July 06, 2016

Q&A Interview with Wales Author and Musical Producer Mister William Gareth Evans

Each one of us has a story to tell and everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. This section “The Q & A Interview with inspiring people” is dedicated to exceptional personalities, who either have something to educate us or to inspire us.

Today I want you to meet the Wales Author and Musical Producer Mister William Gareth Evans.

William you are one of the few Authors that has supported me as an Indie-Author ever since I joined the Twitter-Family in 2015 with your weekly #FF tweets, which is very much appreciated by me and many other Twitter-members. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

"Be prepared to learn from each experience
and continue to create new material. "
William Gareth Evans

steph@seapmlondon.comWilliam I was wondering when did you, a professional trained actor, working in theatre and television decide to become an Author and why?

I became an author by accident. I was working on another musical idea and thought the concept might work better as a novel. As one of my goals was to write a novel before I turned 50, I set myself a challenge to write it. The writing process took me five weeks. I wrote the novel, “Within the Glass Darkly”, during October and November 2009. The book was published in 2010.

You have published three novels. (Volume 1: “Within the Glass Darkly”. Volume 2: “Dracula, The Devils Nosferatu” and Volume 3:”The Vampire Incarnate”). When and why did you decide to write a Vampire book series? What exactly fascinates you about Dracula?
After writing the initial novel, which was loosely based on J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire, Carmilla, I thought it might be interesting to continue the story. The second novel, “Dracula, the Devil’s Nosferatu”, was published in 2012. The books reflect an earlier time in the writing of horror fiction and are deliberately written in the Gothic style. It made sense to follow the natural progression of Victorian vampire fiction, from Le Fanu to his fellow Irishman, Bram Stoker. Hence, my making Dracula the main focus of the second novel.
Dracula, which I first read in the early 1970’s’ captured my imagination and subsequently inspired the Dracula musical and the novels.

As a writer and lyricist, you have been involved in many musical theatre productions. In June 2007 you have published a fully orchestrated and professionally produced concept album “Dracula” with 17 songs. Listening to the “Dracula musical concept album”, I absolutely see and feel that you and your team have put your heart and soul in this project. Like I have put my heart and soul in my memoir “Destination: Freedom”, which I also plan to bring on stage. The idea of turning my memoir into a musical came years later though and not during the writing process. How was it with your project? When did you decide to write song lyrics and where did you get the inspirations for the lyrics?

For me, the Dracula musical project began in the mid 1990’s when I first penned some lyrics for one of the potential songs. That song, “Tender Love”, remains in the complete version of the show. After many trials and errors, I had written the first version of the complete libretto by 2002. Making a living again got in the way and I shelved the libretto for a couple of years. I was eventually persuaded to continue the project by my friend, the West End and Broadway performer, Michael McCarthy.
During 2004-2005, I approached another friend, the composer Christopher J. Orton, to write the score. We then approached the film composer, musical director and producer, Ian Lynn, to orchestrate and record the album.
After the release of the CD in 2006, we produced a video of one of the songs from the show during 2007. The video was regularly broadcast on a British television music channel (o-Music) until 2010. This promotional video is still available to watch online.

The musical book is firmly based on Stoker’s original story, which is the only inspiration for the show. However, there are a few additions to the story in the libretto, such as Van Helsing’s personal reasons for hunting Dracula. This, and other, character development is also included in my novel, “Dracula, the Devil’s Nosferatu”.

As indie-Producers you and your team of professionals’ goal is it to bring the Soundtrack “Dracula” on stage. And you tried to achieve this by running a donation campaign on Indiegogo.com. Your goal was to record a “Dracula Musical Double CD” as preparation for an independently produced stage production. Unfortunately the campaign was unsuccessful. So what’s your next step? Have you given up on the idea? I hope not!

Development of the Dracula musical is ongoing. The libretto has changed a great deal since 2002 and the subsequent 2006 concept recording. New lyrics and songs have been written and others completely replaced. Three of those new songs have been written within the last eighteen months.

