Superstar Update: Afnan Iftikhar and Dirk Johnston
ITV’s Superstar is now in full swing with the first three contenders voted off from the live shows and the fourth to follow tonight. The first two were Afnan Iftikhar and Dirk Johnston and I asked them both a few questions to find out how they felt about the Superstar experience and what do they have planned next in their careers.
Afnan, you are back in the North-East a couple of days after being voted off from superstar – have you had a chance to get back to a normal life?
In a phrase, kind of. Having just got back I’ve had my designated DAY off! It has involved seeing my friends and playing a local open mic night, it’s quite nice for me to do the above as a sort of wind down, but I have no time to waste, as of tomorrow its back to work! Auditioning, rehearsing, writing etc! You have to strike while the iron’s hot.
The auditions must have been a bit of a roller-coaster with people you got to know being sent home, what was the ‘audition journey’ like for you?
The audition journey was the most emotionally rewarding and exhausting process I have ever experienced in my professional life. We were in front of the biggest names in the business, a terrifying thought that bonded all the would-be Jesuses. I grew a real attachment to the people involved on the show and as well as the looming jeopardy of possibly being sent home there was the constant reminder that you will be losing friends along the way even if you progress yourself. It only got harder the further I reached. So yeah, it was tough!
What positives can you take from being a part of Superstar and reaching the final eleven in the televised shows?
I have made life-long friends on this journey. We’ve shared an incredible experience and on top of that I’ve gained a bit of exposure which I’m hoping will open doors that were previously inaccessible.
Obviously only one person can win the show and each day will lead to another person being voted off. Have you any advice to give to those being voted off on how to deal with the disappointment?
Everyone deals with disappointment in their own way. I personally am of the belief that everything happens for a reason and have reminded myself of that in coming to terms with my exit. My advice would be, look ahead. The future is an exciting landscape waiting to take shape.
The televised shows are a showcase for everyone taking part. What sort of opportunities would you like to see arise from being auditioned so publicly?
I’d love to break into the West End and equally film/television and also the world of music. I’m an ambitious person and have always tried to aim high. Hopefully this experience will help me further my career as an artist.
What will you be up to this week and any immediate plans with your career as a performer and model?
This week I’ll be back to work! I work with a great agency who have already set up a few things for me so that will take my immediate attention. Oh and I’ll also be rooting for my friends on superstar 😉
You can follow Afnan on Twitter @Afnan_prince
Dirk, you were voted off from Superstar on Tuesday night and were very gracious in your comments to Andrew Lloyd Webber. What positives can you take from getting to the nationally televised live shows?
Thank you 🙂 I didn’t know if I would go and I didn’t think of what I might say. It’s one of those moments in life where it becomes very clear and apparent what you want to say, mind and heart seem to work as one! I have so much that I can take from being on Superstar. I wouldn’t know where to start! It’s been like a second degree!
There were some very knowledgeable performing arts coaches during the audition process, what have you gained from that experience?
I’ve learnt so much. We generally sang pop and rock songs but Donna really dug into the material with us. I’m so happy to come out of this feeling stronger than ever.
You are an actor and singer and have been based in Berlin. How does life there compare with London?
I was lucky enough to study acting in Berlin for 4 years. It’s very different to London. Berlin is still very much affected from the war… this gives it a really interesting Underground Arts feeling! I guess that during the war that was the only way to express yourself.. Underground… I love London’s buzz though… such an exiting place to be as a Performer! People fighting for tickets to see shows… Its a great thing to watch!
What are your plans for the immediate future and have any opportunities arisen from being on Superstar?
I’m really happy to say that things have come up and people have shown an interest in keeping me here! I would love nothing more than to play a role on a stage in the West End!
Any message for the guys left on the show?
All the messages I could give, they get! We are very close and write almost every day!
You can follow Dirk on Twitter @JohnstonDirk
Many thanks to you both for taking time to give some feedback. Wishing you the very best for the future.
By Neil Cheesman who you can follow on Twitter @LondonTheatre1
For those still in Superstar the show goes on with voting and arena tour details below.
Support YOUR Favourite – WEDNESDAY EVENING’S VOTING NUMBERS
090 16 16 10 01 – Niall Sheehy
090 16 16 10 02 – Rory Taylor
090 16 16 10 03 – David Hunter
090 16 16 10 04 – Ben Forster
090 16 16 10 05 – Jon Moses
090 16 16 10 06 – Nathan James
090 16 16 10 07 – Roger Knight
090 16 16 10 09 – Jeff Anderson
The new production of Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s musical goes on tour in September, featuring Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, Chris Moyles as King Herod and former Spice Girl – and Superstar judge – Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.
Thursday 19th July 2013
All the best and night night!!