Gretel Scarlett: The Life of an Actress

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Australian actress; Gretel Scarlett

Here’s what she shared with me…..

What is your current role?

I play Sandy in the Australian Tour of Grease the Musical.

It has been really fun. We get to perform to a different audience every time. The current musical is great because it is a mix between the movie and original stage show, and all the songs from the movie are included.

What made you get into acting?

I was really into performing as a young girl and my parents saw this in me and decided to nurture it by providing me with opportunities where I could do what I enjoyed.

I remember when I was 12 years old someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I answered “I want to go to WAAPA”, they were like, “what is that, a burger from hungry jacks?”. It is the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. I was a research queen when I was young, so I had looked this place up and I knew that, that was where I wanted to go.

I ended up going on to attend WAAPA and completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Musical Theater. I was one of only 18 people that they take in each year. The course went for 3 years, it was intense, we are basically locked away for 3 years and are trained in all areas of performance from acting, to dancing and singing.

What are the opportunities that have opened up for you so far? 

I feel that my career is not based on luck, rather it is accountable to a lot of hard work. After graduating I got a role in Breast wishes, Mama Mia, and Wicked. These were great experiences. I was then asked if I wanted to renew my contract with Wicked, which I decided not to, I thought I would take a risk and see what else was out there. The risk really paid of because I then landed the role of Sandy in Grease the Musical. Before this role, I had mainly only had small supporting or ensemble parts, so this was my time to step out into a lead role.

Gretel performing in Grease the Musical

Throughout my career I have traveled all around Australia and parts of Asia, including Singapore and South Korea. It’s so nice getting to perform to so many different audiences.

I’ve met a few famous faces along the way including Hugh Jackman (he was so grounded!), Burt Newton, and Todd McKenney. It’s been so great to meet industry professionals and talk about their lives as performers and hear about all of their experiences. I was having a chat with Burt Newton (who is also performing in Grease) and he was telling me about when he was on TV before colour TV was introduced!

Who and/or what inspires you?

Professional life wise; Burt Newton, he is a theatrical legend, he has so much history, he’s such a lovely man, he loves his work and he is always on his A game, this is the 3rd year I have worked with him and he is so inspiring.

Personal life wise; I am really into sharing the message of living a healthy lifestyle and supporting women’s rights, so I am inspired by people on Instagram who also share this message, an example would be Jessica Smith (she is a Para-Olympian who is behind ‘join the revolution’ promoting positive body image) also Jennifer Hawkins who works hard sticking up for women’s rights

I am an avid user of Instagram and twitter, and it is inspiring to me to be able to share my life with my audience, as well as get inspired by others doing great things.

What beauty products can you not live without? 

One product I love is the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation Pen. It can be used as a foundation, concealer and/or highlighter. It’s great for getting rid of puffy eyes, because Sandy can not look like she had a late night! I also can’t live without the they’re real mascara by Benefit, it’s great for day and night!

What is you current beauty regime?

I have very sensitive skin so less is more for me. In the morning I wash my face with the Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and mosturise with an organic baby moisturiser, which has manuca honey in it (I found it in a little organic shop). In the night, I remove my make-up with the Derma Blend make-up remover, cleanse with the Cetaphil cleanser and mosturise with the same baby moisturiser.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

At the moment I want to build my profile in Australia or go to the West End in London. I would love to get another lead role. And it would be great to get in film and TV.

What advice do you have for aspiring actors and actresses?

Work hard, keep practicing don’t be critical of others make sure your critical of yourself, people criticize others but don’t look at their own self, be open to taking on criticism about yourself, because it can really help.

It is also important to understand that judgments will be made purely based on physical looks when it comes to whether or not a person is chosen for a role. Even though the talents is there, the look may not be right. Do not take it personally, just always understand that this is how the industry works!

Gretel mentioned that audiences have been enjoying Grease so much and that the show opens in Adelaide on the 3rd of August and ends on the 31st of August with 8 shows a week from Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at BASS. Gretel also has an album coming out soon….so follow ‘Gretel Scarlett’ on Instagram to find out more details!

