Having just finished his acting degree in Berlin, the time was just right for Dirk Johnston to turn his full attention to the upcoming search for the lead role in Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber's brand new arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar. In the first of a series of interviews with the finalists, I asked Dirk about his appearance on the show.
How has your Superstar experience affected you?
It’s been an absolutely amazing journey. It seems like it was so long ago that I went along to that first audition and, since then, I have spent so much time convincing myself that I probably wouldn’t go much further because I saw all this tremendous talent around me, and there was so very much talent there. Then to constantly make it past rounds and get further and further and still be there, it was just incredible and I personally have changed so much thanks to this programme.
That part seems odd as, for us, it’s all happening in about 10 days.
Oh yes, but those three shows that you saw, before the live shows, were actually filmed over about three months and then they really compressed it. In a way that was sad because you didn’t really get the chance to get to know us all. It was great to be on the programme, the live shows were just fantastic and everything about the whole experience has been positive but my only wish about the whole thing is that the viewers had been given a chance to get to know us better.
Looking back, do you have any regrets?
No, absolutely none whatsoever, I wake up smiling every day. I watch the rest of the boys on TV and I watch with tears in my eyes, fully supporting them, and just loving the fact that I got a chance to be a part of it – it’s just unbelievable.
With David Grindrod so heavily involved, does that mean that there may be some future opportunities?
Well, David did come up to me the other day and he was asking me about the kind of things that I thought I might like to do in the future and so I think that he is planning to be advising me next week and I’ll just wait and see what he has to say and what he thinks he might see me doing.
You still have youth on your side as well.
Well, I put myself in the young group because I had just finished acting school and so for me to start in at this level has been amazing – it was just absolutely perfect timing. Another thing for me is that I am very happy with the way I was presented on the programme and I am happy with the way I showed myself and really happy with what I gave. It’s obviously sad that it’s over, but everything comes to an end at some point.
Do you get to see any of the filming before it goes out to the public?
Not at all and that is the very tough part. I thought about that very often as I had never done anything like this before and, in the beginning, I was very worried but Peter who is the head of the whole thing, has always been so sincere and so lovely that I soon got over my worries.
A lot of people say that the TV producers deliberately show the worst stuff but actually the people who had been unprofessional or unfriendly on the show, and I’m not going to name any names, somehow ended up looking better than they really are.
So, now it’s all over, do you wait in London or go back to your old life?
Well, I’m flying back from Berlin to London tomorrow morning and I have a couple more bits to do with the show and then I have kept my flight open so I don’t have to come back immediately and I am hoping to set up some meetings with agents and people in the industry and, of course, my dream is to land a role in a West End show.