we left Sydney around like, New Zealand was something like that, you know, round at the end of December. And I mean, I literally was just jumping up and down.

[00:20:26] And I remember the other guy who was the stunt guy. He literally came down the hall, pick me up and like, he’s like, I got it too. And we were all so excited. I mean, just being part of that opening cast and crew, you mean, it was just, just incredible. And, you know, I. I wish that I, sometimes I had that tenacity now, you know what I mean?

[00:20:47] Like you go into an audition with that much sort of confidence in that much. Yeah. Like I was, I was getting that job and I feel really, that was still is one of my best auditions ever. 

[00:21:01] Dane: [00:21:01] I love that. It’s so cool that you got to go on that contract with so many of your friends that is, I can only imagine you guys had a blast when you were in Japan.

[00:21:11] Natalie: [00:21:11] It was amazing. It was, I mean, it was life changing, absolutely life changing. And I was, I ended up being there three years. I did. Okay. I kept on extending my contract and that’s where, I met Barbara Epstein. She was the director of the show in Japan. And she’s the one, you know, that shows me to be the show captain.

[00:21:27]and that formed a mentor relationship with her. And then we also became friends. we’re still like mother and daughter. She’s like my American mom. I mean, I call her almost every other day. She lives in LA. I am still best friends with her. she’s, it’s, it’s amazing. Yeah, yeah. Incidentally. Yeah.

[00:21:46] That’s how I came to the States. Cause I met my, first husband there and we worked together in Japan and that’s how I came to the site. So it truly, truly, truly was life changing and every single sense of the word. 

[00:21:56] Dane: [00:21:56] Wow. Absolutely. And it’s so cool as well, to be part of an inaugural something or an original cast, something it’s just a different experience when you get to create these things.

[00:22:08] Natalie: [00:22:08] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we had a month of rehearsals for, for costs, so there was like four brought a Frankenstein for, you know, Dracula’s for, you know, so, yeah. because you know, the theme parks seven days a week and you have to have multiple pasts and, yeah, it was, it was just absolutely life changing.

[00:22:31]aye. I just absolutely. W it’s just like, there’s just no words to explain. And Japan was a beautiful country. I loved every single, every single minute there. It was just wonderful. Yeah. And like I said, Barbara Epstein became such a huge part of my life also. Oh, another fun fact. When I came to the States in 94 as well with my parents and my sister, we came to the States, traveled around, we went to universal studios in Hollywood.

[00:23:02] And I saw a show at universal studios. Hollywood was the Flintstones show. It was like, Holly rock or something like that. Gosh, Bob going to kill me for not remembering the name of it. but I was obsessed. I went back to watch that show that day. Like my parents, they all did other things and I’m like, yeah, no, no, no.

[00:23:19] I’m going to go back and watch that show. I was blown away that there was a show that good in a theme park, it was, it was like a Broadway quality. Production, this, this Flinstone show at universal studios, Japan in 1994. And I just, like I said, it blew me away that there was something so great and such a wonderful production in a theme park.

[00:23:42] Well, when I, I went to Japan. Yeah. January of 2001. Guess who the director was, all of that show Barbara Epstein, and now I’m working with her. I could not believe it. I was like, 

[00:23:56] Dane: [00:23:56] that is full circle story. I love that. 

[00:24:01] Natalie: [00:24:01] Right. I, she, she, you know, they have us all the big cast meeting the very first day. She’s like on Barbara Epstein, I’ve directed this.

[00:24:08] And like, I sat down, I’m like, wait, God, you’re the one that directed the Flintstone shot. Like, I, I mean, it was, it was insane. Then I told her that, you know, later I’m like, just so you know, I saw your show in 94. I was obsessed with it. And now she’s like my book. I mean, I, I, at her house in LA, she has a picture of like the sketch from like, from the set, the Flintstones show, like framed.

[00:24:33] And I’m like, That’s it. Yeah. Yeah. She changed my life. She absolutely changed my life. It was insane. And another one of those moments where, you know, you’re on the right path, you know what I mean? It was awesome. Yeah. So again, just as just to tag onto that, I just remembered when I saw the show in 94 and I’m like, and then, yup.

[00:24:52] So that universal studios, Japan. Okay, 

[00:24:55] Dane: [00:24:55] love it. All right. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections of the interview. I like to call it the grease lightning round. And I’m going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible. Boom, boom, boom. One after another.

[00:25:11] Are you ready? 

[00:25:13] Natalie: [00:25:13] I’m ready. 

