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Carly Burns

Photographer: Owen James Vincent

MUA & Nails: Rita Nieddu

Styling & Interview: Rory Mcnerney

Designer: Studio FCLX

We sat down with the stunning Carly Burns who is currently appearing as Linda in Blood Brothers! We discussed all things Walk the Line, Musical theatre and her debut single.

Tell us about what first interested you in performing ? 

Well fun fact, first ever stage I stepped onto, I was an Irish dancer! I Irish danced from around 3 years old, competed until I was 12 and loved it. Then I think I became too cool for the Irish dancing wigs and socks and joined a theatre school instead (cause that’s way cooler). I guess that’s when I got into singing and musical theatre. That’s where I think I properly found myself and felt comfortable in my skin. Then it was more theatre companies, drama schools, all that sort of thing. I also remember my parents getting me a day trip to a recording studio for my 15th birthday and I recorded Beyonce’s song “Smash Into You” and Rihanna’s “Only Girl” and thought I was an absolute pop star, maybe I was manifesting it then!! P.S. those recordings are still on YouTube now, you’ll die!

How would you describe your music and do you have any influences? 

So at first I was always writing dance music. Every song would have a dance drop, which I still love but the past 6 months I have been writing a lot of just pure pop as well. I will say though I hope that most the songs I release will make you want to get up and dance and just create the vibes but that’s not to say I might not whack out a ballad at some point. Why restrict yourself with music ay?  

I have loads of influences to be honest. I’d say my top female artists are Dua Lipa, Little Mix, Becky Hill and then of course the powerhouse vocalists like Jessi J and Lady Gaga, Ariana… I live for those voices!!

You recently appeared on Walk The Line and Gary Barlow was impressed with your song writing, how was that experience ? 

Aww I had the best time ever honestly and yeah, hearing Gary be so lovely and supportive really did encourage me to put my stuff out there, it was defo a confidence boost for sure. It was also fab to be able to do something like that for my grandad and now have such forever memories!! It was so surreal because that song was literally just fun birthday present for his 90th and then the next minute I’m singing it on prime time tv for millions. Crazy! Will never forget it. 

You recently opened in blood brothers as Linda with fantastic reviews, how are you finding your time on the show ? 

Oh it's been amazing. It's defo a bit of a whirlwind to be honest because we had one week rehearsal and then we opened in Windsor Theatre Royal to a sold out audience. I’m not joking it’s been standing ovations every single night. It definitely feels like a dream come true. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show but its so powerful and emotional. My character Linda really has such a journey so it’s been incredible to get back into acting after focussing on mainly music throughout the pandemic. Also the last role I played pre-covid was Penny Pingleton in Hairspray so this really is the polar opposite haha! It’s definitely pushing me and I’m learning so much from everyone around me, the actors are insane. It’s like watching a master class with Sean Jones and Niki Evans. 

We would love to hear about how you landed the role and any advice to aspiring performers?

So I have auditioned for Bill Kenwright a couple of times and had lots of self tape auditions due to covid protocols etc so I was hoping it was only a matter of time before the right role would come along and I would land it. Then I was on my way back to London from Newcastle in December and a self tape came through for the role of Linda in the UK Tour of Blood Brothers. Straight away I was like, omg I need this role, I’ve always loved the show and dreamt of playing this part. So I’m sitting in the passenger seat for 4 hours learning these lines and it had to be submitted by 11am the next day so I got up at 7am, had all 4 scenes learnt and filmed them over and over until they were perfect haha! Then it was Christmas Eve that I got the offer. BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER! It was crazy.

What I would say to aspiring performers is always be prepared, I over prepare for honestly everything, I always learn the lines, do some research, make sure I look right… the lot, because if you don’t, someone else will. That doesn’t mean you will always book the job though, I would say prepare for rejection and be okay with that, with every yes comes 10 no’s (in my experience anyway). I have took a lot of knock backs but you have to be able to get back up and move forward in this industry, it truly is part of the job. It can really hurt at times when you have put absolutely everything into an audition process, but there is honestly no better feeling than booking a dream job and it makes all the hard work worth it. I also began manifesting at the beginning of last year, none stop every single day I was putting it out there that good things were going to happen and making sure I was working towards it all and keeping the end goal in mind with everything I did… and honestly by the end of the year so many of things I manifested came true. I am continuing to manifest this year as well!

Do you have your eyes on any other parts or projects you would like to get your teeth stuck into? 

Oh I have loads! I defo want to do SIX at some point, Wicked has always been a dream show as well. I’m also determined to give a bit of TV acting a go so that is defo on the manifesting list! One day when I’m in my 30s/40s I’d love to do Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers and Donna in Mamma Mia! [laughs]. Life would be made.

It’s great that you have had the opportunity to pursue both music and theatre, how do you find the balance? 

Oh absolutely, I honestly feel so lucky and blessed right now that I am able to balance both. Linda is definitely an acting role so its been amazing to be able to focus on my music outside the theatre and from a singers point of view not have to rest my voice so much when I’m not on stage. At the minute its like I’m writing, recording absolute bops in the day time and then getting to the theatre and becoming all serious and crying every night haha! It’s fab! A real healthy balance ay?

You have a very unique and fun sense of style, is fashion something that interests you? 

Aw thank you, yeah I love fashion. I think moving to London first did it I was like omg everyone is so cool and different. There’s also so many cool brands, vintage shops etc in London. Every time I go home I feel like I’m the weirdo of the family, I always expect the shade thrown from my dad like, “what are you wearing Carly?!” and I’m like… its fashion dad...[laughs].

What song or artist do you currently have on repeat ?

I’d say Becky Hill is my go to, but also Adele’s album has been my shower playlist for like a month now haha! I also listen to purple disco machine all the time when I’m driving or getting ready to go out or something, it’s a dream of mine that purple disco machine will remix one of my songs one day! I’m manifesting it!

We would love to hear about what is next for Carly Burns ? 

So I’m touring with Blood Brothers for the most part of 2022 but I’m absolutely determined to keep writing and releasing music throughout the year! You may also see some music videos along with the music, I'm hoping and planning for. I'm also manifesting that TV goal as well so who knows ay?

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