TODD Jacobsen, a 19-year old from Ballarat, is making his break in professional theatre.
The teenager is preparing to take The Production Company’s Guys & Dolls on stage with the role of Society Max, one of the show’s featured gangsters.
Since finishing school at Ballarat Clarendon College in 2012, Jacobsen performed on cruise ships and toured the Middle East and Australia with a Scooby Doo production playing Fred.
“I did my first ever show in Ballarat when I was 10 – with BLOC doing Bugsy Malone,”Jacobsen said.
“From there, musical theatre was my career. It was that or nothing.”
He estimates he would have been involved in between 60 and 100 shows. He has performed in Guys & Dolls once before, playing the lead role during school.
“It’s like coming a full circle, to do that musical during high school and now to be performing in it professionally, it’s like a dream come true,” Jacobsen said.
He made his professional debut with The Production Company with Pirates of Penzance, which taught him a lot about how the group put its productions together.
He said performers learnt all their parts before two weeks of intensive rehearsals in preparation for the shows going on stage.
“From the first day of rehearsals everyone knows their material so you start putting it on stage,” he said.
Jacobsen is the youngest person in the production company, but said he did not notice it.
“It’s about what you bring into that audition room and your professionalism ... your age goes out the window,” he said.
“I enjoy working in Australia, the industry is smaller here, so it’s like a family and everyone knows each other.
“New York and London are so big.”
The Production Company’s Guys & Dolls runs from July 19 to 27 at the Arts Centre’s State Theatre.
Tickets range from $24 to $119 and bookings can be made at artscentremelbourne.com.au or ticketmaster.com.au