The Rob Guest Endowment Award is now in its seventh year, recognising and supporting rising Australian musical theatre performers. The Endowment was established following the sudden and unexpected death of musical theatre icon Rob Guest in 2008 and is intended to nurture and develop young talents.
The six performers competing for the $20,000 prize this year are Blake Appelqvist, Daniel Assetta, Hilary Cole, Georgina Hopson, Rob McDougall and Ashleigh Rubenach. We’ve asked each of the finalists to share five of their biggest musical inspirations, and now its Daniel Assetta’s turn. Assetta is currently playing the Rum Tum Tugger on the Australian and New Zealand tour of Cats and recently appeared in Wicked.
One of my major inspirations. What I love about Jeremy is that he has pop elements to his voice that he uses to make musical theatre songs unique and personal. Being trained originally as a pop singer, I love seeing what someone similar can do with different types of repertoire.
I discovered Aaron Tveit after listening to the Catch Me If You Can cast recording. I then decided to look for more on him and realised that he has a very similar style and vibe to me. I really enjoy watching his performance videos as his truthfulness in song is something I admire.
As a child I loved dancing and Michael Jackson and his music has always been a big influence on me. I would sit and watch film clips and live performances all the time. He is an all-round performer that had a true passion for this industry and his art which is a massive inspiration for all young artists.
Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale
I had the privilege to watch Bridges Of Madison County on Broadway when I visited New York last year. It was a life changing experience and I had the opportunity to see these two performers give everything on stage in this piece of work. I have never watched or heard anything more real in my life. Very inspiring.
I had the absolute pleasure of working alongside Jemma and listening to her belt out Elphaba on a daily basis. I can’t think of anyone more inspiring. She is so humble and down to earth with an exceptional talent. Her rendition of Heroes Live Forever comes close but nothing beats Defying Gravity.