I finished the interview of by asking Gretel what she was looking forward to getting up to when she gets to Adelaide. Apart from doing the show, she said that she Love’s coming to Adelaide, and can’t wait to visit goodies and grains at the Central Market, Haigh’s, and Glenelg. 

Sarah-Jane Hook: The life of a Marketing Manager

What is your role?

I am the Marketing Manager for The Myer Centre AdelaideI provide an integrated and strategic approach to the Myer Centre’s marketing to drive customer traffic and sales for the retailers within the shopping centre.  This includes being responsible for all customer facing communication channels in the local market and rolling out targeted promotions to drive sales for key categories. Eg, fashion.

What would your average working day look like?

7am, alarm goes off, hit snooze. Sometime between 7am – 8.30am work out what to wear with the added challenge these days of a) styling a fashionable outfit and b) what will work cycling to work without requiring a drastic wardrobe change. 8.30am cycle to work and park bicycle in the Myer Centre’s Pedal, Prep and Go storage room. 9am, coffee time! I always start my day with a quality coffee.  9.30am, attend to emails, review overnight communications on the centre’s social channels and review the day’s schedule.10am management team meeting communicating workflow of other departments amongst team heads. 10.30am on site meeting with event suppliers – stylist, audio visual technician and equipment hire specialist to discuss logistical requirements for upcoming fashion parade.  12pm work in progress meeting with Visual Merchandiser/Social Media coordinator, going over strategy for digital content creation and briefing in centre presentation projects. 1pm (if schedule permits) head to the gym for a quick lunchtime workout. 2pm conference call with creative agencies (media buyer, advertising agency, PR agency) directing a briefing on upcoming targeted promotions. 2.30pm following up on conference call with submission of briefing documents with action deadlines and budget allocations. 3pm catch up on emails and reading of industry trends / case studies / news. 3.30pm analyse results from previous targeted promotion / last month / last period and prepare post campaign debrief reports and presentations. 5pm prepare briefing memo and distribute to centre retailers on an upcoming promotional opportunity relevant to their business.  6pm head off to the Nike Run Club before cycling home or cycle home and head to a Bikram Yoga class to switch off and sweat out the day. Once home find something to eat. 10pm check activity on the centre’s social channels before catching up on reading and heading to bed.

How did you get to your position of being a Marketing Manager?

I started my career working in real estate in a marketing support function. I realized it was the marketing aspect of the industry that really interested me and began to research how to progress with a career in Marketing. I completed a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) while working part time in the real estate industry continuously.  This was invaluable as by the time I graduated from my degree I had six years marketing experience behind me.  I then moved on to a marketing assistant role on a large residential land release.  An opportunity came up with a maternity leave contract as Marketing Manager at Harbour Town (a brand direct outlet shopping centre) and this was my stepping stone into the retail / shopping centre industry. I have since honed my experiences within the industry with marketing roles for Westfield and now in my current role as Marketing Manager for the Myer Centre Adelaide.

Have you always wanted to work in the Marketing area?

Yes, consumer behaviour theories fascinate me as well as blending a love of visual communication and creativity with numbers and statistics.  Marketing is a social science.

What do you love about your role? 

I love that no two days are the same.  The marketing of a physical location which is a busy, public place results in working amongst a dynamic environment with many, many stakeholders.

In your current role, what has been your biggest achievement?

 I’m pleased to have rolled out a rebranding project and multiple launch projects with the centre as well as receiving industry recognition awards for several tactical promotions.

Over your career, what has been your ‘love this’ moment? 

 I love that a career in retail marketing enables you to work in a sphere with very talented and creative people.  The styling advice and exposure to a myriad of fashion can be a girl’s dream!

Any advice for anyone aspiring to work in the Marketing / Fashion industry?

Never lose sight of return on investment and always focus on surprising and delighting the customer.

Kara Fantasia: Westfield Stylist

What is your current position/job description? 

I am a freelance stylist and a stylist and presenter for Westfield South Australia
How did you get to the position you are in now?

