Growing up in Wollongong, I was a pop girl. I used to love Young Talent Time and all kinds of pop, whether it was Celine or Whitney or Boy George and Culture Club.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte

Natalie Bassingthwaighte in New York, while working with the Jagged Little Pill creative team. Photo © Evan Zimmerman.

I think I’ve always performed. I went to a dance school when I was about 11, and then I went to a performing arts high school where I was very much drawn to musicals because I got to sing, dance and act.

That got me on the path to auditioning. But it wasn’t until I was cast in [the original 1998 Australian production of] Rent that I really understood what it was like to audition for something that your heart, body and soul was [invested] in; when your entire being felt like “I need to be a part of this show”, as opposed to just going in for an audition for the sake of getting a job. I did that for a few years, not really understanding the process, and kept wondering “Why am I not getting anything?”...