Built for the Stage

#139 - Spencer LaRue - HARRY POTTER

Spencer LaRue / @spencer_larue


Spencer LaRue is currently a swing in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. Spencer is a Florida native and will graduate from The University of Michigan in May of 2019 with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. Throughout his four years at Michigan, he has performed in five main stage productions including the World premiere of One Hit Wonder directed by Hunter Foster.


Regionally Spencer has performed with Connecticut Repertory Theatre in Newsies (Finch) which was choreographed and directed by Christopher d’Amboise and Disaster! starring Seth Rudetsky (Ensemble). He has also been seen on stage in Sacramento with Broadway at Music Circus in Newsies (Romeo) which featured the original Broadway choreography for the first time since the tour closed.


When Spencer isn’t performing, he spends his time at the gym or with friends. He enjoys traveling and exploring new places while trying all of the food he can get his hands on.


https://spencerlarue.com/


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#138 - Nicole Benoit - CHICAGO

Nicole Benoit / @nicolbenoitonline


From Washington State's "Apple Capitol of the World" to New York's "Big Apple", Nicole Benoit has graced the stages of theaters worldwide from North America to Asia and even atop the waves of the Caribbean. A triple-threat chameleon, Nicole has portrayed such diverse iconic leading ladies from the starry-eyed-yet-sinister Roxie Hart in CHICAGO, to the charmingly damaged Sally Bowles in CABARET, to multiple lauded rounds as the Swedish blonde bombshell Ulla in THE PRODUCERS. And for something entirely different: jump-roping fitness queen Brooke Wyndham in LEGALLY BLONDE.


www.nicolebenoitonline.com


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#137 - Davon Williams - DAVON AND THE SPECTACLE

Davon Williams / @daywilling


Davon Williams is an international performer, delegate for the Actors' Equity Association, and a TED Talk alum. Davon is committed to using his talents to bring about substantive social change. As a performing artist, Davon has been blessed to star in several national and international productions, working on multiple television shows and playing the lead in independent films. Davon & The Spectacle was founded in 2018 after Davon was asked to sing at a state dinner in Thailand. Davon and the Spectacle has since entertained audiences all across Southeast Asia before hitting the performance circuit in the US. During the pandemic, Davon launched the hit show, "The Receipts w/ Davon Williams," which garnered over 118,750 views with a reach of over 750,000 in less than a year with no formal producers, budget, or marketing. This show led to the creation of the Black Theatre Matters Bill, a series of over 100 resolutions designed to build a more equitable theatre industry, which recently passed at the Actors' Equity Association’s Inaugural Convention. The story of "The Receipts" and the Black Theatre Matters Bill has made its way into Deadline, Forbes, CBS, Playbill, The Daily Beast, BroadwayWorld, 60 Minutes, and numerous other platforms and publications.


Reserve tickets to the show - https://www.donttellmamanyc.com/shows/main/6449-davon-the-spectacle-12-19-21


http://www.davonwilliams.com/home


https://www.thereceiptswithd.com/


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#136 - Eleri Ward - A PERFECT LITTLE DEATH

Eleri Ward / @eleriward


Eleri Ward is a musical theatre performer who has recently burst onto the scene as a singer-songwriter. She recently released her album of Stephen Sondheim covers, A PERFECT LITTLE DEATH. Hear us chat about how she channels her inner-bravery to chase this passion that she has had since five years old.


Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/2tDDozfRiM8hb85ptdVKUt?si=rnVOkRDBRdea9PO0z0SVBw&nd=1


Tickets for Rockwood Music Hall 12/13 - https://www.seetickets.us/event/Eleri-WardSamanthaJoyPearlman/449506


Tickets for Joe's Pub 3/2/22 - https://publictheater.org/reserve/reserve?productionseasonNumber=44794&performanceNumber=44795


https://www.eleriward.com/


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#135 - Michaeljon Slinger - MRS. DOUBTFIRE

Michaeljon Slinger / @double_windsor


Michaeljon is a Broadway vet who shares with us how to establish a career in the biz from either side of the table. Enjoy our conversation!


CHOREOGRAPHY:

MRS. DOUBTFIRE

ALMOST FAMOUS

THE ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE

TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT

​LA TRAVIATA (World Premiere)

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG

MYTHIC (World Premiere)

CHASING RAINBOWS (Workshop)


BROADWAY as Performer:

​HELLO DOLLY (Original Cast)

MATILDA

​SIDE SHOW (Original Cast)

​EVITA (Original Cast)

HOW TO SUCCEED WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (Original Cast)

BILLY ELLIOT

​WEST SIDE STORY (Original Cast)

​GUYS AND DOLLS


https://www.michaeljonslinger.com/


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#134 - Olivia Valli - PRETTY WOMAN

Olivia Valli / @oliviafvalli

Olivia is set to hit the road as the lead, Vivian Ward, in Pretty Woman the musical! Olivia previously has toured with Wicked as the Elphaba understudy and played Mary Delgado in the Off-Broadway production of Jersey Boys.

Olivia shares her career-long mantra of letting the work speak for itself. She certainly has put the work in and it certainly is paying off. We talk about coming out of a smaller collegiate theatre program having entered into it with no prior experience at all, starting a podcast during the pandemic, and the wild ride she took during the audition process of booking the lead in Pretty Woman!

Please, enjoy our conversation.

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#133 - Miracle Chance - BE MORE CHILL WEST END

Miracle Chance / @miraclechance

Miracle is currently on West End as Christine Canigula in Be More Chill. She grew up in a very artistic home with her parents, which igniter her love and passion for music and performing arts. Miracle loves folk music and is a very talented folk singer. Miracle shares how she finds inspiration in her writing from the simplest things like the magazine on her coffee table, something a friend may say, and she is continually finding inspiration in the smallest daily things. Always stay alert and aware of the small moments each day, you may find creative inspiration in those moments.

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#132 - Andrew Norlen - When the Lights are Bright Again

Andrew Norlen / @anorlen

It began as an artist’s desperate desire to express himself inside a worldwide pandemic, but in one year’s time it has grown into a theater industry and country-wide outlet for healing, grief, justice, and hope in the theater community—and beyond!

When The Lights Are Bright Again immortalizes the stories, struggles, and successes of an industry that was first to be shut down and one of the last to return.

Andrew Norlen weaves 200+ letters from Broadway theater veterans, devout theater goers, teenage dreamers aching for their day in the spotlight, long-time ushers, designers, creatives and countless other arts workers in tandem with a brand new breathtaking photo series by Broadway photographer, Matthew Murphy.

Not only has the creation of this book allowed the theater community to grieve and express themselves in a new way, but for every copy purchased, a portion of the profits will directly benefit The Actors Fund. This book will continue to help support arts workers to thrive and receive financial stability for decades to come with every copy sold.

The Covid-19 pandemic revealed what a world without live performance looks and feels like. This book captures a small fraction of the powerful and transcendent internal heartbeat that never went away within the theater community.

When The Lights Are Bright Again is a love letter to the arts community and every theatergoer, but above all else, it is a meditation on the human experience. There is something for every broken, tired, angry and hopeless soul inside this book; hope.

There is light in all of us -- there always has been!

https://www.whenthelightsarebrightagain.com/

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#131 - T. Oliver Reid - HADESTOWN

T. Oliver Reid / @toliverreid

A true Broadway veteran, T. Oliver Reid has performed in over 10 Broadway shows and is currently in Hamilton. He shares insight and wisdom from his many years of experience on and off the stage in the theatre industry. Reid encourages other artists to focus on doing the work and keeping things simple and focused, wether its always showing up early, being very attentive during rehearsal, living s life as a supportive creator, and he continues to do just that.

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#130 - Kimberly Marable - HADESTOWN

Kimberly Marable / @misskimizzo

Kimberly is making waves in the Broadway community, not only as an actress, but also as a social activist as a co-founder of Broadway Serves, a service organization created and operated by Broadway professionals who are looking to "be the change we want to see in the world." Their mission is to provide opportunities for community service to Broadway and theater professionals. Kimberly is currently in the workers chorus in Hadestown, and has also been in The Lion King and Sister Act.

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@bwayserves info@broadwayserves.org www.broadwayserves.org

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#129 - Malcolm Armwood - HADESTOWN

Malcolm Armwood / @marmwood214

Malcolm is making his Broadway debut as a swing in Hadestown, and shares parts of his journey with us. He believes in staying ready and continuing to show up, because many times he thought he would book and didn’t but kept at it and booked Broadway. Persistence is the key ingredient to Malcolm’s success.

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#128 - Shawn W. Smith - WAITRESS

Shawn W. Smith / @shawnwsmith

Shawn is a true well-rounded artist who is in a band called “Stray and the Soundtrack” while also touring with the national tour of Waitress in the role of Earl. Shawn shares his passion for 80’s rock and how he always wanted to be a musician who is also an actor, which has led him to booking a lot of musical theatre work, as he uses his multiple passions and skill sets together to create a colorful career for himself.


