Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
The summer after seventh grade I signed up for a summer camp that was doing High School Musical. The reason I wanted to start acting was because I wanted to be a famous actor (I had no idea how anything worked hahaha). We got to rehearsals and I ended up being Ryan, a rather large character, and had the time of my life. That’s when the theatre bug bit me. I was hooked and started being in as many productions as I could manage while taking voice and dance lessons.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
Everyone says it, “be kind to everyone in this business”. Music Theatre is such a small world where everyone knows everyone and you never know what other connections they might have that could help or hurt you. I have gotten half of my professional jobs because of connections. Yes, talent plays a role but the connection is what really pushes you to the front of the headshot pile. Everyone is talented in this business, there are tons of people who are more experienced than you, what is going to get you the job is having people want to work with you because of your personality and positive attitude.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
Oh man. I’v lived through more than I can count. One that still makes me smile was when I worked as a performer at Six Flags St. Louis. We did six shows a day for over two months so things went wrong all the time. We had this one show outside on the porch of the main theater every night and I had one of the solos. While I was rocking out downstage I noticed all of the audience started pointing and laughing at something behind me. I tried to act like nothing was happening so I didn’t look. Then I started hearing screams but I’m still performing my song to the audience. I went the whole rest of the show without really knowing what happened only to find out later that a skunk had been running across the stage through all of the dancers while I was singing. After causing a stir onstage he then ran into the lobby of the theater where my supervisors spent the rest of the show tying to get him out while not getting sprayed.
Q: What is your dream role/show?
I have two.
Jack in Into the Woods
Boq in Wicked
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
I watch a lot of Family Guy. Im about to have a LOT of time on the bus and planes during my 91 city tour though so I have a long list of shows to watch. Starting Game of Thrones is definitely a priority.
Thank you Troyer!! You are a joy to work with 🙂
Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator.
See her work at gracemaustin.com