I have been in the fashion industry for over 20 years working in many different areas. I started out working for a fashion agency in Adelaide when I left school which gave me a taste for the industry and I then moved to Melbourne to study fashion marketing and merchandising at the Melbourne College  of Textiles which is now a part of RMIT. I was then in the right place at the right time and got to meet the head of the wardrobe department at Channel 7 Melbourne who offered me a job as a wardrobe stylist at the station. I ended up working there for 7 years and was so lucky to work with many amazing actors and celebrities .

I also learnt makeup artistry while working there. It was a fantastic time but Melbourne was never home so I decided to move back to Adelaide. I went via London (just a little of track) where I studied Fashion Styling for the Media at The London College of Fashion and then did a 6 month stint in the press office of international shoe designer L.K.Bennett London. When I got back to Adelaide I focused on my makeup for a few years and was lucky to be voted SA makeup artist of the year 5 times at the National ABIA awards. I have also been freelancing as a stylist working on many commercials and editorial shoots. The Westfield styling position came up in September last year and I am thrilled to be a part if such a fantastic team.

What are the opportunities that have opened up for you within this position?

Working with celebrities ofcourse! But I really love hosting events and workshops which is quite new to me, the highlight so far was hosting The City of Tea Tree Gully Christmas Carols event in front if 18,000 people. The thing that is fun and exciting about my job is that every week I am meeting someone new or hosting a completely different event.

Where do you see yourself or what do you want to be doing in 5 years?

I hope that I am still working in such a creative, fun industry. I love what I am doing now and can see myself continuing on for many years. I would also love to either write a book or produce an online site for woman who need to gain more confidence about the way we look, especially mums.

What advice do you have or can you give to people who want to get into a position similar to yours?

Don’t expect the Fashion industry to be all events and glamour, yes that is some of the time, but a lot  is also very hard slog. On your feet for hours on end, lugging mannequins and clothes racks around, and sitting on the floor taping the bottom of shoes so they don’t get dirty in fashion parades- no glamour there! It is also very much about networking, often who you know or just being in the right place. So I highly recommend putting yourself out there for work experience or intern work. We are always looking for helpers during major events or campaigns but remember it can be hard work. Obviously having some experience in retail is very handy, and there are some great fashion courses around which give you a great background but hands on experience is looked upon very highly.

Your best tip or trick to keep a job like yours?

Sometimes you have to step out of your role and help when it’s needed, for example, I am employed as a stylist at Westfield but I will also help out with promo work or assist the marketing department when they are busy. By being flexible you will be highly regarded in any industry.

 What an inspirational woman! Thanks so much for sharing you story with us Kara.

Chloe Reschke-Maguire: The Lovely Yelp Lady

What is your current position/job description? 

Community Manager and Adelaide representative for  Yelp.com.au – I am also known as the “Yelp Lady”

How did you get to the position you are in now?

It really came down to Luck and chance! So the story goes; A friend of mine in Brisbane met the National rep for Yelp, she had asked my friend if she knew anyone in Adelaide that would be able to be the Adelaide rep, my friend told her to get in contact with me because “I know a lot of people”.

So she got in contact with me, we met, she asked me who I would suggest for the position, I mentioned a few names, but by the end of our conversation she said that I should apply, she sent me the job description, I applied and got the job!

What are the opportunities that have opened up for you within this position?

 Meeting amazing people – Adelaidians don’t talk themselves up, there are so many amzing people doing great things here and we should talk about it….through Yelp I get to do that! I get to connect with business owners, hear their inspirational stories and share them.

Networking – Because of my marketing background, I was going to lots of marketing networking events, but now through Yelp I have been able to mix with and get to know people from so many different industries

Where do you see yourself or what do you want to be doing in 5 years?

 I want to be telling peoples stories, connecting business owners with the community and connecting various industries…..so much greatness can happen when people come together!

I would also like to be doing a business which involves event management/marketing and working with small business.

