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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: MaryAnn Hu

Jackson Cline

Connect with MaryAnn

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MaryAnn's Episode: South Pacific (#77)

Where are you from? Los Angeles, CA

Broadway credits: The King and I (2016), South PacificMiss Saigon

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? I was in the national tour of Miss Saigon visiting the NY company, and I knew a spot was going to be available but hadn't heard anything. During my visit, everyone kept congratulating me and saying "welcome," but it made me uncomfortable because I hadn't officially been offered anything, so it was slightly strange. Seemed like everyone was in on something I wasn't. I was actually probably one of the last people to know or find out this information.

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? The gypsy run or dress rehearsal of show/Actors Fund Performance, when you perform the show mostly for your peers.   They are a different kind of audience and there's a different kind of electricity and excitement in the air.

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? It's a conversation I've had with my husband a lot about art and the idea that art wasn't meant to be recreated or repeated over and over again. Yet, as artists in the theatre community, we perform the show 8 times a week. So it's fascinating for me to come at it from a different perspective than I did when I was much younger - performing the show as I learned it, as opposed to approaching each performance from a beginner's mindset and setting sail on a new journey each time.

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? Outside of theatre, I also do improv comedy and study sketch writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade. I perform with a team called Baby Grand, and we do an improvised musical. The friends I have made there inspire me so much. Improvisers are FEARLESS, and that inspires me!

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be... Barack Obama.

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose... Roger Federer.

To be successful in this business, it takes... Well, that's a deeper discussion... it all depends on what your definition of success is. I once thought it was landing the jobs, being on Broadway, etc. That whole paradigm has shifted for me now. I think to be successful in anything, you first have to succeed at being a human being. Have a life and be a fulfilled person outside of what we do as our jobs. That's not to say be perfect, by any means, just be human... try, fail and learn from the wealth of our experiences. There's so much to be mined from our day-to-day living that is useful in our art and real life.

Tell us a secret. Whenever I start a show, I write "Joy" on the mirror of the dressing room in eye pencil or lip pencil (my best friend taught me to do this) to remind me to find the joy in what I do. It gets wiped off when I leave. On my last show, I wrote a little something in the theatre that is hidden - Only I know where to find it. Hopefully I will get back to that theatre again to find my note.