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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: Aléna Watters

Nikka Lanzarone

Connect with Aléna

website | yogasass

Aléna's Episodes: Listener Questions 2013 (#13)/Unedited 2015

Where are you from?I mainly grew up in Colorado Springs, CO

Broadway credits:West Side Story, The Addams Family, Sister Act

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show?  I got a call from my agent, and I think also from the casting director

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community?  Off the top of my head, I really enjoy Broadway Bares with the community coming together to play and create something fun & fabulous while raising money for a great cause; I also enjoy The Broadway Flea Market; it’s fun!  …I’ve never been to Broadway Backwards but I’d like to check it out (and be in it!) since it seems so fun!  Oh!  And it’s not a specific event, but the budding service community and volunteer events with Broadway Serves has been awesome to be a part of, along with getting to work with ASTEP!

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you?  The ability to move and bring joy to others through song and dance and prose…or to be moved and brought so much joy the times when I’m an audience member…there’s just nothing like the energy and excitement of live theatre…it truly can never be exactly the same, so it’s always a special moment in time between cast & audience.  I am also fascinated by members of long running shows who keep things fresh and interesting for themselves and their audiences- I think that’s an awesome skill to develop and so important in keeping the show fun & energized!

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently?  Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts.  Regena Thomashauer has such a unique way of giving women an amazing (re)education of what it is to be a woman, offers tools to lift one another up (instead of the cultural habits of getting together and complaining/tearing others down), and the incredible & unexpected community of sisterhood with women from 18-91 that I have experienced in my time exploring the school programs has been so uplifting, inspiring, and invigorating as a person (and as an entertainer in witnessing so many different women and different walks of life)…incredible, kooky, fun, all out everyday goddess-woman goodness that is just so AWESOME!!!

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be…I would have tea (not a coffee drinker) with…hmm, that’s a hard question!  Yeah, I can’t pick just one…SO a few people who come to mind at the moment are Ellen Degeneres, Meryl Streep, Louise Hay, Barbara Walters, Oprah, Diane Keaton, Stella Resnick, Sera Beak…

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose…at the moment, my friend, Jena la Flamme…maybe Beyonce

To be successful in this business, it takes… drive, passion, patience, awareness, talent, the ability to take regular rejection, continually honing in your skills as an artist through classes and seeing shows that are playing… I think that taking time for other things in life, from time to time, is extremely important- I believe one has to live life to have something to draw from to honestly share on stage.  Building good audition skills is a must (it can be a challenge to calm those nerves sometimes (even and maybe especially after building credits and having expectations of yourself or worrying about expectations of people who know what you can do)…so practice when you can!).  It also is extremely important to have a great work ethic & a good attitude.  If you are an incredible performer with a stinky attitude or are difficult to work with, someone with an awesome attitude (who may be slightly less talented than you, or maybe just as talented as you are) is likely going to be the person people are going to want to work with- and word gets around in this business faster than you might think- so work on consciously choosing to be pleasant to work with, even on cranky days!

Tell us a secret. I get super nervous auditioning for people I know/who have cast me in something.  I get this rush of energy down my arms & my hands/fingers start to feel almost stuck!  It’s terrifying when it happens and sometimes it can be heard in my voice, which is so annoying!  Also, when I’m in a show and I know I have friends or colleagues, whose opinions matter to me, out there watching me, I tend to sweat profusely.  Yep.  It’s hot…literally. ;p

Also, it’s a dream of mine to be the leading lady voice of an animated movie musical!