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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: Jennifer Dunne

Nikka Lanzarone

Connect with Jenn


Jenn's Episode: Parallel Careers (#45)

Where are you from? Traverse City, MI

Broadway credits: Oklahoma!, Curtains, Chicago

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? Crazy story. I had left the country for a six month European tour of A Chorus Line (after I found out that I didn’t book the Original Cast of Oklahoma!). The tour was cancelled after 2 months and I returned home with no possibility of booking a summer job since auditions had happened while I was gone. I ended up getting the lead in a New York Musical Festival show. No money, but good experience since I had 75% of the lines in the show. A week and a half before the show opened, I went in for an immediate replacement position for Oklahoma!. I got the call from Tara Rubin’s office that I booked it. I was elated. However, it meant I couldn’t continue with the NYMF show. I called that show’s director and explained what happened. Like I said before, I had 75% of the lines! This was a huge problem. His reply was unbelievably deep. He had previously worked a finance job at Cantor Fitzgerald and had been running late to work on Sept. 11, which ultimately saved his life. So as I dropped this crazy news on him, he calmly said, “Jenn, two years ago, I would have responded to this information in a completely different way. But it’s really okay. I am so happy for you, we will figure this out and it will be just fine.” Between not originally getting the show, traveling Europe for 2 months (and kickstarting starting my lifelong hobby of learning languages), then coming back to the show I always wanted, it really taught me a lesson. Things will happen when they are supposed to happen. Put your best foot forward and just enjoy the journey.

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? I’m breaking the rules and giving you two. I love Gypsy of the Year and what it represents within the community. It feels like a Broadway class reunion…but for a good cause. I also love Broadway Bares. I had a friend that needed an immediate replacement in a number she was choreographing for Bares a few years back. I had never seen it and suddenly I was IN IT. I’m so grateful that happened. Jerry Mitchell, his directors, and choreographers have such heart. It goes far beyond a hot show featuring the talents of Broadway. When you are in it, there is such pride and energy towards what the cause really means to him and those that receive the funds raised. For the past two years, I have participated as a dancer but also a photographic retoucher for all the promotional images on the posters and website. It feels good to put my abilities into use on all fronts.

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? The fact that no matter how many times I’ve been to the theatre, I still get a chill of excitement when the orchestra starts playing the Overture before the curtain rises.

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? My second job as a retoucher inspires me. I have a boss, Rob Kearney, at Gloss Studio that always pushes our team to reach the best quality possible and explore new techniques to further ourselves. The end result always proves that it was worth the hard work. Plus, my team is hilarious and we laugh a ton while working.

- My fiance, Booth, inspires me. Yes, cause he’s nice, but I’m talking about him as a video editor!! I’m fascinated at how he pieces footage together into a cohesive storyline with great music and graphics. It makes me want to keep learning other Adobe programs so I can do stuff like that.

- 30 for 30 films by ESPN. I’m obsessed with them.

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be… Oof! There are so many interesting people in this world, how can I choose? One, John Lasseter, because he’s AWESOME! If not John, Angelina Jolie. I’m intrigued by how a Hollywood actress at the peak of her career takes such commitment into the humanitarian realm. She has been with the UNHCR for almost 14 years and continues to expand her contributions to the world.  She has managed to successfully use her celebrity status as a vehicle to impart very important world and health issues to a general public that may not have paid attention to it before. I’m inspired by her ability to do this.

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose… An astronaut in space. Hello!?! It’s space!!

To be successful in this business, it takes… Massive dedication to never give someone a reason to say ‘no’ and the ability to let it go if they don’t. Control what is controllable, let go what isn’t.

Tell us a secret. Did you hear it?…I whispered it veeeery quietly. No? Oh. Too bad for you.