Further down the track, I would like to work more around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which involves connecting small businesses with the community and not for profit sector strategically.

What advice do you have or can you give to young people who want to get into a position similar to yours?

Networking, Getting Experience, Volunteering.

Say yes to any opportunity that presents itself even if its unpaid.

Work/volunteer during your time at uni…build your resume early!!!!

Get experience doing different things,  these days we need to be ‘slashies’ (having skills in various areas) it gives you a competitive edge when appoaching potential employers and/or adds to your skill set which will be beneficial for you in any venture.

Your best tip or trick to keep a job like yours?

Knowing people – building relationships, Your benefical to them and vice versa, Always remember you do business with people not with product!

Lizzie Liros: Celebrity Hair Stylist

Lizzie Liros, Multi-Award Winning Bridal Hairstylist and International Educator, lets us in on what a typical week in her super busy schedule looks like.

Saturday: 3am to 2pm

Saturday mornings are usually very early starts and this one is no exception, up at 3am to prepare for the first of three weddings for the day. My first stop for the day is a high-end wedding in ritzy Double Bay to prepare six bridesmaids and the bride for an early morning church ceremony. The style is highly polished and sophisticated which suites this group of women perfectly as the bride is an ex-mode, as are her four of her bridesmaids, a very glamorous and beautiful wedding.

Once my first wedding is complete, I race off to the other side of town for a smaller, more intimate vintage style wedding. This 1pm ceremony has three bridesmaids and the bride is a lot more relaxed with a garden setting. Nothing like finishing the day with a beach sunset and that is exactly where my next wedding takes me, up to the iconic Palm Beach for a gorgeous simple boho styled beach wedding with three bridesmaids, the bride and two darling flower girls. This relaxed barefoot bride wanted a sun kissed complexion and natural tussled curls so befitting for the surrounds.

Sunday: 4am

Today I am flying to Melbourne for one of my regular client’s very special days. A traditional Indian wedding is one of the most exciting occasions you could be involved with. I just adore the theatre and colour and tradition. Today I will stay with my bride all day and night as she changes between 2 different looks for the ceremony and reception.  Really fun day.

Monday: 6am

I high tail it back to Sydney for three days of education at my Sydney studio. Over three full days I will guide 30 hairdressers in varied levels of education; hairstyling basics on day one, a master class on day two and my favourite, vintage styles on day three.  I absolutely adore the change of pace my career affords me, education is my way of giving back and nurturing the next generation of stylists.

Tuesday: 6pm

After a full day of education I am helping my daughter with her study for HSC.  Is school getting harder or is it just me?

Wednesday: 6pm
Education is wrapped for the day and I squeeze in a quick meeting with my management team to discuss my upcoming USA tour. I’m beyond excited as this is my first educational tour to America and I can’t wait to meet all my students. The tour takes me to LA, Miami and NYC, oh and a little stopover in Vegas for some well-earned me time.

Thursday: 7am to 6pm

Today I am in my salon with back to back appointments, but today I am with a film crew who will be following my every move for a documentary on my career and life. I feel a bit like a reality star to be honest and wouldn’t mind some of that Kim Kardashian cashola or her shoe collection if it was on offer. Today is the last day of a seven week shoot, I will miss the crew when they go.


Work over for the day and it is off to soccer practice with my son.

Friday: 5am

Today I am shooting my new book and DVD, “Celebrity Hair by Lizzie Liros”. I absolutely love shoot days as we all have so much fun and it is such a creative energy that I need to thrive.

I am so fortunate to have surrounded myself with a brilliant team of models, photographers and makeup artists and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. My sponsors also make my job so much easier as the professional hair styling product range I work with from Whitesands Australia makes styling hair an absolute breeze. Likewise I am blessed to be working with the most beautiful hair extensions from Amazing Hair Australia that allow me the opportunity to be really creative. They are all my support system in so many ways and I love them to bits.

Tomorrow is Saturday and I do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing. People often ask how I maintain such a busy schedule day in and day out, and I tell them if you love what you do then it isn’t work, it is a blessing.