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https://music.apple.com/au/album/stray-and-the-soundtrack/1571267910

https://open.spotify.com/album/70KqExXm0h1e1RmeEUxTHt

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#127 - Karla Puno Garcia - TICK TICK BOOM FILM / HAMILTON

Karla Puno Garcia / @karlapunogarcia

Karla has performed on several television programs, films, National Tours, and Broadway shows - the most recent being Hamilton: An American Musical, in which she was a swing for four years. She is now making huge name for herself as a choreographer, teaches at Steps and Broadway Dance Center regularly and has several upcoming projects she will be working on. Karla was recently hired to create additional choreo for the new Netflix film Tik TIk Boom that is being directed by Lin Manuel Miranda. She shares with us that she booked gigs by being willing to do tons of passion projects. Sometimes you just have to keep putting yourself out there and making work for yourself.

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#126 - Ariel Reid - ALADDIN

Ariel Reid / @arieljreid

Ariel joins us as a current cast member of Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway, and she is also the Dance Captain for the captivating musical. But, what we learn about Ariel is not only is she and incredibly talented dancer, she’s also a mom! She is a prime example how much of a superhero moms on broadway really are. Not only does she juggle an entire cast but also home-life, and we find that pretty impressive.

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#125 - Stanley Martin - ALADDIN

Stanley Martin / @stanleymartinthethird

Joining us this week is the energetic and fun Stanley Martin! Stanley has been performing since the age of ten and is currently a cast member of Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway. He has also been involved in the international tour of West Side Story. He produces his own work, and he truly believes that he can just do something and figure things out as he goes. He shares with us that the only way to become an expert is by starting as a beginner. Stanley is also the cast member of Aladdin who has performed the most shows.


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#124 - April Holloway - ALADDIN

April Holloway / @april_r_holloway

April Holloway is a dancer, singer, choreographer and all around performer. After graduating from Elon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sport Science, April spent a summer at The Ailey School on a full scholarship. While studying dance in New York, she discovered her true love for Musical Theater. Her current role is in the ensemble of the Disney musical Aladdin on Broadway! April shares with us her love for dance, rowing, and her passion that keeps her moving forward and growing as a thriving artist.


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#123 - Juwan Crawley - ALADDIN

Juwan Crawley / @juwancrawley

Juwan made his New York debut in the original cast of Spamilton, an award-winning, off-Broadway musical revue that spoofed Hamilton and earned him a nomination for the Clive Barnes award. At the age of 22, Casey Nicholaw created a role on Broadway for Juwan in Aladdin where he is a standby for the Genie, and where he debuted as the youngest person to ever play the role. He was also cast by Tina Fey to play Hudson – a 14-year-old kid - on one of his favorite shows, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He shares with us in our conversation how, each day, he sits down at the piano at the same time, to write and create music, whether he is in the mood or not. Juwan understands that dedication and commitment results in growth and success, and he shares that insight with us in this week's episode.


www.juwancrawley.com


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#122 - Adam Filipe - PRINCE OF EGYPT, WEST END

Adam Filipe / @filipe_navidad

After going into quarantine and being unsure of what the future holds, Adam Filipe recognized one of his true loves was more than performing, which was self defense practice. He started as a kickboxer in martial arts at the age of four years old, and in the pandemic, it came back to the surface as something that he wanted to focus on. He is the fight captain for The Prince of Egypt on West End, but he said there was still something missing.

He began by getting his license in self defense, and then began offering classes to others who might want to learn! Now, he has a personal side hustle business as well as being a part of the original cast of The Prince of Egypt, and he shares his insight of taking that dream and turning it into reality.

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#121 - Sophie Salvesani - Maria, WEST SIDE STORY AU

Sophie Salvesani / @sophie_salvesani

This week, we are joined by a young but shining star, Sophie Salvesani. Sophie has been intently studying music and performance since she was a young girl growing up in Ipswich and Brisbane. She then went to perfrom multiple leading roles in community theatres around the Queensland area, such as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, Cosette in Les Misérables and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance.

Sophie then debuted her first professional role when she played the role of Maria in Opera Australia, GWB Entertainment and BB Group’s touring production of West Side Story. Two years later, she is revisiting this iconic role in the touring company visitng both Perth nad Brisbane.

sophiesalvesani.com


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#120 - Abbie-Lee Lewis - A MID SUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM AU

Abbie-Lee Lewis / @abbieleelewis

All the way from Australia, Abbie-Lee Lewis joins us to share her experience as she plays Hermia in Bell Shakespeare's production of Midsummer Night's Dream. Abbie-Lee is an actor and Arts Educator for Bell Shakespeare in Australia and we are thrilled to hear her story.


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#119 - Nicole-Lily Baisden - ANYTHING GOES WEST END

Nicole-Lily Baisden / @nicolelily1

Nicole-Lily joins us as she prepares to take the West End stage in Anything Goes as Hope Harcourt at the Barbican, starring alongside the Broadway legend, Sutton Foster. Nicole-Lily has only recently graduated from Arts Education Schools in 2019, but is already becoming a seasoned theatre professional. She went directly to the UK and International tour of Book of Mormon after graduating in 2019, playing the role of Nabulungi.  

She has experienced theatre in very different forms over the past two years, as she was a part of several projects through the pandemic such as BBC's Musicals: The Greatest Show and a production of A Christmas Carol. We are excited to continue following along on her journey as she takes the stage, again and again!

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#118 - Michael Mott - IN THE LIGHT / THE ONLY ONE

Michael Mott / @michael_mott

Michael Mott grew up in New York, studied Musical Theatre in college and then went on to have a successful career as a performer Off-Broadway, in Regional theatre and National Tours. He then chose to redirect his focus on writing and has since found himself in some really incredible spots with some of Broadway's biggest talent. Michael was even named Playbill's "Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know".

Most recently, Michael has written a new musical "In The Light, A Faustian Tale", he has also scored his first short film and recently recorded an album with Jeremy Jordan, Ciara Renée and Solea. We are thrilled to have him on the podcast to share his story and the exciting projects he has and is a part of!

  • "In The Light, A Faustian Tale: Highlights Recording" is available for pre-order now: BroadwayRecords.com


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#117 - Jack Sippel - THE PROM

Jack Sippel / @jackjsippel

When talking to Jack Sippel, you are truly speaking with a theatre industry professional. From a very young age, Jack has been actively involved in professional theatre. He started at The Muny as a kid and was then asked to audition for their equity ensemble, which he booked and received his equity card at age 15! He then went on to land the Memphis National Tour as a senior in high school.  

Most recently, Jack has been the Dance Captain and Swing for The Prom on Broadway. He then joined the creative team for the Netflix film adaptation of The Prom as Assistant Choreographer. During the pandemic, he has also started his own podcast focusing on dance in theatre, called ""Again, From The Top""! 


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#116 - Tanisha L Spring - PRINCE OF EGYPT WEST END

Tanisha L. Spring / @tanishalspring

Following her most recent opening night in West End's Prince of Egypt, Tanisha Spring joins us to share what the journey has been for her finding her way to the West End stage. Some productions she has previously appeared in include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Caroline or Change and Hairspray.  

Tanisha took on a new experience throughout the pandemic in producing an online theatre production called A Killer Party and has found her love for the other side of the table throughout that experience. She feels as though some of her other skills such as having a business mind have come in to play in a new way and she tells us how she came into theatre much later in life than many people do. She was an accountant before she started pursuing theatre as a fulltime career choice and is now finding some of that part of her becoming involved as she produces theatre.


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#115 - Mari McGinlay - HAIR SPRAY WEST END

Mari McGinlay / @marimoomcg

After studying acting at the Guildford School of Acting and training at the Dance School of Scotland, Mari McGinlay had laid a strong foundation to move forward in the theatre industry. She joins us on our podcast to share parts of that journey, as she then went on to work on the production of Oklahoma! at Royal Albert Hall, playing the role of Cinderella multiple times in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and now joining the returning cast Hairspray the Musical on the West End as Penny Pingleton!


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#114 - Stefan Lagoulis - HAMILTON AU

Stefan Lagoulis / @stefann96

Stefan Lagoulis comes from Down Under and is currently in Hamilton AU, experiencing coming back to the stage after more than a year of the shutdown and shares with us what that journey has looked like as he is rediscovering his strength and ability in the rehearsal room. He encourages other actors to give themself grace and accept that your best today is your best and move forward. It is a process and we have to be willing to embrace that process.

Stefan has had the understanding and experience of putting in the extra work for most of his life. He grew up in regular school but then also attended performing arts school in the evening. He was encouraged by his family to chase his dreams and put in the work to achieve whatever it was that his heart desired. Stefan transitioned from a sports background into the world of dance and performance, and has moved forward in that passion with a focused mindset and determination. This drive has opened many doors, including being in the cast of Aladdin AU.


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#113 - Ryan Gonzalez - MOULIN ROUGE / FUN HOME Australia

Ryan Gonzalez / @rgonzy

After starting at a young age pursuing to be a comerical dancer in Australia, Ryan then saw a live musical theatre production and was absolutely sold. He then did his first show at 18 and hasn't turned back. He is now opening Fun Home in Australia and will soon be joining Moulin Rouge Australia.

