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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: Charissa Bertels

Jackson Cline

Connect with Charissa

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Charissa's Episode: Encores (#67)

Where are you from? Manhattan, KS (The Little Apple - haha)

Broadway credits: A Christmas Story

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? I didn't have an agent at the time, and after 4 days of callbacks I got a call saying that they didn't have a theatre yet so they couldn't officially tell me anything (wink, wink), but they were very interested in me, and if I got any other offers, I should call them first. I got off the phone and started screaming and jumping up and down. I said to my husband, James, "I think I just booked my first Broadway show!" Then I called my mom and said, "Mom, I just booked my first Broadway show! Can you believe it?" and she said, "Yes, of course I can," which is the perfect thing to say. 

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? I love the Broadway Flea Market. I think it's so fun to wander the stalls and travel through Shubert Alley and think about the history and all of the people who love Broadway and what it means to New York City. And it's for an awesome cause, so what's not to love?

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? I'm fascinated by the amount of money and resources it takes to risk it all and put on a Broadway show. It's completely insane! And yet, when it works, it's magic. It can only be pursued by people with great passion, and I love people like that.

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? I've been inspired by the ability of people to have hope and love in spite of terrible circumstances. The strength and resiliency of the human spirit is truly incredible.

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be... Elizabeth Warren. She's smart and strong, and I think if my life had gone differently, I might be like her so it would be fun to meet her.

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose... Misty Copeland. Even dancing like that for 5 minutes would be amazing!

To be successful in this business, it takes... the right constitution. A friend of mine said that to me once, "You have the constitution for it," and I think she's right. It's a combination of psychological strength, determination, and belief in yourself regardless of the inevitable obstacles.

Tell us a secret. I wish I were an Olympic gymnast or figure skater - I mean, they fly through the air! It's awesome!