It looks like three really is the magic number. For Master Chat Mag‘s third interview, I got to ask the one and only Shoshana Bean three questions. Don’t get me wrong, trying to come up with only three questions to ask such a talent who has such an amazing career (starring on Broadway as Elphaba in Wicked, recording artist extraordinaire, Independent Music Award winner, composer and lyricist of Dear John Mayer, etc.) isn’t easy. I hope you get as much information out of this mini interview as I did…Enjoy!
MC: Can you describe the highs and lows of your journey to Broadway?
SB: I’d say the highs were every time I’d land a job and get the opportunity to work! The lows were every time I did not. Like I remember just KNOWING Mama Mia was going to be my Broadway debut. I went through the whole audition process for days on end. I just knew I was in. And I didn’t get it and it wrecked me. But then when I got Hairspray – it was such an amazing moment…I knew that I was indeed in the right ‘first’ show. I had some lows working at Cornell Medical College, or in restaurants. Your soul dies a little when you have to do things to stay afloat that don’t make your soul sing! Literally. So those in between times were rough. My greatest high was the Hairspray experience, from beginning to even present day. We created such an amazing family that is still close 10 years later. It’s still my highest high!
Elphaba has become a role that many girls into musical theater dream of playing! Can you explain what it was like to play such a coveted role and how it helped you grow as a performer?
It was a great challenge and a lot of hard work. And quite an honor as well. To be entrusted with such a difficult and iconic role, I was extremely humbled and often wondered if I really even deserved it. It helped me become a stronger performer with greater strength and endurance. Like an athlete. It stretched my vocal and acting abilities and created in me a discipline that I carry into all other aspects of my work. The great thing about the role is that it’s so complex, there was and is always more learn and experiment with and discover, and it allowed me the ability to make things new every night. To keep rediscovering my character and the characters and the world around me within the show. Also taught me how to be a lead off-stage as well, to the company of performers and crew as well as to the fans.
What’s your advice for aspiring Broadway performers?
Hard work and perseverance. Learn as much as you can, soak up all the info and create opportunities for yourself. Stay focused on the ultimate goal and do things every day that aid you in getting closer. Educate yourself, prepare and when preparedness meets opportunity…that’s when magic happens! ♦