Ryan shares in our conversation about experiences and interests that he has explored in the last year during the pandemic, such as a book to read that we have linked below and new cooking adventures. He also shares the joy of opening Fun Home and how the story really connects to so many different types of people and families, no matter what they family structure looks like.


Moulin Rouge Broadway Vlog

Book Reference: Breath by James Nestor

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#112 - Daniel Assetta - HAMILTON Australia

Daniel Assetta / @dassetta

From a very young age, Daniel Assetta was no stranger to the perfoming world. He started taking dance as a child, and it was all about the show. He had a deep desire to learn and grow and perform. From there, he saw the tour of Lion King in Australia, and he quickly fell in love with the world of musical theatre.

Daniel made his debut at the age of 19 in the 10th Anniversary Australian Tour of Wicked! Other shows he has been seen in are Cats, The Book of Mormon, A Chorus Line and West Side Story. Most recently, Daniel is playing Samuel Seabury in the Australian premiere of Hamilton. He shares with us what the expereience has been like to be returning to the stage after the last year and the challenges and joys that have come with preparing and getting back into a performance ready mindset. Daniel says that though there are new protocols and processes in place to keep everyone safe, it is all worth it just to be back on stage and doing what he loves to do!


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#111 - J. Harrison Ghee - MRS DOUBTFIRE, KINKY BOOTS

J. Harrison Ghee / @jharrisonghee

It is so exciting to hear how Broadway is coming back to life, and our conversation with J. Harrison Ghee is no exception! He is soon to be seen in Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway, and he shares with us what the journey has been like returning to the stage. From a year full of cast zoom meetings to overthinking himself when trying to get back into the role, it has been quite an experience. J also shares with us the joy of working with brilliant colleagues on stage and how wonderful it is to create and originate a show from its beginning.

J has been seen in Kinky Boots on Broadway as Lola and also on camera in Raising Dion, along with other films. He believes that no matter wether you're on stage or on camera "it is all based in truth. You've gotta find whatever the truth is for you and live that authentically."


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#110 - Amos Wolff - FOLLIES, CHICAGO, GIGI / Equity Therapy Therapist

Amos Wolff / @amoswolff

When Amos Wolff made his Broadway debut at the young age of 25 in Follies, he assumed that he would be completely fulfilled. Instead, he found that he still wasn't happy. In this moment, he began to realize there was much more to being a balanced and healthy human being rather than just the career success of landing a Broadway role. This challenged him to start a journey of yoga and therapy, leaning on incredible professionals around him to help him find a true contentment in each season of his life.

Amos then went on to become a family and couples therapist himself and has joined the incredible team at Equity Therapy, a therapy program focused towards the performing arts community based in NYC, where he now works to help others find the balance and fulfillment that he, himself has found through such practice. He shares this journey and so much insight with us on the challenges and joys of taking time to focus on one's betterment and self.

https://www.equitytherapy.com/ - Equity Therapy


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#109 - Jason Sparks - KISS ME KATE, HELLO DOLLY, Fosters

Jason Sparks / @jasonasparks

Hello, Dolly!. Combining his training as a classical dancer, as well as a theatre performer, and his curiosity for how the world moves around him, Jason strives for the human body to be a lead voice in how his stories are told.

Jason has also founded a unique nonprofit program called Fosters Theatrical Artist Residency. Fosters is a safe space created for actors, directors and playwrights to discover their approach, explore new ways of working and dive deeper into new works without judgement, allowing the process to be as much a part of the art as the product.

Jason holds a B.F.A from Pennsylvania State University where he frequently returns to work with and learn from the young artist of today.


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#108 - Liz Flemming - LAST 5 YEARS / Founder of Out of the Box Theatrics

Liz Flemming / @littlelizzybiz

In 2016, Liz Flemming had the idea to do the production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown on a playground. She wanted to create a piece that used all disabled and BIPOC actors, and she set out with a dream that then became the company Out Of The Box Theatrics. Liz and OOTB focuses on creating theatre site specific locations that are in marginalized communities, creating space for inclusivity and equality at a professional level.

This spring, Out Of The Box Theatrics produced a virtual production of The Last FIve Years, which they filmed in an actual NYC apartment. Liz shares with us the journey of bringing a production like this to life and how different it was to film a piece in a site specific location and the joy of still creating theatre even in such a challenging time our industy has seen in the last year.

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#107 - Nasia Thomas - LAST 5 YEARS / CAROLINE, OR CHANGE / AIN'T TOO PROUD / BEAUTIFUL

Nasia Thomas/ @nasiathomas

"I believe everyone has learned something about themself during this quarantine"...Nasia says as she reflects back on what the last year has looked like and what it felt like to be prepping for a Broadway show, Caroline, or Change, and then to be told it is all put on hold for a global pandemic. Nasia Thomas has been seen on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, National tour of Beautiful and Broadway production of Ain't Too Proud.

Her most recent accolades come from her portrayal of the role of Cathy in Out of The Box Theatrics' virtual production of The Last Five Years. A reimagined production of the musical is filmed in an actual New York City apartment and can be found streaming online!


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#106 - Nicholas Edwards - LAST 5 YEARS, FROZEN

Nicholas Edwards / @nickedwardsnyc

You don't have to wait for anyone to tell you to do something"...and that is exactly what has happened in Nick's life over the past few months! When the quarantine shut down his upcoming opportunity to take on his first principal role on Broadway as Kristoff in Frozen, Nicholas knew he had to continue to find ways to make art. But there were no auditions and seemingly no theatre! And then comes along the theatre company Out Of The Box Theatrics, whose goal it has been to tell stories in a very different way than the traditional approach to new and classis works. The concept began to brew of creating a livestream version of The Last Five Years the musical, staged in an actual NYC apartment.

Fast forward a few months, and it has become one of the most well-produced pieces of theatre that has come to audiences during this interesting time where theatre has been hard to find. Nicholas is no stranger to the stage, as he was an understudy for Kristoff in Disney's Frozen on Broadway, as well as the national tour of Les Miserablés. We know that you will love his voice and presence in The Last Five Years and we cannot wait to see where he goes next!


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#105 - Simon Gordon - HEATHERS UK

Simon Gordon / @simongordon

Joining us from the West End on today's episode is Simon Gordon! We are so excited to be talking to him about his upcoming role in the UK tour of Heathers the Musical.

Simon always wanted to be an actor, but he didn't start his theatre career as many people do by going to college and studying the craft. Instead, he went to school to study law! He was in his third year of law school when he auditioned for Andrew Lloyd Webber, and that is when he knew he wanted to be doing theatre as a career.


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#104 - Dennis Stowe - ALADDIN

Dennis Stowe / @dennisstowe

Have you ever had a dream that you thought would never come to pass as the years went by? Well, Dennis Stowe is the perfect example that good things come to those who continue to work hard and not lose focus of their dreams! And we get to hear all about that journey in our chat with him.


Dennis didn't make his Broadway debut until he was in his thirties. But, once he did, the work has continued to roll in! Dennis has been in nine broadway shows, including the original cast of Shrek the Musical! He was also in the revival of Annie and most recently Aladdin, where he has been moved from ensemble to standby for Jafar and Sultan!

In our talk together, Dennis shares how he stays ready at all times and what it is like to truly be prepared for a role. The wisdom, insight and talent that Dennis brings to a rehearsal process is valuable information that anyone looking to be their best in the room should adhere to! Dennis is a true Broadway veteran, and he has the credits and heart to prove it.


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#103 - Mike Ruckles - BROADWAY SINGING VOICE SPECIALIST

Mike Ruckles / @rucklesvoice

Within the theatre industry, there are several components that are an absolute must that we focus on. One of those components is the training and care of our voice. But how do we do so correctly? What techniques should we use? How often should we train? Some of the same questions that we ask ourselves about fitness and weight training. An interesting correlation, we think! We were lucky enough to have the incredible Mike Ruckers, Vocal Technician and Singing Voice Specialist, join us and share some of his insight in how the voice and the body as a whole should be treated and trained.  

Mike maintains one of the city's premier voice studios specializing in healthy and transformative technique for Musical Theatre and contemporary commercial singing. His students comprise Tony and Grammy award winners, with clients appearing in leading roles on and off-Broadway, the West End, in national tours, and on concert stages across the world. As a pianist, Mike has worked with such luminaries as Hugh Jackman, Patrick Wilson, Tyne Daly, Rachel Bay Jones, Raúl Esparza, Ben Vereen, and Sherie Rene Scott.

He shares several basic tips and insights with us that anyone who is training vocally and physically should adhere to and will benefit from!


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#102 - Kolby Kindle - COME FROM AWAY AU

Kolby Kindle / @kolbizzle

As so many of us are waiting to have the opportunity to walk back into a theatre, Kolby Kindle is living his best life as he is touring in Australia with the incredible musical Come From Away. He shares what it has been like to go through the pandemic and have the chance to return to the stage once again, bringing hope and excitement to everyone as we anxiously await that opportunity!

Kolby grew up in Oklahoma and pursued an education in Ohio before moving to New York City to chase his dreams of performing on Broadway. He has now gone on to work on the tours of Waitress the Musical and Book of Mormon, as well as now creating art in his time with Come From Away, both before and now after the pandemic.

