Danny Becker is an actor and vocal coach currently performing in Disney’s Aladdin in London’s West-End.
I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Danny over FaceTime, where we discussed his role in the show, his other ventures and why everyone should believe in themselves.
How did you get into Musical Theatre?
I’ve always loved theatre and I’ve always loved musicals. The first time I saw a show, I was aged 1 or 2. My mum took me to see Mr Men and the ice cream I’d got in the interval was just pouring down my face because I was staring at them. I think my mum kind of knew from then that I obviously liked this.
My parents were amazing, they took me to see shows in the West-End once a year for my birthday.
From the age of 13 I did Am-Dram and my love for musical theatre grew.
As I got older, I started to train more and once I went to The BRIT School at the age of 16, that’s where I found out I was really good enough to do this kind of thing for a living.
After The BRIT School, I went and got my degree in Musical Theatre at ArtsEd which set me up.
Explain a bit about your role in Disney’s Aladdin
I’m in the ensemble 8x a week. I have a really nice track where I do lots of singing and dancing. I also have three little lines in the track which I make the most of.
I’m also one of the Aladdin understudies so that’s a massive responsibility. It means I have to be very conscientious and always go over my stuff because you never know when you’re going to be needed. You could know anywhere between that morning or halfway through a show- just last week I was called on midway through. I have to be able to play the lead in the big West-End show at any second.
I definitely think that Understudies are the unsung heroes of theatre
The West-End, touring productions or any professional theatre company would not run without understudies or swings. Every day there are so many people saving shows, so yes I do agree that they are the unsung heroes.
How did you feel during your debut as Aladdin?
That was a very, very special day in my life. I was in rehearsals for the cast change, rehearsing Friend Like Me. I was tapping away when our Company Manager came into the room and said I needed to stop the rehearsal because I was going on as Aladdin that night. He said it in front of the whole rehearsal, the creative team and the new cast that were joining us so it was so special because usually you’ll get the call and you’re on your own, in your flat or doing the shopping or something and instead everyone was there.
When I actually did the show that night, I became very focused, so it was almost like I went into hyper-focus mode. I did enjoy it, but it was just about getting through it and not messing it up for people around me. That’s a big part of it as well- they are doing everything they normally do and you don’t want to get in their way.
Tell me about your other ventures, singing lessons and Dance For Actor/Singers
I started both of these ventures in 2018 and I’m really proud of them both. I’ve taught for two or three years now in drama schools and I’m just so passionate about passing on what I have learnt from my years of training and in four years of working professionally. There’s a lot I want to teach people and I love inspiring others. When I inspire someone, they inspire me back- this give and take of inspiration is really appealing about teaching.
I have people from all backgrounds in my singing lessons, both people in and out of the industry. It’s so rewarding to be able to help them technically, help their confidence and give them advice.
Dance For Singer/Actors was put together by myself and my friend Blythe [Jandoo, swing & understudy Jasmine, Disney’s Aladdin] for people who aren’t confident as dancers but still have to do it professionally. There are so many people in the industry who are extremely talented but are underconfident when it comes to dance, so we put together these classes at Pineapple Dance Studios to give them a safe space to improve their confidence and technique.
What’s next for you after Disney’s Aladdin?
Aladdin closes in August and I can’t say too much, but there are some exciting things in the pipeline…
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring musical theatre performers?
The biggest thing is to definitely dare to dream and believe in yourself.
Everything starts as a seed of an idea before it grows into anything tangible.
You have to dream it, you have to believe that dream and then you have to put action steps in to get that.
By putting in those action steps, you can make it a reality.
People around you might say it’s crazy but if you believe it in your gut, you can get there with a lot of hard work.
Keep up with Danny: