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New York, NY
USA

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. 

Q&As

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

Q&A: Brittney Johnson

Nikka Lanzarone

Connect with Brittney

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Brittney's Episode: Playing History on Broadway (#59)

Where are you from? I’m originally from the Washington, D.C. area.

Broadway credits: Motown The Musical, Les Misérables, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? I was in Las Vegas packing up my apartment after Mamma Mia closed there.  My agent called and said he had some bad news. He told me that I hadn’t booked another show I had been in final callbacks for, but that it didn’t matter because I booked Motown! He’s quite the trickster! I don’t remember the rest of the day, I just remember a lot of screaming and jumping up and down from me and then from my mom haha. She was the first person I called!

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? I love BC/EFA. It’s such an amazing cause, and it really pulls us all together for a common goal. It’s also fun because the shows get competitive about raising the most money. When I was in Les Mis, I would knit Eponine hats for us to sell. I should think of something to make for Beautiful!

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? You know, I’m always amazed by how many people it truly takes to run a show. After the show is over, and I’ve changed and hung around for a while, our incredible dressers are still working, and they’re at the theatre long before the actors arrive. Pretty much every department except the orchestra is required to be at the theatre long before the actors. Putting on a successful show is truly a team effort.

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? My mother. She is so strong. She inspires me daily and has always supported and encouraged me.

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be… That’s a tough one. I’m going to say Elizabeth Gilbert. I would love to have a conversation with her about literally anything: the transient nature of love, of life. And definitely discuss Eat, Pray, Love. Wait no! Spike Jonze! I want to dissect the movie Her!

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose… hm…I don’t think I would trade places with anyone. Nobody’s life is perfect, and I’d rather spend a day working on myself than trying to figure out someone else’s problems haha. I’ll say this, if I was Oprah for a day, I would send myself so many gifts!

Tell us a secret. The secret to success in this business is remembering that everything is about relationships, timing, and truly knowing yourself. There is nothing more awkward than auditioning. You walk into a room full of strangers and then basically strip down to your most vulnerable self and bare your soul while they stare at you… It’s weird and often terrifying. But if you accept that it’s an uncomfortable experience and you walk into the room as yourself and not as the “thing” you think they want, you’ll find that you’re a lot happier with your performance. Most importantly, you have to remember that if you walk into an audition well-prepared, and you don’t get the part, it is not a reflection on your talent. It’s simply the timing.