Five Minutes with Sarah McLeod

We spend 5 minutes with cast of American Idiot, musician and singer-songwriter Sarah McLeod

Do you believe in fate?
Of course I believe in fate, I’m not a moron. I mean, that’s how life works doesn’t it? We sit around making plans, but none of the plans are actually what we decide that we want to do; it’s just what happens to you at the time. And if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. That’s how I base a lot of my decisions, and it completely takes the pressure off the individual – “don’t worry, let fate handle it”. It’s like how people turn to religion; I turn to fate.

If you put your faith in fate, then fate is apparently the ‘correct’ way to go. So when you’re not sure, you hand it over to good old mate fate, then you can relax and know that you’ve made the correct decision.

So you don’t have any regrets either?
Oh no you can regret fate. Fate can be a cruel mistress. But that’s not to say that your destiny is always meant to be good. Sometimes fate can take you in a way that’s not good, but it’s what you had to go through to get to something else. You can regret it but you shouldn’t because it’s part of your fate. It means it’s not your ‘choice’ so it’s not your ‘fault’.

What’s the luckiest thing that's ever happened to you?
I think getting into this musical (American Idiot) is one of the luckiest things that’s happened to me. Because I didn’t see it coming and I think it was fate because I always wanted to do it. I was at a really difficult point in my life actually when this occurred. I was really confused and I’d just moved out of my house and I was perpetually on the road so I was just living in hotels with my dog, just touring constantly.

I was confused as to what to do next. I knew I had a long term plan but I didn’t know how to get there. Then all of a sudden this fell in my lap and I went “great!” Because my plans were going to start later in the year and it completely wedged the gap in the part I didn’t know what to do with. The time got filled perfectly and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I always thought that I would have to go to some amateur theatre and audition and bugger around, you know, wave at the director from the café… and then I just got sent this contract saying you’re in and I was like, “Oh my god I didn’t even have to do anything. Unreal!” So yes, that was extraordinarily lucky.

What are your rituals before you go on stage?
I usually drink about half a bottle of red wine, pace, check my make-up, do a bit of the shimmy – just to get my groove on – go to the loo, have a last-minute nervous wee and then boom shankar! Off we go!

Have you ever forgotten your lyrics on stage?
Yeah all the time! I just make up new lyrics. I blah blah my way through it. Or sometimes I look at the crowd and they sing the lyrics to me. And I say: “sing it!” And that’s ok because I figure, it’s my song, I wrote it, and if I want to stuff it up then I will. It’s not disrespectful to me, I don’t care. I could even try and make it better on the spot.

What is your go-to karaoke song?
Total Eclipse of the Heart. It’s one of the greatest singing songs ever. The way it builds and builds. Jim Steinman, who wrote all of Meat Loaf’s songs, he wrote that as well. He knows how to write the epic build and build and build song, all of Meat Loaf’s songs are like that. Then he wrote that one for Bonnie Tyler and it is one of the greatest songs to sing. Not that I frequent karaoke bars very often. I feel like I do enough singing as it is – I’m singing all the time!

Image Credit: Sarah McLeod. Photo: Dylan Evans.

 

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