Interview: Tim Garner of Musical Theatre Mondays

What sparked your interest in musicals?
Musical theater was my “entry point” to the stage. Music has an incredible power to make words somehow mean more. It has the power to communicate a different way of life, a different struggle, a different success and a different hope. You really don’t find that anywhere else. In the words of Broadway producer Kevin McCollum, “A melody and lyric that touch your emotional centre is more powerful than you can ever anticipate.”

What’s your favorite musical?
My favourite musical changes regularly! At the moment I’m listening to a lot of shows by composer William Finn, who speaks a lot about real life issues in such a way that you ask yourself, “How does this guy know so much about me?” He’s almost the Billy Joel of musical theater. If I had to recommend a musical to others, it would be Les Misérables. It really is perfectly structured and will lead you on to other great musicals.

Why did you start Musical Theatre Mondays?
I definitely felt that Singapore had room for an open mic event like this; both in terms of the wide ranging talent here and in terms of the cultural calendar. It’s a regular place people can go to and be around others who live and breathe musical theater. I was also inspired by my friend Ben Cameron’s Broadway Sessions event, which he produces and hosts in New York City. Seeing the great format done with such audience enjoyment really made me think I could make it fly in Singapore. We had our first edition back in April.

What advice do you give to budding young performers?
There’s all the regular stuff: never give up, become more widely read in your craft, practise your singing and dancing and acting. But I would say that giving time to everyone is a more important thing. I don’t just mean in the performance world, but in everyday life. Because eventually, those two worlds will become one, and support and time from the people around you is as important as being offered an audition.

Tim Garner hosts Musical Theatre Mondays (Christmas Edition) on December 17, 8pm at TAB.