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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. 

Blog

"An Oversized, Crazy Family"

Jackson Cline

Marcus Shane (Mamma Mia!), currently a swing on the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I, celebrates the impressive work of his fellow ensemblists in the second installment of his three-part blog series:


Marcus Shane at the Kennedy Center

Marcus Shane at the Kennedy Center

I’m happy to announce The King and I tour just celebrated our 300th performance as the summer is winding down into fall, my favorite season of the year! It has been a complete whirlwind, and we are at that point where we are getting a lot of cast and crew turnover with a lot of people coming in and out. It’s definitely hard saying goodbye to old friends, but it is so sweet to meet and get to know new faces at the same time. 

Touring is definitely a complex beast on its own. It is both physically and emotionally draining at times, but you look back and realize it has all gone by quite quickly. Sometimes you need to stop, breathe, and take it all in before it flies by, because you might not get another opportunity like this for the rest of your life. I highly recommend that everyone try touring at least one time in their career. I learned a lot about myself on the two tours I have been through. Every city has its own culture and experience, and you really learn to adapt to your new surroundings. I, personally, made the discovery that I’m actually way more self sufficient than I once thought! (I still get lost pretty often, but I think I was born with that problem.)

Heather Botts (Anna Standby), Marcus Shane & Kelli Youngman (Swings)

Heather Botts (Anna Standby), Marcus Shane & Kelli Youngman (Swings)

Another interesting aspect of touring is, unlike Broadway shows, you are with your cast and crew 24/7. You work together, you travel together, you live in the same buildings when you go home. On Broadway, you come together to do your show and then you get to go back to your own apartment and hang out with other friends outside of theatre. Being completely honest, when you are with the same people over and over again in a tour-like situation, there will, of course, be discrepancies and arguments, but that is when you grow and learn about yourself and discover what factors are really important in your life. Tour is nothing more than an oversized, crazy family. We all work hard, play hard, fight hard, but most of all, love each other hard. I wouldn’t trade any of the moments I’ve had for anything! (Except maybe for a Britney Spears front row concert ticket)

Understudies: Darren Lee as the Kralahome & Marcus Shane as Phra Alack

Understudies: Darren Lee as the Kralahome & Marcus Shane as Phra Alack

Well, kiddos, it has been an amazing summer and I’m so glad I’ve been able to share some of The King and I's experiences with you all! We are still traveling the country for another year, so make sure to stop by Siam to say hello! Our next city on the agenda is Orlando, and I CANNOT wait to go buy every Stitch stuffed animal from Disney World! I also want a picture with Moana. Okay, time to pack for the Florida sunshine! Love you, guys!

Take care,

Marcus Shane

The King & I touring company celebrates their 300th performance

The King & I touring company celebrates their 300th performance


Learn more about working on the road by listening to our Life on Tour episode.