[00:25:13] Dane: [00:25:13] Great. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:25:25] Absolutely you I’m sure are not alone. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

[00:25:35] Natalie: [00:25:35] Take the note. Not if someone gives you a note, take it. That’s my back. Not justify it. Take the note. 

[00:25:43] Dane: [00:25:43] Say thank you. Yeah. Third question. What is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID?

[00:25:51] What was something that was working for you before our industry went on? Pause? 

[00:25:57] Natalie: [00:25:57] I would say for me right now and prior, it was just being grateful for cast members. Being grateful for those cast members that are just beacons of light and just, you know, just good, good people, really, really grateful for them.

[00:26:16] Okay. It changes, it changes your day and I’m super grateful for them. 

[00:26:20] Dane: [00:26:20] Yeah, absolutely. It can make it, it can make and break and evening of 

[00:26:24] Natalie: [00:26:24] shows for sure. 

[00:26:26] Dane: [00:26:26] Absolutely. Yeah. And the fifth question now, this is one of my favorites. If you had to start your career from scratch, but still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve experienced.

[00:26:38] Yeah. Oh, in your entire career, in the entertainment industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or keep it the same? 

[00:26:48] Natalie: [00:26:48] I would say keep studying and keep practicing. Keep learning. I think it’s a little bit of a regret of mine possibly. yeah. There’s not a lot of things that I’m going to do differently necessarily.

[00:26:59] You know what I mean? Cause it all leads you to this place. But I would say for me, I wish that I had possibly just, I kept taking a few more classes or kept taking a few more, voice lessons or, you know, cause I think you have to keep up on your skills. You really do. You have to just, so I think that I would just, if I had to do anything differently, I would just go back and.

[00:27:20] Yes. Okay. Classes. 

[00:27:22] Dane: [00:27:22] Yeah, I agree. Cause I think it’s, it is really easy. You know, if you’re in a show, you know, you’re working five, six days a week, you have your schedule. You, the whole show may be easy, might be hard, but it’s regular and you get this routine and it’s easy to let the, let the training go and let the continual advancement of your skills.

[00:27:44] It’s kind of. Go away because you’re like, look, I’m, I booked it. I’m here. I’m doing this. I’m getting paid to do what I love. Yeah. But to know that we should always be honing our skills 

[00:27:53] Natalie: [00:27:53] for sure. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. 

[00:27:55] Dane: [00:27:55] Alright. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you have learned from your successful career in this industry that you would like to leave with our listeners?

[00:28:07] Natalie: [00:28:07] I would say always be prepared. Now that goes for rehearsals and auditions. I think at auditions, you turn up, be prepared, you know, be prepared for callback. Be prepared, have, have danced clothes in your bag, have dance shoes in your bag, have shoes that you’re comfortable dancing in. you know, be prepared, research the show.

[00:28:31] What are you, what are you auditioning for? Have you seen the show? Do you know what it’s about? Do you know what role you’re going for? You know, what role they think you would be right for? No, always be prepared. I think being realistic about your, about your skillset too, you know what I mean? That helps you to go into an audition where you’re really not right for anything that’s, I mean, you can go to every audition you want, but yeah.

[00:28:59] Prepare yourself for what that audition is, you know? And so then let’s say you book, it, prepare yourself for the first day of rehearsals. You know, if you’ve been given a script ahead of time, we’ll get it. Now. If they want you to be off book the off book, if they want you to have your lyrics memorize, if you’re a singer, memorize your lyrics.

[00:29:19]As a dancer, be prepared for the rehearsals, you know, make sure you’re stretched and warmed up and ready to go. Don’t turn off at 10 o’clock hustle. When you just stumbled out of bed at nine 45, like. Be prepared. I think just going to help you, you definitely won’t regret it. So it’s kind of a win, win situation, you know, and I think I’ve seen it sometimes when people haven’t been prepared either at an audition or at rehearsals.

[00:29:50] And, and really kind of stands out like a sore thumb. You know what I mean? You really noticed that when you like everybody, else’s fairness, one person hasn’t learned any of their lyrics. Really. You notice it. And I think when you have that and you see that in rehearsal, then you go, Oh, that’s that’s, that’s what she’s talking about.

[00:30:06] Oh shit. Yeah. That’s really. That’s really awkward. That’s uncomfortable because that person doesn’t know what they’re doing, you know, so, 

[00:30:14] Dane: [00:30:14] yeah. And I, you know, I, I will even go to these such minute things. I’ve when I first started auditioning in that whole scene, I remember rocking up to an audition. I’d have one pair of shoes.