Within the last year, Kolby has moved back and forth from Australia to New York and then back to Australia, not knowing exactly what was in store for his contract. But, in our conversation, Kolby shares with us how he has found a way to maintain his fitness goals and continue hoaning his craft as an actor and focusing on what is to come.


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#101 - Salisha Thomas - BEAUTIFUL

Salisha Thomas / @salishathomas

Have you ever met someone whose mere presence becomes the light and energy in the room? That is Salisha Thomas. A woman with the power and joy to lift the spirits of anyone who meets her. And in our interview with her, we have the privilege of getting to know what makes this amazing powerhouse tick.

Salisha is a true multi-tasker who has found herself developing not only her acting career on Broadway and the tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, but investing time into other interests. Several that have now given her multiple platforms to share her story and have an even greater influence in the theatre community. She is now the host of the podcast Black Hair in the Big Leagues, where she speaks to black women and men on Broadway and talks all things hair!

As we all wait with great anticipation for the return of Broadway, we can also be on the lookout for the potential appearance of Salisha Thomas in Once Upon A One More Time the Musical. Until then, we will continue to embrace Salisha's positive outlook on life and take each day step by step!

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#100 - Alex Joseph Grayson - A BRONX TALE

Alex Joseph Grayson/@alexjgsings

How does someone raised as a military kid end up on Broadway? Alex Joseph Grayson shares his journey with us of how he found theatre later in life but once he found it, he couldn't be stopped.

Alex was always compelled to perform, putting on performances for family and friends anytime he found the chance, including random dance performances of "Thriller"! He was known as the class clown and had a vibrant personality, but that didn't transfer into a career in theatre for quite some time. He first lived in India during his senior year of high school with his family and then pursued a career in nursing.

But, after taking one acting class at a community college, a spark was lit inside Alex's heart that couldn't be put out. He knew he was made for the stage. He pursued a degree in theatre and then began auditioning in New York where he booked a contract with Disney Cruise Lines. After several back and forths from NYC to ships, Alex shares with us of being in the right room at the right time and landing his Broadway Debut in A Bronx Tale.

The journey hasn't always been easy, and Alex gives great insight into the decisions you must make for yourself as an actor. Do you want to travel? Do you need to put down roots? Where do you belong? All of these questions led Alex to where he is today.

Alex Joseph Grayson can be seen soon on The Asolo stage in Sarasota, Fl in the musical Camelot!


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#99 - Adam Jacobs - ALADDIN, LION KING, LES MIZ

Adam Jacobs / @adamjacobsnyc

Not everyone can say they have ridden a magic carpet, but for Adam Jacobs, that became his daily routine as he played Aladdin in the Disney Broadway musical. But, hanging out with a genie every night isn't all there is to this Broadway star that we have all come to know and love.

In our interview, Adam shares his insight on what it is like to be an actor who could fit into so many different types of roles and yet, still felt there was no place for him in the casting industry. Asking questions like "Where do I fit in?" and "What is my type?" drove him to start using this as a strength instead of a weakness. Now, He has starred in National Tours, on Broadway, and has been nominated for a Grammy and Drama Desk Awards.

We also talk to Adam about his new cabaret "Behind the Curtain" that will soon be released on digital platforms for us all to enjoy! The cabaret will include Pop, Rock, Broadway and some surprises that Adam has up his sleeve...maybe even some secrets of showmances!


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#98 - Christian Thompson - AIN'T TOO PROUD

Christian Thompson / @christianthompsonactor

"Pivot"- A word we have all heard throughout our industry, over and over again. Christian Thompson, who plays Smokey Robinson and Damon Harris in Ain't Too Proud the Musical

Christian has experienced so much in his journey, from cruise ship work to Rent National Tour. Then, to go from rehearsals for a promised Broadway show to working at the Hamilton merch store, he has felt the ups and downs of the journey. But even in the tough moments, he shares with us how he has found the drive to pursue passions and creative opportunities that, in the past, he had counted unattainable. Christian also expresses the joy in finding himself as a true, unique artist and the individuals along the way who have helped mold him into the person he is today!

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#97 - Craig Feldmann - @PARODYBILL

Maybe you don't recall seeing the name "Craig Feldman" on the front of a Playbill, but you can absolutely find his genius and skill spread across each design of Parodybill. As the founder and lead designer of Parodybill, Craig shares with us how he has taken his love of Broadway and infused it with his lifelong graphic design career to create what we know today as the witty and creative designs of Parodybill.

It all started on a flight back home after seeing Mean Girls the Musical in previews and Dear Evan Hansen was bright in the Broadway lights. Craig's ideas began to swirl and he wondered ""what if these shows became a mashup in design?"" and Parodybill was born. It continues to grow and bring theatre-lovers fun, creative and inspiring designs built around the world that we all love--Broadway!

You can now enjoy hundreds of his designs at @Parodybill on Instagram and shop their merch at shop.parodybill.com.


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#96 - Hillary Porter - A BRONX TALE

Hillary Porter / @hillaryporter_ From competitive cheerleading to the Broadway stage, Hillary shares some of the incredible stories that have been the ups and downs of her journey. Find out how she booked her first Broadway show, in spite of forgetting choreography in the audition room. She also tells us about breaking her ankle and the mental and physical process back to the stage, and how she always strives to say YES!


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#95 - Brian Martin - MRS DOUBTFIRE

Brian Martin / @btmartz shared his booking Broadway journey with us! 


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#94 - Justin Showell - HAMILTON

Justin Showell - @justinbshow joins us as he awaits the return of the Hamilton - And Peggy tour. A BFTS Fam member, recent Michigan grad, and all around beautiful human shares with us his journey and the importance of embracing the fact that it is your own personal, unique journey. 


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#93 - Elyse Niederee - KING KONG

Elyse Niederee / @elyseniederee was on BFTS Podcast a little over a year ago to talk about her Broadway debut in KING KONG. Since then, Elyse has become the head of our FLOW program at Built for the Stage. FLOW is a flexibility and mobility program specifically designed for performers. Elyse's 10+ years as a yoga instructor and her seasoned career in theatre, makes her the perfect coach for this program. Listen in and hear her advice on how you can stay grounded in such an uncertain time. 


BROADWAY: 

KING KONG


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#92 - Kfir Danieli - PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Kfir Danieli / @kfirmusic Born in Tirat Carmel, Israel, American/Israeli multi-hyphenate Kfir Danieli’s journey began at age 6 when one of his teachers encouraged him to enlist in ballet classes. From Israel to London’s Royal Academy of Dance to some of the biggest stages in the world including the Metropolitan Opera house in New York City and later in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of The Opera on the US national tour, Vegas and Broadway productions, Kfir who had grown up surrounded by music felt the need to express himself beyond dance.

Kfir's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/kfirmusic1


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#91 - Raymond Baynard - HAMILTON

Raymond Baynard / @raymondbaynard joins us from the cast of Hamilton and will soon be seen premiering the new Michael Jackson Broadway musiical! We chat fitness, Hamilton, and the mentality he's shifted to while in this pandemic. Enjoy!


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#90 - Zachary Daniel Jones - BEETLEJUICE

Zachary Daniel Jones / @aspiredance shares with us not one, but two, funny audition stories where he booked Broadway on both occasions. We also chat a bit about how he has drawn inspiration from his mom throughout his career.


BROADWAY

BEETLEJUICE

CATS


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#89 - Riza Takahashi - MEAN GIRLS

Riza Takahashi / @rizatakahashi joins us from the cast of Mean Girls! While Riza has been away from the stage she's still been performing and also finding the time to learn how to fly fish. Enjoy!


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#88 - Shereen Pimentel - WEST SIDE STORY

Shereen Pimentel / @shereenpimentel chats with us about playing Maria in the Broadway revival of West Side Story, her new venture starting her MBA, and her new dog Thor! Enjoy!


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#87 - Broadway Panel - Dana Steingold, Nadia Brown, Gabe Hyman, Jerusha Cavazos, Jennifer Noble, Will Mann, Mo Brady

We were fortunate enough to interview a group of Broadway's finest to discuss how they've been staying motivated throughout the pandemic and their reaction to the recent election.

  • Dana Steingold / @dsteinface - Beetlejuice
  • Nadia Brown / @naughtya_or_nice - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Gabe Hyman / @gabehyman - Hamilton tour, King Kong
  • Jerusha Cavazos / @jerushacavazos - The Prom
  • Jennifer Noble / @thejennoble - King Kong
  • Will Mann - @uuillmann - Oklahoma!
  • Mo Brady - The Ensemblist, Addams Family


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#86 - Adrianna Hicks - SIX

Adrianna Hicks / @missadriannahicks from the Broadway show in waiting, SIX, shares with us about the day the show was scheduled to open, while simultaneously, the announcement to shutdown Broadway occurred.  


BROADWAY


THE COLOR PURPLE

ALADDIN

SIX


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#85 - Christine Cornish Smith - KISS ME KATE

Christine Cornish Smith / @christinecornish was a special guest for our Built For The Stage University series that focuses on training the future Broadway stars of tomorrow. Christine shares with us some of her experiences at CCM and her Broadway career that followed. The wisdom she shares you might not expect...enjoy!

