Natasha Cayabyab: My First job out of Drama School!

Shrek's young Fiona reflects on her time working on the stage show last year

(Image: Grand Opera House York)

Natasha Cayabyab, who plays Young Fiona in Shrek the Musical, tells SCENE about her experiences in drama school, leaving, and her time working on Shrek.

How did you come to find your first part/job after drama school?

“So Shrek [the Musical] is actually my first job out of drama school! I was in my third year of drama school, doing Guildford plato, and going through a bit of a messy breakup. Classic ‘post-breakup energy’. 

“I started self-submitting for literally everything I was right for on Spotlight (think LinkedIn for actors) when I came across Shrek, and was lucky enough to get an audition… the rest is history!

How have you found working on Shrek the Musical so far?

“Working on Shrek has been so amazing! The show itself is so funny and I absolutely love my track. The touring company are all super lovely and we get on like one big family. 

“Being on a weekly touring schedule brings its own challenges, such as sometimes having to travel to your next venue on your ‘day off,’ and having to find digs to live in each location. 

“As much as I have enjoyed seeing lots of different places in the UK and Ireland, I am looking forward to hopefully doing a summer stint at the Eventi, Apollo, in Hammersmith, London, to just settle for a bit. 

Did you perform in anything whilst at drama school, and how does this compare to what you’ve done after? 

“In my third year of drama school (I trained at Guildford School of Acting, University of Surrey) my final year shows were Schönberg and Boublil’s ‘The Pirate Queen,’ Sondheim’s ‘Company,’ and ‘Cry-Baby,’ based off the John Waters 1990 film, in addition to ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

“I think that Shrek leans towards (at times) a heightened performance style as my final third year show ‘Cry-Braby’ [did], with a sprinkle of fairytale magic [that] you may find in a panto.

“The rehearsal process itself was similar to the previous productions I had performed in, just on a much bigger scale and with a larger budget.

Was there anything that drama school didn’t prepare you for?

“I feel that my higher education at Guildford School of Acting did teach me pretty much everything I needed to know to go out into the industry, and I cannot thank them enough for the training and support they gave and continue to give me.

“A few things that I don’t think they could have prepared me for have been the amount of stairs in some theatres, [the fact] that you are very much NOT allowed to use the lift during a show, and just general tour life.

Is this type of performance (musicals) what you would like to continue to do?

“I have always loved musical theatre and I will hopefully continue working in this industry, however I do want to do more film and TV work alongside. 

“When I’m a bit older with more knowledge and contacts, I would also perhaps like to try my hand at casting.”

Shrek the Musical is on its UK Tour now. You can find out tour dates and more information here and still catch Shrek and Fiona in all their green glory!