[00:30:25] I would have had my Lucas, but they were, felt bottoms. 

[00:30:28] Natalie: [00:30:28] Right. 

[00:30:29] Dane: [00:30:29] And it turns out I needed things that were rubberized. You know what I mean? On the bottom, because the floor in the room. Was a mess. He was like ice skating with those felt bottom shoes. So yeah, little things like that have all your possible shoe options, any kind of potential scenario you might have to run into, just have it in your bag.

[00:30:51] That’s why, that’s why everyone has a giant bag 

[00:30:53] Natalie: [00:30:53] of these 

[00:30:55] Dane: [00:30:55] what’s going to happen. And those are the people. Hello? Learn their lesson because they messed it up one or two times. 

[00:31:01] Natalie: [00:31:01] Oh yeah. I had a call back in Sydney once I remember. And they said, okay, can you come back at whatever? And I had to race home and get, you know, my song book or something like that.

[00:31:11] I’ll get my shoes, whatever it was. And just further to that as well. I think each city in particular, and I’m talking about America, auditioning in New York is very different to auditioning and Vegas is very different to auditioning in Los Angeles. And I think knowing your market and most girls will agree with me with that.

[00:31:31] You can turn up in us. Full face of makeup and you know, hair done and you turned it up, put that in LA and people will look at you. Like you’re crazy, but in Vegas, that’s what we need is this, you know what I mean? Wow. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, because the more research you do on it, you’ll again, it’s only going to benefit you.

[00:31:52] So, yes, just to tag on that, be prepared, but also know your city. No, you know, generally how it’s done in that particular city, you know, so for sure. Yeah. It’s only going to benefit you in the end, 

[00:32:06] Dane: [00:32:06] for sure. Well, yeah. Well, let’s wrap up this interview and it’s time to give yourself a plug. So where can we find you?

[00:32:15] How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote? 

[00:32:19] Natalie: [00:32:19] Sure. I mean, you know, our show Vegas, the show is, is not running right now. but it’s a wonderful show. It’s a family friendly, it’s got dancers, singers, specialty acts a live band. It was about a 13 page live band. like I said, it runs seven days a week, seven o’clock and nine o’clock show it’s that it’s inside the miracle mile shops at planet Hollywood.

[00:32:43] And it’s just a wonderful, wonderful show. It pays homage to. Vegas in the heyday. instead of pays, you know, it’s not necessarily impersonators, but we do pay homage to some of the best, you know, acts that, that have ever graced the stage in Vegas. Like the rat pack, you know, Sonny and Cher, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Elvis Presley.

[00:33:04] It’s just, it’s a wonderful, wonderful show and I can’t wait for it to get back up and running. You can also follow me on Instagram, Natalie Brown, LV. And, it’s mostly just pictures of my dogs to be 

[00:33:17] Dane: [00:33:17] dog lovers out there, 

[00:33:18] Natalie: [00:33:18] dog lovers. Yes. But, I post a lot of fun stuff up there too. About the show.

[00:33:22]I just started getting on chick talk. I don’t know if I’m doing it right, Dane. I really 

[00:33:30] Dane: [00:33:30] I’m much more of an observer when it comes to tech talk at the moment. Right? I mean, 

[00:33:35] Natalie: [00:33:35] me too, I started doing a couple of tick-tock things, but then I actually, I call it going down the ticktock rabbit hole because you just start scrolling and scrolling and there’s some funny things out there is.

[00:33:45] And I think it’s a bit of light comic relief. Right now with everything that’s happening in the world. I kind of go on there just to have a bit of a laugh, but, you know, you can always find me on there as well. I think it’s either naturally Brown or Natalie Brown. Yeah. That’s basically it. And Like I said, I can’t wait for our industry to get back up and running and, to get back out there and do the things that we all I love to do. So, yeah. 

[00:34:09] Dane: [00:34:09] Wonderful. Well, Natalie, thank you so much for being on this interview today and joining me, it’s been a pleasure to have 

[00:34:17] Natalie: [00:34:17] you. Thank you so much, Dane. Thank you for having me.

[00:34:21] Dane: [00:34:21] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join our free email community. Where we dig deep into a continually growing resource of truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you advance your entertainment career. Don’t miss an episode.

[00:34:43] We have a new guest seven. Days a week search for you, booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app and subscribe today. All the best to you. We’ll see you tomorrow.