Special thanks to our friends at The Ensemblist who conducted this interview. Make sure to subscribe to their podcast for content involving the most current, day to day pulse on the theatre industry!


BROADWAY:

CATS

MY FAIR LADY

KISS ME KATE


bpn.fm/theensemblist - The Ensemblist Podcast

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#84 - Anthony Festa & Emily Bautista - MISS SAIGON

Anthony Festa / @festafied & Emily Bautista / @em_bautista last were seen touring the country playing Chris and Kim in MISS SAIGON. They now joined us from upstate NY during the pandemic to chat about their experience on tour, the sudden stoppage, and now, life in the pandemic. Special thanks to our friends at The Ensemblist who conducted this interview. Make sure to subscribe to their podcast for content involving the most current, day to day pulse on the theatre industry!


bpn.fm/theensemblist - The Ensemblist Podcast

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#83 - Patricia Kelly - GENE KELLY LEGACY SHOW

Patricia Kelly / @genekellylegacy is a film historian and the widow and official biographer of Gene Kelly. She has worked as a writer at a film production company, as a contributing scholar for the authoritative Northwestern/Newberry Writings of Herman Melville, and as a freelance journalist. She and Kelly met at the Smithsonian in 1985, when he was the host/narrator for a television special for which she was a writer. Soon after, he invited her to California to write his memoirs, a job for which she recorded his words nearly every day for over ten years. They were together until his death in 1996. Currently, she serves as Trustee of The Gene Kelly Image Trust, the entity Kelly established during his lifetime to govern the use of his name, voice, likeness, signature, and persona. She is also President and Creative Director of The Gene Kelly Legacy, Inc. a corporation established to celebrate Kelly’s artistry and to perpetuate his legacy worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles where she is completing the book about her late husband. As part of this work, she is preserving and cataloguing The Gene Kelly Archives—an extensive collections of letters, manuscripts, photographs, scripts, interviews, essays, poems, holograph notes, and memorabilia that will eventually be the basis of additional publications and, ultimately, the core of an innovative, virtual Gene Kelly “Experience.”


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#82 - Eric Bean Jr. - LION KING Nat'l Tour

Eric Bean Jr / @ebjdance is a loved member of our BFTS Fam, a cast member of The Lion King national tour, and a choreographer based out of Las Vegas, NV. Hear Eric's story of how one blown audition didn't slow him down from booking one of those most well known musicals in history!

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#81 - Paula Leggett Chase - TOOTSIE

Paula Leggett Chase / @paulaleggett is a Broadway vet that was recently seen in Tootsie the musical. She shares great wisdom on how to establish a lasting career in this ever changing industry and also the hopeful message that it's never too late.


BROADWAY:


A CHORUS LINE 

CRAZY FOR YOU 

DAMN YANKEES 

KISS ME, KATE 

THE PAJAMA GAME 

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS 

CURTAINS 

BYE BYE BIRDIE 

ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY 

TOOTSIE


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#80 - Jody Reynard - SUMMER, THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL

Jody Reynard / @otherblkguy joined us to chat about his journey to his Broadway debut, a golf cart crash in Legally Blonde, and his thoughts on what it takes to make it in this competitive industry.


BROADWAY:

FOSSE

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

TABOO

LEGALLY BLONDE

SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL


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#79 - Terence Archie - COMPANY

Terence Archie / @terencearchie chatted with us about his time playing Apollo Creed in Rocky on Broadway, his time in waiting during the pandemic as his current show Company on Broadway is paused, and a few other topics definitely worth a listen for.


BROADWAY:

  • RAGTIME
  • ROCKY
  • KISS ME, KATE
  • COMPANY


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#78 - Susie Carroll - MEAN GIRLS

Susie Carroll / @susiecarroll was recently seen as a vacation swing at Broadway's, The Prom and suddenly, in two weeks time, took a hop, skip, and a jump to Mean Girls on Broadway. Susie shares about her year long journey of simultaneously swinging two shows on Broadway.


BROADWAY


THE PROM


MEAN GIRLS


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#77 - Dan Lauria - LOMBARDI

Dan Lauria / @realdanlauria joins us to talk about his experience playing Vince Lombardi in the Broadway play, Lombardi. We also get to hear stories about his time starring in the famous TV series, The Wonder Years, his take on auditioning, how he got his start in acting, and more.


For more on Dan Lauria, go to www.thedanlauria.com

BROADWAY

A CHRISTMAS STORY

LOMBARDI


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#76 - Michael Midlin - HAMILTON

Michael Mindlin / @mindlin_choreo joins us to chat BRING IT ON in our series, "Fitness on the Broadway Stage." We also chat a bit about Michael's role as the dance supervisor for HAMILTON, the stresses of conducting online classes, and inspiring conversation about the simplicity of putting the work in.


BROADWAY

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

9 TO 5

MAMMA MIA

BRING IT ON

ALADDIN

HAMILTON


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#75 - Shonica Gooden - CATS

Shonica Gooden / @shonica joins us to talk all things BRING IT ON, Broadway babies, and her story starting out her career where she didn't even want to do musical theatre!


BROADWAY

CATS

HAMILTON

CINDERELLA

BRING IT ON



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#74 - Vince Oddo - ROCKY

Vince Oddo / @vinceoddo talks to us about his Broadway debut in ROCKY and how he volunteered his way into a career in stunt work.


BROADWAY


MICHAEL MOORE: THE TERMS OF MY SURRENDER

AMAZING GRACE

ROCKY


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#73 - Jerry Mitchell - LEGALLY BLONDE

Jerry Mitchell / @jammyprod, Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics, Olivier award winner joins us as our first guest in our series, "Fitness on the Broadway Stage." We chat with Jerry about the iconic Legally Blonde number, "Whipped into Shape." Grab your jump rope, lace up your sneakers, and join us for a college tour where we revisit Harvard U.


BROADWAY


PRETTY WOMAN

ON YOUR FEET

KINKY BOOTS

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

LEGALLY BLONDE

DIRTY ROOTTEN SCOUNDRELS

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES


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#72 - Mark Peikert - PLAYBILL EDITOR IN CHIEF

Mark Peikert / @markpeikert joins us from our BPN neighboring podcast, "Today in Theatre History." Aside from hosting "Today in Theatre History,""he also serves as the editor in chief at Playbill so, we thought who better to join us to kick off our new podcast series, "Fitness on Broadway," than a theatre expert like, Mark. Listen to Mark and Joe chat about some well known Broadway favorites and how fitness was a vital part of them all. 


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#71 - Alan Green - SISTER ACT

Alan H Green / @alanhgreen has a wild story about how he ended up on the Broadway stage! The story goes from college football, to singing for the President, to booking his first Broadway show. You'll want to tune in for this one!


CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

SCHOOL OF ROCK

SISTER ACT

THE VISIT

PLAY ON!


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#70 - Amber Iman - SOUL DOCTOR

Amber Iman / @amberskyez kindly shares how struggles during her career ultimately led to some of the best opportunities she'd ever come across. We also got to talk to Amber about the Broadway Advocacy Coalition and how a "one-time" event evolved into a full time movement.


BROADWAY

SOUL DOCTOR

SHUFFLE ALONG


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#69 - Ross Lekites - TINA / FROZEN

Ross Lekites / @rosslekites didn't really know what he wanted to do growing up as a kid. He knew that he was good at singing so, he decided to keep that up...it just happened that he was good enough to become a working actor on the Broadway stage.


BROADWAY

TINA

FROZEN

KINKY BOOTS


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#68 - Tomás Matos - DIANA

Tomás Matos / @tomatos_ chats with us about his soon to be Broadway debut in Diana the Musical. He was just weeks away from making his debut when Broadway closed its doors due to Covid-19. Listen in as we chat about learned lessons during the ups and downs of his young career.


BROADWAY

DIANA


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#67 - Jelani Remy - AIN'T TOO PROUD

Jelani Remy / @itsjelaniremy talks to us about his road to Broadway, his time as Simba in The Lion King, overcoming today's recent struggles, and how the things that seem so far away are actually quite attainable.


BROADWAY

THE LION KING

AIN'T TOO PROUD


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#66 - James Snyder - HARRY POTTER

James Snyder / @thejamessnyder aka Harry Potter joins us on BFTS Podcast from his backyard that displays his newly finished jungle gym that he constructed himself for his kids. James is not only a talented builder of childrens' playgrounds, but also in building substantial characters of depth on the stage. Listen to us chat about his process while bringing to life on stage one of the most iconic character in the world.

BROADWAY

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

IN TRANSITS

IF/THEN

CRY BABY

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#65 - Casey Garvin - MRS. DOUBTFIRE

Casey Garvin / @caseygarvin joins us from the cast of Mrs Doubtfire on Broadway. This episode is full of inspiration. Enjoy as you listen to Casey's story of ups and downs and how he truly has become, "Stronger Than Before."


BROADWAY:

MRS DOUBTFIRE

KING KONG

MISS SAIGON

DISASTER!

