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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

Life Outside The Comfort Zone.

Mo Brady

by Reed Luplau

Reed Luplau (right, with Charlie Williams) (Photo by Andrew Mayer)

Reed Luplau (right, with Charlie Williams) (Photo by Andrew Mayer)

When an opportunity comes your way that requests you step outside of your comfort zone, what do you do? You could ignore it. That would be too easy. Or, you could say yes to the unknown and see where that path will take you. As a performer, I love doing what I do. I always have, and I always will. But like most performers, I am constantly searching for ways to grow as an artist and feed my artistic appetite.

In comparison to most careers, an artist's is short. As a result we are often perceived of as being of the moment. Well, this is one of those moments for me.

Reed Luplau

Reed Luplau

Ever since I was a little kid, I have had a passion for film, specifically dance in film. You can ask anyone in my family and they’d tell you the same. My Nanna and I would sit down and watch VHS tapes of classics like Singin’ in the Rain and Anchors Aweigh over and over again. I was so completely captivated by Gene Kelly and what he could do. I couldn’t get enough of him. I was so inspired that I moved across the world in pursuit of a dream. Now, I am finally putting those two worlds together for the world to see.

During Moulin Rouge this past summer, I had the honor of working with our uniquely talented Musical Supervisor, Justin Levine. Justin is a rare talent in that not only is his voice phenomenal and his musical abilities out of this world, but he is also a super sweet human being. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate him than to create a short film around his music. When he played “Love is Loud” for me, I instantly fell in love. Immediately, I began envisioning a creation of my own that fused with his melody. But to really make this happen, I had to nail it down to a location, a time and accept the realities of my nonexistent budget.

The story is simple. A man finds a Hallmark greeting card on the street corner. Intrigued by the card, he reads it and happens to find an attractive man staring at him from across the street. I don’t want to give too much away, but ultimately it touches on how each and everyone one of us constantly tries to fit into a relationship, being shaped into a mould of someone else’s design, all in the epic search of love.

Josh Drake and Reed Luplau (Photo by Andrew Mayer)

Josh Drake and Reed Luplau (Photo by Andrew Mayer)

My friend and colleague from The Great Comet, Andrew Mayer, loves to film. I knew that together we could create something artistic, touching and heartfelt. We worked hard to gracefully compose our imagery as elegantly as Justin did. Andrew has a great eye for storytelling through the lens of a camera. I had the images. Collaborating with Andrew was exciting. Between my visions and his perspective, we captured something on camera that Nanna would be proud of.

Writing this makes it sound like it was an easy experience. Don’t be fooled. We had our battles. Filming in New York City is no party. Midday overexposed light, frigid winter temperatures and don’t forget the fact that 8.6 million people live in this city. But we survived. I had the best cast. Despite my shallow pockets, they said YES. They believed in me. They believed in this project. I cannot thank them enough for their time, artistic contributions and support. It is because of all of them that I am blessed to share with you now what those countless hours of work and editing have created.

So take a peak at what life is like outside of that comfort zone. May “Love” always be “Loud” for you.

Holly James, James Brown III and Reed Luplau (Photo by Andrew Mayer)

Holly James, James Brown III and Reed Luplau (Photo by Andrew Mayer)