Wondering who the quirky redhead is on the cover of our special Geek edition? Her name’s Lauren Ashlea and she’s a recent music graduate hoping to make a career on the stage…

Check out our photo gallery with Lauren Ashlea and see the latest issue of bmag for our fashion spread!

When did you start at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), and what was the audition process like?Lauren-Headshot

I auditioned for WAAPA in 2010 via video actually, I was over in Scotland as I had received a scholarship from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. Recording an audition DVD is pretty nerve-wracking, being able to sit there and analyse every note you sing is awful – at least in an audition its done in what seems like 30 seconds, they ask questions and its over and ends up a bit of a blur!

It got to the point where I had to stop and just put it in the mail! I was lucky enough to be selected and I studied a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Classical Voice. I have just graduated and am going back for one more year to complete my Post Graduate year.

What projects have you worked on recently and what do you have coming up?

I have a few very exciting projects coming up including some funky photo shoots, and some I am waiting to hear back on, including a lead role in a romantic comedy! The anticipation is killing me but I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

At the moment I have had a big focus on getting good quality recordings, getting my website finished and just auditioning for everything to get myself out there.

What made you want to pursue a career in the arts?

I have always loved music and singing – it was probably the Wizard of Oz or anything Disney that really made me want to sing . I used to dance around the house singing ‘Belle’ from Beauty and the Beast with books. So I have always been a bit of a show-off, but it began with music.

I believe if you love something and work hard enough for it you will get there and I was fortunate enough to find a teacher who believed in me who took me to the next level!

Where do you see yourself going now that you’ve graduated?

My goal for 2015 is to work Disney Cruises – sailing around the Mediterranean being a Disney princess, that’s every little girl’s dream right? Although I have trained as an opera singer it will be around 8 years before my voice will be ready to take on big operatic roles.

In the meantime, there are a multitude of music theatre roles I would love to play including Sandy (Grease), Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and Glinda from Wicked, just to name a few! A big focus of mine is to get signed up with an agent within the next couple of years and just keep working on and refining my craft, practicing and auditioning for everything!

What was it like shooting the geek cover and fashion spread for bmag?

It was super fun and the pictures are amazing – the clothes are fab, the nerd glasses are adorable and overall was just lots of fun to be a part of! Thank you for having me!

Do you have any geeky traits?

Do I ever! I am a ginger opera singer, most of the clothes I wore in the shoot I kept thinking – ooh this is cute and I actually own big dorky prescription glasses too! I guess am destined to be nerdy for my whole life. But hey, geeky is way cool!

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2010, I made a pact with myself if I did not get into a particular show that I would busk, just to be a part of the experience. I was fortunate enough to get into the show too – but still had my busking time slots.

So I dressed up in a huge pink Marie Antoinette ball gown, packed my little MP3 player and sang. It was honestly the most incredible, humbling experience – people were walking by going about their day, suddenly stopping when I sang. It felt like the entire Royal Mile had stopped and turned to hear me sing… it beats any theatre performance I have done so far!

For more information and samples of her singing, see Lauren’s website.