Bernardo is chasing the entertainment dream – he wants to be part of one of the grand musical theatre plays that vibrate London’s Soho and Leicester Square. But the Portuguese artist knows that he won’t get there without some mishaps, much like the movie knockout La La Land.
“Firstly, you are not getting the job. Secondly, at an audition there’s no need to be afraid or nervous because you’re not getting the job,” he confessed.
This has been Bernardo’s motto for while – even though he came across as a positive kind of guy when he first met at the American Musical Theatre Academy.
Located in between the City’s hustle and yuppie Old Street, the academy is an unassuming building, where Bernardo has improved his craft for the past two years.
The building is a fitting analogy for Bernardo’s life, as he works as a restaurant waiter while getting ready for his next show, Jesus The Rock Opera at the Dominion Theatre.
He signed with one of London’s top agencies, Top Talent, which he had originally been rejected from, after finishing school. Despite preparing for school interviews for a full year, his level of English wasn’t good enough at the time.
“I decided to move to London to work, improve my speaking skills and get used to the culture. I knew this is what I had to do to achieve my goal.”
He humbly name-drops directors and actors who influenced his career back home, from noted Pedro Penim and Henrique Feist to his “idol” Rúben Madureira and mentor João Guimarães.
Bernardo’s first performance was at his local school in Porto, and by the age of 20 he had already stepped foot on Rivoli’s iconic stage, in Peter Pan the Musical, directed by the well-known Filipe La Féria. But fame doesn’t faze him.
He explained: “Actors are not special. You are no more important than anyone else at the theatre or on set. It may sound obvious, but it’s staggering how many actors behave like they are above everyone else.”
And the dream doesn’t stop here, and will not stop, as he has strong aspirations for the future.
“I’d like to one day contribute to Portugal’s musical theatre culture, but now London is still the city where challenges inhabit.”
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