We were disappointed not to acquire enough funds to record the complete work last year, despite receiving contributions from many of the worldwide fans of the initial CD. Those gratefully received contributions remain in the production account. However, we were unable to reach the required target for producing an album to the high standards we originally set ourselves. On a positive note, the complete work has been recorded in demo form and awaits studio production and vocals.

William from one aspiring Author & Lyricist to you, an experienced writer and lyricist who is a huge step closer to make a stage production happen (with having a fully orchestrated and professionally produced Album ready!), what is your advice regarding a collaboration for my soundtrack with British composers, musicians and songwriters?

Be sure what you want and don’t rush into anything. Make sure you and any collaborators expect the same things from the work. False expectations can lead to disappointment. The most important consideration should be the work itself. Its production, in any form you choose, must always come first and everyone involved must agree to that condition.
For instance, and being realistic, our team knew the Dracula musical had to be recorded as a concept album because of its grandiose style. We could not do the show justice by staging it as a limited performance piece with a small band… which brings us back to needing adequate funding for staging such independent musicals.

Thanks for the advice. Listen in Europe London is the place to be if you want to make a musical production happen. Every time I’m in London visiting the newest musical shows is on my to-do-list and my personal favourite shows are without a doubt the Cameron Mackintosh & Andrew Lloyd Webber productions. Why? Because they are perfect in every aspect. From stage to light and costume design and of course the music. As passionate as I am I even went into Mister Cameron Mackintosh’s office without making an appointment in advance. He was not in the office on that day but I talked to his Assistance for a while and Mister Mackintosh was kind enough to respond later to my enquiry. Unfortunately these “Gods of Musical” are more than busy with their own projects world-wide. So my question to you is: What can newcomers like me do to make it happen without the support of these “Gods”? What is your advice to aspiring new-Indie-producers like me with a fully prepared concept based on a true story that is a global issue these days (the refugee crises)?

First, look at what the potential show has going for it. Two main selling points – BOATS (based on a true story) and the story is relevant to current events. If the tale has some romance and pathos, all the better. A contemporary show can be cheaper to produce on a smaller scale. Cost everything – cast, musicians, rehearsal space, costumes, props...etc.
Approach smaller independent producers and venues when your work is ready to perform. You can stage a showcase of your work for potential backers / producers.
No matter what happens while getting your work to the performance stage, keep going. If this production is unsuccessful, write another musical or play. Be prepared to learn from each experience and continue to create new material.

I will definitely keep going. That's for sure. Together with your wife you run a theatrical agency “SEA Personal Management” where you represent professional performers working in theatre, film, television, musical theatre, commercials and corporate entertainment. Some of your artists even work in Andrew Lloyd Webber productions. This shows the quality of your clients and your agency. How do you discover new talents and what do they have to bring to be signed by your company?

These days, many potential clients approach us. They usually send us a c.v., photo and a showreel of their work. We then meet and often audition people we have chosen from their showreels and we also attend student showcases.
Apart from their talent and experience, each client only has to meet us halfway. We work incredibly hard to secure auditions for people. The least clients can do is to attend the auditions on time and do their best to secure the job. That is all we ask.

William, now back to you as an Author. Are you planning on writing and publishing more books? If so, what Genres and when?
I have some ideas for another novel in the “Glass Darkly” series, but nothing more than that at the moment.

Ever since I work on my last book of my trilogy “Definition of Love”, I ask all my inspirational interview partners these two questions.
What is your definition of Love in three words?
To risk everything
What is your definition of Love in one sentence? 
To eventually part with what you treasure most, as the strength of true love can only be appreciated by the emptiness it leaves when it has gone.

William thank you very much for this interview and your helpful advises. I wish you and your team the best of luck with your hopefully soon-upcoming musical. And of course your next books. My best wishes & God bless. Lily




Connect with Mister William Gareth Evans:
Twitter: @wgevans
UK theatrical agency SEA Personal Management on Twitter: @stephanieevansa
The Dracula Musical on Twitter:  @draculamusical

Source Pictures: Many thanks @ Mister William Evans

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