A few days ago I went in search of theatre podcasts. My father listens to podcasts often and tends to suggest certain ones to me. On my flight from San Diego to Minneapolis, I decided to listen to a few American Theatre Wing Podcasts and jot down some notes. For those of you who enjoy learning about the back stories of actors, I would suggest listening to some of these. Below are some key lines that I hope you enjoy.
American Theatre Wing: Downstage Center with Christian Borle and Will Chase
May 2012, Episode #339
Christian Borle and Will Chase were co-stars on the NBC series “Smash”. Although the show has been cancelled it ran for two seasons and pulled high rankings (at least in the beginning). This podcasts was filled with lots of laughs between friends explaining the different between theatre and film. It should be noted I fell in love with Christian Borle in “Peter and the Starcatcher“. My sister and I laughed so hard at all of his choices. It was pure joy.
*In theatre you are constantly worried about your voice. – Will Chase (WC)
*With TV you get to do it over and over and over if you want. – WC
*Theatre is A to Z every night. – WC
*TV work is Deluxe with a capital D. – Christian Borle (CB)
*Weekends off for TV. In the theatre, when everyone goes away for the weekend or holidays, we are there. It’s busier for us. – CB
*Every day there is a new problem to solve. It is incredibly collaborative. (speaking about TV) – CB
*The two man show I was in “Story of my Life” ran for four days. After two weeks of previews. –WC
*There’s no magic formula for what’s a hit and what’s not. – CB
*It’s a miracle that any Broadway show goes up anyways. There’s always a million cooks in the kitchen. – WC
*When I was in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, we thought it would be great but then people came to see it and we realized it wasn’t going to work. – CB
*Sometimes we sit at home and watch the show (Smash). – WC
*If I have an acting philosophy it is that I try to be believable and try to be entertaining. – CB
*Theatre is a growing thing. You can go home at night and think about it and tweek it. For TV its over and done after that day. – CB
*A dream role of mine would be to play Billy Bigelow from “Carousel”. – WC
*What advice would you tell people who are new in the industry? Hustle. The hustle never stops. Be prepared. –WC
American Theatre Wing: Downstage Center with Andrew Rannells
February 2012 Episode #331
This interview took place during the seventh month of “The Book of Mormon”. Topics include the process of the show, religion and more. When I saw him in the show I died listening to him sing. What a dream!
*Josh Gad (co-star) and I are pranksters which can be dangerous. I will subtly try to hold Josh’s hand sometimes or touch his hair on stage when others can’t see. It’s totally juvenile but it keeps it fresh.
*The creative team for the show took into account our skill set when they were writing the script. Keys were adjusted for me. I felt honored to work for the group because they paid attention to us.
*In the past I did “Hairspray” and “Jersey Boys” a few years into each of their runs. I had the advantage of knowing the show but the disadvantage of taking over someone else’s role.
*When we first started “The Book of Mormon” it was a love fest every night. The Mormon people who come have a problem with the language but the overall message is pretty positive about faith. We haven’t really had any major backlash from anyone. It’s been surprising for us.
*When Oprah came that was a pretty major event. A big one for me was when Jim Carey came. During the curtain call he gave me a double thumbs up and I just about peed my pants.
*When preparing for the role, I wanted to meet with some missionaries in Omaha and New York. The guys were 19 and 20 and there was no humor at all. They were really on a mission and their spirit was genuine. I somewhat felt guilty because I was going to do my research. They took it all (Mormonism) at face value so that helped me figure out my character.
*We have a former missionary in our cast. He went to BYU and then on a two year mission. There are lots of showbiz Mormons.
*My career started in high school with voiceovers and I continued to do that through college. I was lucky enough to grow up near a Children’s Theater where I took classes starting around age 9. A few years later I watched a Tony Awards and knew that’s what I wanted to do. Then I watched “Into the Woods” on PBS and that sealed the deal. Much to my surprise and relief, my family supported me. They never once doubted that I could do it. I was never made to feel like it wasn’t a possibility to be an actor.
*If he wasn’t an actor he might be a news anchor because he feels like he has the hair for it.
You can find both of these podcasts and more on the American Theatre Wings website or by searching on iTunes.