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY


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#64 - Max Clayton - MOULIN ROUGE

Max Clayton / @maxmclayton joins us from the cast of Moulin Rouge. Max talks to us about his Broadway journey and shares his top tips that he credits helping him consistently book show after show on Broadway.


BROADWAY:

GIGI

ON THE TOWN

SOMETHING ROTTEN

BAND STAND

HELLO DOLLY

PRETTY WOMAN

MOULIN ROUGE


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#63 - Brandon Leffler - WICKED

Brandon Leffler / @brandonleff joins us from the national tour of My Fair Lady. Brandon was kindly willing to share how an extreme hardship in his life caused him the loss of a theatre gig, but then ultimately lead him to return to this industry stronger than before. We hope you enjoy!


BROADWAY:


WICKED

CINDERELLA

ON THE TOWN


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#62 - Nasia Thomas - CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

Nasia Thomas / @nasiathomas comes to us from the cast of Caroline or Change on Broadway. Nasia shares with us the ups and downs of her career in theatre. Nasia inspires us with words of affirmation and positivity to take with us while traveling through this tough business.


BROADWAY:


BEAUTIFUL

AIN'T TOO PROUD

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE


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#61 - Davin Desantis - MOULIN ROUGE

Davin De Santis / @davinds is currently a stage manager with Moulin Rouge on Broadway. This is Davin's 5th Broadway show he has stage managed and he shares with us the behind the scenes magic from one of the most beautiful shows on Broadway. Also take a listen to hear how Davin started his journey in theatre in an effort to help him get into the military. Enjoy!


BROADWAY:


MOULIN ROUGE

LES MISERABLES

THE ELEPHANT MAN

MISS SAIGON

CYRANO DE BERGERAC


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#60 - Jewelle Blackman - HADESTOWN

Jewelle Blackman / @elleshelley comes to us from the cast of Hadestown. We talk about creating her own art outside of the show, her Canadian roots, and her journey of making her Broadway debut while overcoming the status quo of the biz.


BROADWAY

HADESTOWN


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#59 - James Brown III - HARRY POTTER

James Brown III / @jamesbrowniii and Coach spent the day together during a two show day of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. They walked through Times Square, ate donuts, did a podcast interview, and still managed to be at the theatre for over 7 hours. Enjoy the podcast episode and click the link below to see more footage on our YouTube Vlog.


BROADWAY:


HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

FROZEN

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

ROCKY

WICKED

GHOST

PRICILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

MEMPHIS

THE LITTLE MERMAID

THE COLOR PURPLE

THE FROGS


https://youtu.be/xpE7oQ9eGqc - YouTube Vlog with James Brown III


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#58 - Afra Hines - HADESTOWN

"Afra Hines / @afrahines joins us on BFTS Podcast in the midst of her 8th Broadway show! Afra is currently in the ensemble of Hadestown. She joins guest host, Kevin Jaeger, to chat about her experience growing as a performer thoughout her career, how to maintain your physical health during a career in theatre, and they also chat a bit about her time while on set for Fosse/Vernon. 


BROADWAY:

WICKED

IN THE HEIGHTS

GHOST

SOUL DOCTOR

MOTOWN 

SHUFFLE ALONG

SUMMER

HADESTOWN


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#57 - Michael Mott - MUSICAL COMPOSER/LYRICIST

Michael Mott / @michael_mott is a NYC based lyricist/composer who as of late, has been leaving his mark in the industry. We chat about the journey of creating a show from inception to production, having some of Broadway's biggest names sing his material, and jokingly plan to book him to do live instrumentals for each BFTS Podcast show in the future.


Check out all that Michael Mott has going on here: https://linktr.ee/michael_mott


Listen to his album Abandoned Heart:


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#56 - Tommy Bracco - NEWSIES

Tommy Bracco / @tommybracco joins us from BroadwayCon with guest hosts, Kevin Jaeger and Kimberly Cooper Schmidt from the BPN podcast, Broadwaysted. Tommy talks about his time on Big Brother, his fitness journey, and just shares a ton of laughs with the crowd at BroadwayCon!


NEWSIES

PRETTY WOMAN


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#55 - Destinee Rea - TINA / BOOK OF MORMON

Destinee Rea / @destineerea joins us from the cast of Tina on Broadway! This episode was guest hosted by BFTS FAM, Kevin Jaeger! She talks about the physicality required of her in Tina, her favorite workouts songs, and more!


AMÉLIE

THE BOOK OF MORMON

TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL


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#54 - Kimberly Cooper Schmidt & Kevin Jaeger

Kimberly Cooper Schmidt / @kimbercoops & Kevin Jaegar / @jaegerkev join us on BFTS Podcast! They are not only BPN Fam but, BFTS Fam as well! We talk about fitness journies, Broadway podcasting, and we honestly believe this is one of those most applicable, tangible episodes to date!


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#53 - Dana Steingold - BEETLEJUICE

Dana Steingold / @dsteinface joins from the cast of Beetlejuice on Broadway! Dana shares with us her experience being involved with Beetlejuice all the way back to its first reading, her journey to Broadway, keeping mental health in check, and more! 


BEETLEJUICE


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#52 - Elliott Mattox - BEETLEJUICE

Elliott Mattox / @elliottmattox joins us from the Broadway cast of Beetlejuice. We talk gourmet baking, know what makes you special in the audition room, as well as his podcast, Equity One.


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#51 - Anthony Festa & Emily Bautista - MISS SAIGON

Anthony Festa / @festafied & Emily Bautista / @em_bautista are currently traveling the country in Miss Saigon playing the lead characters of Chris and Kim. Anthony and Emily are both BFTS Fam and both amazing people. We got to spend some time with them later on in New Orleans post interview during one of their performance stops and it was lovely. Visit out IGTV at @builtforthestage for more discussions with Anthony and Emily!


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#50 - Ian Paget - MAMMA MIA / TIKTOK

Ian Paget / @ianpaget_ talks about the current out of town production of BLISS that is heading to Seattle, his journey of rebranding himself in the midst of his career, and how he overcame a serious back injury earlier in his career.


SOUL DOCTOR

LEAP OF FAITH

MAMMA MIA


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#49 - Jake Boyd - WICKED

Jake Boyd / @jaykeboid is currently on Broadway playing Fiyero in Wicked. Jake talks to us about training, new works he's been involved with, as well as what being in this iconic show that he grew up on means to him.


WICKED

ROCK OF AGES


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#48 - Kayla Davion - TINA / WAITRESS

Kayla Davion / @kayladavion is appearing in her third Broadway show after very recently graduating from Ball State with a degree in Musical Theatre. We talk about the recent opening of TINA on Broadway and her experiences understudying such an iconic music star. Kayla shares a vulnerable story of how she found herself on Broadway but, at the same time, depressed. Tune in to get the inside scoop on TINA, helpful advice, and an inspiring story.


TINA

KING KONG

WAITRESS


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#47 - Lauren Boyd - HAMILTON

Lauren Boyd / @laurenmboyd is currently performing in Hamilton on Broadway. She shares a story of how serving the elderly lead her to founding the outreach, "Broadway Babes." Tune to hear how Lauren not only shares her talents on stage but, also how she shares herself with our elderly community.


HAMILTON


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#46 - Michael Fasano - JERSEY BOYS NCL

Michael Fasano / @michaeldfasano recently hopped off a NCL cruise ship where he played Frankie Valli in JERSEY BOYS. This episode is highly informative touching on how Michael was able to balance the tough predicaments of cruis life for a performer while still bettering his fitness. He also shares helpful insight about mental health and his process in an audition room.


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#45 - Jenifer Foote - TOOTSIE / A CHORUS LINE

Jenifer Foote / @jenyfoote is the definition of a "working actor." It actually wouldn't be an understatement to deem her the title of, "a legend." Jenifer has been seen in 15 Broadway shows! Without much of a description of this episode...we'd say it's worth your listen.


ANNIE GET YOUR GUN

DRACULA

HAIR

ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

A WONDERFUL LIFE

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

A CHORUS LINE

ROCK OF AGES

FOLLIES

THE MYSTERIE OF EDWIN DROOD

ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY REVIVAL

SHE LOVES ME

HOLIDAY INN

HELLO DOLLY

TOOTSIE


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#44 - 2019 Holiday Episode

In this holiday episode, Coach sits behind the mic and shares some of his tips for how to crush 2020 on the stage, in the audition room, in the gym, and life in general!


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#43 - Ben Bogen - FROZEN

Ben Bogen/ @benmbogen chats with us about helpful audition experiences, his love for teaching, and making his Broadway debut.


FROZEN


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#42 - Ixchel Cuellar - MEAN GIRLS

Ixchel Cuellar / @itsixchel was most recently seen on Broadway in MEAN GIRLS. She can now be seen touring the country in the show. She shares about the unique experience of transitioning out of the Broadway show to mount a new touring production that carries on the spirit of the show but, displays it in a whole new light. 


FINDING NEVERLAND 

MEAN GIRLS


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#41 - Jacob Gutierrez - ALADDIN

Jacob Gutierrez / @jacobgutierrez shares with us about his Broadway debut in ALADDIN. Jacob is a part of the ensemble and goes on from time to time as Aladdin, while serving as one of the understudies. We also have some laughs together as he does a few impersonations for us.

