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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

"The Opportunity to Spread Our Wings."

Mo Brady

by Aisha Jackson

 Aisha Jackson

Aisha Jackson

I LOVE TO SING! Let’s just start there. I jump at the opportunity to utilize my gifts to transport people to another place, bring them joy, or make them feel inspired. I also LOOOOVE to remix songs. You should hear Alyssa Fox and I in our dressing room, every night, at Frozen. We have a rewrite for almost every note in the score. (Don’t tell Stephen…or Bobby…or Kristen!)

In musical theatre, we usually have to sing the score in a certain style or genre. Thus, we don’t always get the platform to sing exactly how we want to. Don’t get me wrong, we get to belt it out and mix it up sometimes, but we don’t always get complete creative freedom. When we walk into a rehearsal room, the music director for the show usually has a certain way he or she desires for the music to be sung. Very rarely do we get to option up, add a riff, or switch the tune up a bit. Rightfully so; the music written for the show is already beautiful, and sometimes our remixes can take away from the story line.

Broadway Sings, however, gives us the opportunity to spread our wings, get our creative juices flowing, and make some of the greatest hits of all time uniquely ours. It challenges us to cook up new versions of these songs that we hope are just as fierce as the original. Luckily, we don’t have to face this challenge alone: the great Corey Mach and Joshua Stephen Kartes have a work session with each of the performers to throw around ideas for how we’d like to mix things up. We can choose the style, tempo, key, and put in as many riffs as we please! Together, we work our magic to solidify the structure and flow of the song, then we go our separate ways until the band rehearsal. During rehearsal with the band, we get to hear the genius arrangements that Mr. Kartes creates for the 14-piece orchestra (he is absolutely magnificent!). We jam out and put the finishing touches on our song. Finally, we have a sound check the day of the concert and reveal our new pieces to the world that night!! 

I love being a part of these concerts because they give me the chance to explore different parts of my voice and be unapologetically ME! I’m super excited to perform at my second Broadway Sings concert next week and I cannot wait to shake things up with my very own version of Kelly Clarkson’s "Since U Been Gone.”