Immediately, the room full of young people turns from shy and awkward, to sassy and extrovert.
It was the effect Hayden Tee had during a series of workshops at Musical Theatre Dunedin at the weekend, when he shared his expertise with the city’s thespians.
He has made a name for himself globally as a performer, make-up artist and recording artist in theatre, concert and cabaret, he has played leading roles on Broadway, London’s West End, and in Australia, Dubai and New Zealand.
Tee ran several workshops which included a make-up course, a character-building course and a singing workshop for all ages.
Musical Theatre Dunedin board member June Driver said it had been wonderful watching him engage with different people, especially yesterday, when he was working with a group of 6 to 14-year-olds.
"They were not connecting to start with, but ... he was able to find different ways to engage with them and they started finding their strength and uniqueness.
"He’s just been incredible at bringing out the best in people and helping them tap into their talent and skills.
"They’ve all left with a better understanding of their craft and also reminded that their uniqueness is important."
Tee was delighted his workshops had had such an impact.
"I’m doing this because I’m passionate about musical theatre and I’m very grateful to all the teachers who taught me over the years, and allowed me to realise my dreams of performing all around the world.
"This is a way for me to pay it forward to the next generation."