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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

"Just Relax and Hold On."

Mo Brady

by Fredric Odgaard

 Fredric Odgaard

Fredric Odgaard

I’m sure I’m not the first person to experience the sensation of coming back to a show that you’ve left. Actually, I know I’m not. I sit in a dressing room at Kinky Boots with six other people that have done the exact same thing that I just did on Tuesday night. I’m talking about what it’s like to take some time away from a show to do another show, take a much needed break, or, in my case, rehearse and perform in the pre-Broadway tryout of Moulin Rouge.

Without even skipping a beat, I found myself back on stage doing movement that I haven’t thought about in FOUR months. This has never happened to me, and I was in full nervous breakdown mode in my kitchen the night before trying desperately to remember choreography. You would have sat back and laughed your butt off. I know my fiancé sure did.

The day of my first show back, I made a meaningless post on Instagram saying something to the effect of “Can you see the fear in my eyes!?” I’ll admit it was about 50 percent a joke and 50 percent very much a real emotion. I have never felt so out-of-body in my career. I was also so in awe of my body and the reality of muscle memory. It’s a very real thing. My friend in the show explained it like this - “It’s like your brain is a monkey riding a bike backwards, headed right for a cliff, and your body is smoking a cigarette staring you dead in the face like - ‘I got this boy, just relax and hold on.’”

Overall, the transition back was pretty seamless. I settled into the same routine and the same timing I was used to. It was a little like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” once I finally gave in and let my body do the work. Now, it’s like I never truly left. I’m so happy I have a show like Kinky Boots to come back to after being gone for four months. Moulin Rouge was an amazing experience and such a monumental task, but that’s a story for another time. It was so perfect coming back to a show that was so familiar, just like seeing a friend you haven’t seen in years and picking up right where you left off.

 Fredric Odgaard (second from right) and the cast of  Kinky Boots

Fredric Odgaard (second from right) and the cast of Kinky Boots