ALADDIN

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#40 - Harris Milgrim - TOOTSIE / CATS

Harris Milgrim / @harrismilgrim chats with us about his time in TOOTSIE, as well as some great audition tips for actors.


TOOTSIE

CATS


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#39 - Timothy Hughes - HADESTOWN

Timothy Hughes / @timothyrhughes chats about embracing your type, filming THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, the social media viral video showing Tim snatching a Re-Elect Trump 2020 flag off a spectator in the midst of a FROZEN curtain call, as well as his current experiences in the Tony winning best musical, HADESTOWN!


CHAPLIN

FROZEN

HADESTOWN

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#38 - Nina LaFarga - IN THE HEIGHTS / ON YOUR FEET

Nina Lafarga / @ninalafarga shares with us her experience as a Broadway veteran! We chat a bit about IN THE HEIGHTS because who doesn't want to?


AIDA

SWEET CHARITY

IN THE HEIGHTS

WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

ON YOUR FEET

FROZEN

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#36 - Jacob Haren - BOOK OF MORMON

Jacob Haren / @jacobdharen can be seen 8 times a week in Broadway's BOOK OF MORMON. Jacob is a seasoned vet in the show and can share some insight on how he continues to make performances fun and fresh. He also happens to be a Disney junkie and shares with us some of the top secret mysteries about Mickey and the gang. We also talk about self-worth as a performer and how important it is to love yourself in and out of a gig.


BROADWAY:

BOOK OF MORMON


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#35 - Elyse Niederee - KING KONG

Elyse Niederee / @elyseniederee recently made her Broadway debut in KING KONG. We chat about that exciting experience and the unique way she was brought into the show. She also just happened to make her debut during the recent NYC blackout. Elyse is a certified yoga instructor and talks about her practice and how it can help performers on and off of the stage. We also cover her love for hiking, misinterpreted obsession for free samples, and some other chuckle-worthy topics.


BROADWAY:

KING KONG


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#34 - Bradley Gibson - LION KING

"Bradley Gibson / @bradgibson13 is currently playing Simba in THE LION KING on Broadway. Brad shares his experiences playing the iconic Disney role, some new original music he's been working on, and more!  

BROADWAY:

THE LION KING

A BRONX TALE

ROCKY

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#33 - Giuseppe Bausilio - HAMILTON

Giuseppe Bausilio / @giuseppebausilio is currently playing Charles Lee in HAMILTON on Broadway. Giuseppe shares how growing up with ballet dancers for parents, he danced for six to seven hours a day as a child. All that training paid off when he was discovered at a dance competition in NYC. That discovery would eventually lead him to the start of his Broadway career, playing the title role in BILLY ELLIOT.

BROADWAY:

HAMILTON

HELLO DOLLY

CATS

ALADDIN

NEWSIES

BILLY ELLIOT

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#32 - Krystina Alabado - MEAN GIRLS

Krystina Alabado / @krystinaalabado is currently playing as Gretchen Wieners in MEAN GIRLS on Broadway. Krystina chats about her time with the plastics, tips on making self-tapes, as well as her approach on mentally focusing/centering herself before an audition or show.

BROADWAY:

MEAN GIRLS

AMERICAN PSYCHO

AMERICAN IDIOT

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#31 - Gideon Glick - TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD / SPIDERMAN / SPRING AWAKENING

Built For The Stage Fam, Gideon Glick / @gidglick is currently playing as Dill Harris in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on Broadway. Gideon was nominated for a Tony for his performance as Dill. Listen in to hear how Gideon went from playing his dream role, Todo, in THE WIZARD OF OZ to now being a part of his fourth Broadway show.

BROADWAY:

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

SIGNIFICANT OTHER

SPIDERMAN TURN OFF THE DARK

SPRING AWAKENING

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#30 - Joe Rosko - FOUNDER OF BFTS

In the final episode of Season 1, I break down the highlights from our first season! Listen in and also hear about exciting news with our partnership with the Broadway Podcast Network. Go to broadwaypodcastnetwork.com for more info! 

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#29 - David Bankston - CAPITOL RECORDS ARTIST

Episode 29 is a special one. I chatted with my college professor, best friend, and best man from my wedding. We chat about performing, auditioning, running a marathon while drinking beer, and stories from his past that influenced the creation of his music albums. David Bankston’s musical career began in the early 1970s when his folk-rock band, “Manchild,” was signed to Capitol Records. The group toured the United States performing in famous folk clubs of the era, universities, and concert venues on the same bills with Jimmy Buffett, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steve Martin, The Drifters, ZZ Top, Edgar Winter and White Trash, Steve Goodman, and many others. He later transitioned into theatrical and operatic singing, performing roles with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Washington Opera, San Francisco Opera, Casa Mañana, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. His notable roles include Siegfried in Wagner’s Siegfried, Riccardo in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca, and Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat with Van Johnson and as James in Shennandoah with Howard Keel. He now records and performs concerts of his original compositions in the genres of Americana, contemporary folk music and jazz. His recordings feature some of the greatest players in popular music: Sonny Landreth, Sam Broussard, Steve Bailey, saxophonist, Stephen Riley, Byron House, Jeff Taylor and Jelly Roll Johnson. His albums Galvez Town and Jazz Blues Gospel Shoes can be streamed on Spotify and YouTube. He was educated in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Dr. Bankston holds a DMA in Vocal Performance from the University of South Carolina. He recently retired as Professor Emeritus of Music at Coastal Carolina University. David's students have performed on Broadway, national tours, international and regional opera.

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#28 - Aaron Alcaraz - MEAN GIRLS

BFTS Fam, @aaronreads chats with us about making his Broadway Debut in MEAN GIRLS. He goes on a 10 year journey from a children's theatre production of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL as Basketball Player #4 to a Swing in a Broadway production! Listen in and be inspired as we listen to Aaron Alcaraz's journey. 

BROADWAY: MEAN GIRLS

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#27 - Fredric Odgaard - MOULIN ROUGE

@fodg started out dancing in Vegas for Celine Dion, Cher, and other hit artists. He then ventured into the world of musical theatre and has had quite the career so far. Tune in with @builtforthestage fam, Fredric Odgaard, as we drive around Times Square NYC and eventually end up parking in front of his current Broadway show, MOULIN ROUGE. 

BROADWAY: FINDING NEVERLAND KINKY BOOTS MOULIN ROUGE

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#26 - Casey Garvin - KING KONG

BFTS Fam, @caseygarvin joins me on BFTS Podcast. Casey is currently in the cast of King Kong on Brodway. This year was a big one for Casey. Casey an his cast mates were awarded Best Ensemble at the Chita Rivera Awards. He was named one of five performers in The Ensemble List's Stand Out Featured Ensemble Members in a Broadway Show. He was named one of Time Out Magazine's Sexiest Chorus Boys in a Broadway Show. And, he was also featured in Broadway Bare's official photo shoot to promote the event. Enjoy this episode with Casey Garvin. 

BROADWAY: BULLETS OVER BROADWAY DISASTER THE MUSICAL MISS SAIGON KING KONG

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#25 - Sheldon Henry - THE PROM

Sheldon Henry / @d_only_don chats with me at Herald Square. He shares about being on The Late Night Show and his pursuit to get sponsored by Bass Pro Shop. 

BROADWAY: THE PROM

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#24 - Jessica Ernest - CHICAGO

I got to walk in a circle in Columbus Circle, NYC with Jessica Ernest / @maritimegirl01 who is currently in the cast of CHICAGO on Broadway. You can catch up with Jessica on her website, www.jessicaernest.com 

BROADWAY: CHICAGO

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#23 - Michal Kolaczko - CHER SHOW

Built For The Stage Fam, @michalkolaczko recently closed up a show with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. He now is transitioning into his Broadway debut with The Cher Show. Hear how a dreamer who grew up with Polish parents in Detroit, Michigan has made it to the bright lights of Broadway. 

