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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

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"I'm Watching Him Do Something Neither Of Us Thought Was A Possibility."

Mo Brady

Podcast guest and Broadway Industry Night host Ericka Hunter shares her experience  performing in Miss Saigon along side her brother, Warren.

Ericka Hunter (with her brother, Warren Yang) . Photo: Jenny  Anderson

Ericka Hunter (with her brother, Warren Yang) . Photo: Jenny  Anderson

"As of 2017, the question I am most frequently asked is, 'How crazy is it that you're in a show with your brother?' It's really more of a rhetorical question, but yeah, it's crazy. The question that usually follows: 'Is this your first time doing a show together?,' to which I answer, 'This is Warren's first show. Not just first Broadway show, but his first show ever.' And then I wait for the audible gasp."

"Warren and I grew up in Ottawa, Canada with our older sister Vanessa. Our dad is from China and our mother is Canadian born. When we were growing up, I was off dancing and doing musical theater while Warren's interests lied in gymnastics and martial arts. When we were younger, my sister and I used to train him in the backyard and make him do tricks for our friends. He was our own personal entertainment but his natural ability was insane. He convinced my parents to let him get formal gymnastics training. Before we knew it, he was on the Canadian national team. He later went on to attend Penn State on a gymnastic scholarship before retiring and moving on to a career in advertising. Before Miss Saigon, he was always my 'gymnast brother.'"

"When I found out Miss Saigon would be doing a revival on Broadway, I immediately knew I had to be in that show. After all, my first Broadway show was the revival of Flower Drum Song with Miss Saigon herself, Lea Salonga, and several cast members from the original production; Emily Hsu, Marc Oka, Eric Chan and Robert Tatad. I felt like it was my right of passage. Interestingly enough, the day I was cast in Miss Saigon, they also expressed interest in my 'brother, the world class gymnast.'" 

Ericka Hunter (right, with her brother and parents) Photo: Jenny  Anderson

Ericka Hunter (right, with her brother and parents) Photo: Jenny  Anderson

"Now, I work with my brother everyday in a Broadway show. This is Warren's first show, and at work, I am often referred to as his 'Sister-ger' because naturally, I'm managing his career now. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a little worried at first. Even though I sing and dance for a living, I take my job very seriously and wasn't sure how Warren would fit into 'my' world. At the same time, and as much as I wanted to share every second of this experience with him, I wanted him to have his own journey. Once we got to rehearsal (where Warren would be singing, dancing and acting for the first time), I decided to take a step back and just observe him. Warren was so determined and disciplined, and he never let his frustrations get the best of him. A gift I don't possess. Although his acro abilities got him there, what was most surprising was his dedication to working on his singing and dancing. It was very admirable. He truly is a team player and it's been heartwarming to watch him adapt to the theater environment. I can see how much he loves it."

Ericka and Warren... just a couple of years ago...

Ericka and Warren... just a couple of years ago...

"My role in Miss Saigon is different than I'm used to. I consider myself to be a hard working performer and let's be honest, I like to be in the front and as close to 0 as possible. But in Miss Saigon, many times I'm in the back row and in the corner and sometimes with a mask on. When I'm there, Warren is often in the front and doing his acro specialty and every night I get to watch him. It's so weird, but in those moments I actually feel like I'm up front there with him. It's a bit of an out of body experience. It's also great to see other siblings getting to share a similar experience. Julius and Jason Sermonia are also in Miss Saigon and friends of mine since we were teenagers growing up in Canada."

"To say I'm proud of my brother is a massive understatement. I'm watching him grow and learn and do something neither of us thought was even a possibility. The stars aligned for Warren to have this opportunity, but I strongly believe he will continue to work in this business if it's what he wants. I realize this is such a unique experience, and I find it hard to imagine moving on and not having him by my side or vice versa. But right now, I'm grateful for this moment in time that we will never forget."