10 Questions For: Genna Galloway

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10 Questions For: Genna Galloway

This passionate Cape Town-based performer has played the character of Yitzhak in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and was also part of the first full-scaled acapella musical Noah of Cape Town in 2009.

1. How would you describe what you do for a living?
I am a performing artist who loves all aspects of entertainment. I have been lucky enough to sing, dance and act my way around the world and hope to continue to do so for many more years to come.

2. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
My parents performing in a show my dad wrote called The Fable Tree.  My dad was a giant tree and my mother was a singing mouse. It was all very confusing, but we had a lot of great sing-alongs at home.

3. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why?
At the moment I am performing in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, playing the role of Yitzhak, so Lena Hall would have to be on my list. I have a complete girl crush on her and she recently won the Tony Award for the role and is still performing in the show on tour around the US. I would give anything to talk to her about her process and her journey towards finding the character. Then I'd have to invite John Cameron Mitchell, who originated the role of Hedwig, because you can't have a Yitzhak without a Hedwig. And lastly, my Dad, who unfortunately passed away six years ago. He was my greatest teacher, fiercest supporter and most terrifying critic. I would give anything to ask his opinion and advice on so many aspects of my life and my career. But mostly I'd like to grab a drink with him and find out what it's like on the other side.

4. If you ever found yourself auditioning for a music reality TV show, what song would you sing and why?
Wow, that's a hard one. I have massive respect for anyone with the courage to audition for a reality show, however I would never be able to put myself through that. Auditioning for a panel in private is terrifying enough, but in front of thousands of people, I don't think my nerves could handle that! I would probably sing a song that could show a bit of my range but also something that resonates with me personally, so that I could connect with the song and tell the story. I love rock music so, it might not win over Simon Cowell, but probably ‘Piece of my Heart’ by Janis Joplin, or ‘Alone’ by Heart, mainly because they are so much fun to sing.

5. How would you complete this sentence?  The South African cabinet should include a Minister of  ______________
Cabinets. I feel this is a woefully underrepresented furniture category.

6. What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?
That I only drink white wine. That's incorrect, I drink anything.

7. What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town?  
I am in love with Cape Town. I grew up here but I lived in Joburg for the first 10 years of my career. Moving back has been such a gift. You can't beat the lifestyle and the beauty. I love the fact the I can go for a run on the promenade next to the sea one day and then climb Table Mountain the next.  I am also in awe of the creativity flowing throughout Cape Town. The opportunities for artists to create their own work are endless, and there are platforms all over Cape Town that will assist in promoting that work. It is a community of artists and theatre lovers, which is why it was the perfect place to come back to, in order to experiment with my own original work, whilst also working with some of the most brilliant minds in the industry. I get to have the best of both worlds. I thought I would have more time to relax and slow down a bit in Cape Town as opposed to the high energy of Johannesburg, but I've actually never been busier. Coming home has been an incredible gift.

8. What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
Self-doubt and the fear of failure. I needed to stop seeking approval and validation for my work and trust that I was enough. I needed to believe that I was good enough and that I didn't need to depend on other people to tell me if I was or was not. It's one of the hardest things to let go of as a performer, as we live in a world of constant criticism. The sooner I realised that I wasn't going to be right for everything, and that I couldn't please everyone, the happier I became and the better I performed. I have had some great performances, and some not so great ones, I have bombed in auditions and wanted to run out the room. But I have learnt that the greatest lesson for me is to embrace fear and let it drive me forward to challenge myself to grow and become better, instead of letting it define or incapacitate me. I have learnt to turn fear into excitement and that is now my greatest motivator.

9. What's the one thing you'd like to achieve before you die?
Crikey, if I get to the stage where there is only one thing left on my list of things I'd like to achieve before I die, I'd say I've done pretty well. I'm sort of pathologically goal orientated. Nothing involving paragliding or Arctic summits but more like making a flawless carbonara without looking at the recipe or mastering the Eagle Pose in the 6:15AM yoga class. Long term, I think that if I've lived in a way that makes the people closest to me know how much I love them, then I think I'd be at peace with the idea of bowing out.

10. Which well- known South African personality would you , without a doubt, be able to beat in a one-on-one dance-off and why?  
Fikile Mbalula because even though he's the Minister of Razzmatazz, I think I could take him.


ABOUT #CapeTownMag10Q:’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-known and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CapeTownMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates.


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