Being back in New York after almost five years in Los Angeles pursuing sitcoms and TV work, I definitely have a different perspective on what it means to be on Broadway. Not that I ever took it for granted because every time I walked thru my stage door, I always knew I was lucky to be buzzed in, but when I decided to come back to New York I was really conflicted.
When people asked what I was doing back, I’d proudly say, “I’m doing this funny new Broadway show called Gettin’ the Band Back Together, but when they asked what part I’d be playing, that’s where I hesitated.
Let’s back track a bit. After sixteen years of me pounding the pavement in the ensemble of seven Broadway shows, then finally being cast as "Lily St. Regis" in the revival of Annie, I felt I had accomplished a huge feat. I made it out of the ensemble and was taken seriously as a lead. Now, almost five years later, I come back to Broadway, but back in the chorus. Why was I so embarrassed to say it out loud? I don’t mean to judge others who are in the chorus because if anyone understands how talented you need to be in the chorus, it was me! Yet, I still had such reservations about admitting that, although I had made it out, I was going back.
I guess that was the problem right there. I literally thought of ensemble as “the back," "behind" and "covered," not in front. I guess struggling for five years in LA trying to get “seen,” I felt I was letting myself down. But when I got the offer for Gettin' the Band Back Together, I had to check myself and ask the question, if I am doing what I love to do, making people laugh with whatever talents I have, isn't that where I should be? Regardless of the title or contract color?
That leads me to what my show What I Did for... a Job, coming up at Feinstein’s/54 Below on September 5th, is about. Following the work, the laughter and the love. It's actually a collection of all my comedic audition pieces that booked me my nine Broadway shows. It's a celebration of the journey of an ensemblist and that you never know where the work will take you, but as long as you are doing what you love, who cares if the contract is pink or white. Do what you love, follow the work, check your ego and be grateful. Who knows, one day you just might get the Legacy Robe at the Belasco Theatre and bawling like a little kid running around clockwise on the stage in your specialty made LaDucas thinking, " I can't believe I play a Grandma in this show."