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New York, NY

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. 


Connect with each of our guests as they tackle The Ensemblist's Q&A!

Q&A: Leah Hofmann

Nikka Lanzarone

Connect with Leah

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Leah's Episode: Ensemblists in Plays (#33)

Where are you from? St. Louis, Missouri.

Broadway credits: Joey/Topthorn in War Horse, Ensemble (including Elephant Butt) in Big Fish.

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? I looked at my phone at the end of a Tom Burke vocal class, and I saw two missed calls and messages from my agent. Even after a month of waiting and weeks of correspondence with casting, I somehow knew the messages would hold my answer: yes or no. My friends in class stayed close to listen, and I asked Tom, my mentor as well, to be near as I played the messages: the first was “elevator/holding” music (So I knew they had called and hung right away.) The second was my agent saying, “Call us back. We have great neewwwwsss.”

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? I always enjoy attending performances of pre-Broadway workshops. First of all, you are honored to be there and thankful you nabbed a coveted seat. Secondly, as you sit next to Broadway producers, directors, actors alike, there is a rush excitement with any new piece of theater: where will the show go next?? what will change?? which one of your immensely talented friends in the cast will rise to stardom?? 

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? The never-ending, always expanding talent of performers fascinates me. No matter how demanding a certain role can be, it still only taps into a fraction of the actor’s full potential as an artist. I always love hearing of actors who have full careers in other avenues: baking, sewing, designing, personal training, writing, physical therapy, etc. We are quite a creative, eclectic bunch.

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? Whether attending the Charles James exhibit at the Met or modeling for my stylist friend George Brescia, I also find inspiration in the world of fashion. As Stanley Tucci remarks in Devil Wears Prada, “…what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it.”

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be… Baz Lurhmann (and can I include his wife/production designer Catherine Martin?) I am always a huge fan of their attention to detail and mode of storytelling through various art forms. Moulin Rouge is hands down my favorite movie to date.

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose… Any of the Matildas. I still have dreams of playing that part, but it would take a very creative director. 

To be successful in this business, it takes… Of course, a career in this business requires perseverance, patience and motivation, but more than ever it takes Respect. Adorn a sense of humility, and respect everyone around you and what they bring to the community. I’ve learned this first-handedly from working with Susan Stroman, who is the epitome of class and respect. She values the importance of greeting everyone in the room by name, no matter if they are the star of the show or the hard-working stagehand who moves the stairs at the end of act one. We are all working together to create a bigger story.

Tell us a secret. I went to kindergarten twice.