BROADWAY: THE CHER SHOW

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#22 - Rachel Schur - CHICAGO

Broadway Actress, Dog Mom, Entrepreneur, Britney Spears Impersonator... Need I say more? Join me on this episode with @rachel_schur as we sit in Bryant Park with some tea from her company Realitea Check and her little doggy sitting by. You can also see this full interview on @builtforthestage IGTV channel. http://shoprealitcheck.com/

BROADWAY: CHICAGO JERSEY BOYS

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#21 - Mike Longo - ALADDIN

@mikelongofoto tells many secrets that are worth the listen. Tune in to hear Mike’s journey from $100 a week gigs to being an actor in now his second Broadway show. IGTV : https://www.instagram.com/tv/Bx8oq6RHFIu/

BROADWAY: BEAUTIFUL ALADDIN

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#20 - Jacob Dickey - ALADDIN

Jacob Dickey / @biguglyjacob chats with me at Bryan Park about his Broadway debut where he played Aladdin in Aladdin. We talk about his strong mustache game and also his past as a theatre intern working crazy hours at a rate that would be worse than a Carnegie steel mill worker’s in the late 1800’s. IGTV : https://www.instagram.com/tv/Bxs51tvD59P/

BROADWAY: ALADDIN

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#19 - John Riddle - FROZEN / PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Built For The Stage fam, @thejohnriddle joins me on the podcast and talks about his time playing Hans in Broadway’s Frozen, funny broadway debut stories, sailing the Hudson, and more! You can also view this interview on @builtforthestage IGTV. We chat over some octopus at a restaurant, walk by the water of the South Street Seaport, and end our chat by the Brooklyn Bridge. IGTV : https://www.instagram.com/tv/BxZ1KBGjah8/

BROADWAY: THE VISIT, FROZEN

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#18 - Brandi Porter - BRONX TALE

On this episode with @thebrandiporter we talk about her Broadway debut, being amongst talent like Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri, how she stays extremely fit (see for yourself on her Instagram page), and her path in education. Enjoy! www.builtforthestage.com 

BROADWAY: A BRONX TALE

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#17 - Sarah Meahl - KISS ME KATE

@happymeahl sits down with me in Times Square to chat all the things. In this episode we’ll talk about her experiences growing up as a Disney kid, making her Broadway debut, working along side the likes of Bernadette Peters, Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, and her point of view on falling in love with a city and ultimately how to love yourself. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bww59XjB0Co/

www.sarahmeahl.com

BROADWAY: PARAMOUR, HELLO DOLLY, KISS ME KATE 

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#16 - Jeff Kuhr + Katie Goffman - CLUELESS / KINKY BOOTS

Our first dual interview with @jeffkuhr and @katiegoffman ! These two were just swings together in the recent Off-Broadway production of Clueless The Musical. Lots of laughs, lots of inspiration, hope you enjoy! www.jeffkuhr.net / www.katiegoffman.com / www.builtforthestage.com

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#15 - Ashley Blair Fitzgerald - CHER SHOW

@ashleyblairfitzgerald is not just a superb dancer but, a Super Mom and grounded, intelligent woman. Listen in as we talk all things Broadway, working with Twyla Tharp and Chris Gattelli, and about being a giving wife/mother in the midst of a sometimes self-centered business. 

BROADWAY: THE CHER SHOW ON THE TOWN GIGI

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#14 - Marija Abney - CHER SHOW / BLACK PANTHER

This episode with @marija_abney is gold! Listen in as we talk about her experience filming AVENGERS and BLACK PANTHER, being in THE CHER SHOW on Broadway, women's empowerment, and what it truly means to be an athlete/actor. www.builtforthestage.com 

BROADWAY: THE CHER SHOW AFTER MIDNIGHT

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#13 - Alanna Saunders - HARRY POTTER

In this episode with Alanna Saunders / @alannasaun, we hear how she's truly, "livin' the dream," as she is currently in the cast of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD on Broadway. We talk about Alanna's experience playing Tiger Lilly in the NBC live telecast of PETER PAN, her lover for basketball, her recollection of learning to play multiple instruments as she toured with INTO THE WOODS, originally seen at Roundabout Theatre, and much more. Enjoy the episode! 

BROADWAY: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

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#12 - JC Schuster - SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS

@jc_schuster is a proud Texan who was seen on Broadway in Soul Doctor, Finding Neverland, Fiddler on the Roof, and Spongebob Squarepants. He’s been seen dancing on a Madonna music video, Glee, and much more. This guy is not the typical “actor type” which made this episode quite interesting. Enjoy! www.jcschuster.com 

BROADWAY: SpongeBob SquarePants The Musical  Finding Neverland  Soul Doctor Fiddler On The Roof

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#11 - Ben Jeffrey - LION KING

Ben Jeffrey has currently played Pumbaa in The Lion King on Broadway for 9 years now. He shares a story about his move to NYC and how having no plans turned out to be the best plan of all. Tune in to this episode to also hear Ben share some of the magic of a Disney production, his journey in fitness, and a whole lot of laughs with this funny guy. 

BROADWAY: THE LION KING, ALADDIN

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#10 - Jennifer Noble - KING KONG

@thejennoble is currently in King Kong on Broadway. Here’s a fun list: Gene Kelly, M&M’s, finding your worth, throwing towels at a Knicks’ game, learning how the magic of making King Kong come to life works, and going on as the lead for the first time in King Kong with less than two hours notice. Sound like a fun list? Tune in to hear about it!

www.builtforthestage.com

www.jennifernoble.me

BROADWAY: KING KONG, GHOST

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#9 - James Brown III - HARRY POTTER / FROZEN

On this episode we chatted with @jamesbrowniii via phone call while he was all the way over in Australia! Tune in to hear some Harry Potter talk, fashion, performing with Michael Jackson and more! www.builtforthestage.com www.jamesbrowniii.com

BROADWAY: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD FROZEN HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS ROCKY WICKED GHOST PRICILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT MEMPHIS THE LITTLE MERMAID THE COLOR PURPLE THE FROGS

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#8 - Kyle Matthew Hamilton - SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS

@kylematthewhamilton goes from pro skateboarder to debuting in his first Broadway show via a short birthday video for Spongebob The Musical’s director, Tina Landau. Well, it wasn’t that easy...it took some practice, along side 11 year olds in tap class.

www.builtforthestage.com

www.kylematthewhamilton.com

BROADWAY: SpongeBob SquarePants The Musical

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#7- Christine Cornish Smith - KISS ME KATE / CATS

Take a journey with CCS on this episode through Texas, Cincinnati, India, and now NYC. On this journey, Christine talks about her plants, wipe-outs during silent moments on the Broadway stage, and a handful of stories of how @christinecornish used grit, humor, and a life-long, student-like mindset to go from jobless to performing in now her third Broadway show.

www.builtforthestage.com

www.christinecornishsmith.com

BROADWAY: Cats My Fair Lady Kiss Me Kate

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#6 - Adam Perry - FROZEN

This episode with @adammperry is overflowing with inspiring comeback stories from his career on and off the Broadway stage. Adam has graced The Great White Way seven times, and has garnered a reputation as one of Broadway's most assiduous and handsome, dancing ensemble members. However, don't get his story twisted. Adam shares his story of starting dancing very late in his young-adult life in "middle-of-nowhere," Tennessee. He talks about overcoming bullying, dreams of being a Dollywood performer, and his time being a brand rep at Abercrombie. Towards the end of the episode, @adammperry talks about how he went from carrying Broadway Playbills, to carrying 50 pound bags of mulch with the thoughts that his career might be over. If you want to get the whole story, tune in to the episode and get to know Adam Perry. 

www.builtforthestage.com

BROADWAY: Wicked A Chorus Line Promises, Promises Anything Goes Nice Work If You Can Get It Rocky Frozen

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#5 - Barbara Jo Bednarczuk - MY FAIR LADY

@barbara_jo inspires us with the constant pursuit of her best. She shares huge road blocks that would have derailed most. But, through her values of respect, discipline, as well as showing up early and prepared, she finds herself performing in her second Broadway show while sharing the stage with Patti LuPone and now Laura Benanti and Norbert Leo Butz. Enjoy this episode with the talented, well-grounded, and genuinely lovely, Barbara Jo Bednarczuk.

www.builtforthestage.com

BROADWAY: War Paint My Fair Lady

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#4 - Blaine Krauss - CHER SHOW

@blainekr talks coffee, dogs, soul food, mounting The Cher Show on Broadway, doing his costume fittings with Bob Mackie, walking his way towards some of the best abs in the business, and much more. He’s into politics so, if you want to support his campaign, give him a follow on Twitter @blainekr ! Enjoy!

www.builtforthestage.com

BROADWAY:

Kinky Boots The Cher Show

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#3 - Sharone Sayegh - THE BAND'S VISIT

@sharonesayegh talks peaks of The Band’s Visit, valleys of struggles in her career, and amazing audition advice for any listeners out there in the biz. She talks about saying she could skate in her audition for The Band’s Visit, when really it should have been more of a, “kinda skate,” response. We talk cultural outlooks in regards to the Middle East and really humanity in general. Sharone also dives into how she grounds herself on a daily basis to keep her moving forward on a path of health and productivity. Enjoy the episode with Sharone Sayegh!

www.builtforthestage.com

www.sharonesayegh.com

BROADWAY: 

Mamma Mia! The Band's Visit

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#2 - Matt Gibson - GYPSY

In this episode we talk with @mrmattgibson about kicking Laura Benanti in Gypsy starring Patti LuPone. Conspiracy theories of Finian’s Rainbow and Toy Story. Matt talks fitness and what keeps him going during the daily grind of being an actor.

www.builtforthestage.com

www.mrmattgibson.com 

BROADWAY: GYPSY

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#1 - Ian Paget - MAMMA MIA / TIKTOK

@ianpaget_ talks Broadway shows, movies, heroes, childhood Invisalign, the fear of possibly getting fired during his Broadway debut, Jay-Z, and a few fitness things here and there. Thanks @ianpaget_ for being on Episode 1! www.builtforthestage.com www.ipaget.com BROADWAY: Mamma Mia! Soul Doctor Leap of Faith

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