BWW Interview: IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU Cast Reveals Where Their Love of Theatre Began
Screen Actors Guild Foundation and Broadway World have partnered for a filmed Conversations Q&A series to recognize and celebrate the vibrant theatre community in New York City and the actors who aspire to have a career on the stage and screen. Richard Ridge of "Backstage with Richard Ridge" recently sat down with It Shoulda Been You cast members Sierra Boggess, David Burtka, Montego Glover, Harriet Harris, Lisa Howard, and Chip Zien to discuss how each of them got involved in the show, what it's like working with David Hyde Pierce, and much more.
Check out a sneak peek of the interview below in which the cast discuss how each of them first developed their love of performing. Check back Sunday morning to watch the full interview!
Where did your love for performing begin and what were your early creative outlets for each of you?
Chip Zien: Well, for me, I was a boy soprano. I had a magnificent boy soprano voice. And I went to camp in Hayward, Wisconsin - probably all of you have been there, it's the logrolling capital of the world. And I was very fortunate to play the lead in all those shows. I was Lola in Damn Yankees, I was Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, and then I was Eliza in My Fair Lady. And then, my mom made a phone call. She was furious - he was going to camp - it was a rugged camp, as you can well imagine, since I was there - and she said, "Shouldn't he be out on a canoe trip or camping, actually, as opposed to 'camping' by wearing a wig and a dress." Never made that connection. But, that's how I started. And I could sing. I don't know what happened. So, that was my start.
David Burtka: I would do lots of shows with the neighborhood kids - puppet shows, and we would put on costumes - my grandma would make tons of costumes in a big bin. And then, as I got a little older in like, middle school, my dad was an educator for mentally and physically handicapped kids, and every summer he'd teach the summer program. So my friends would get together, and we'd put on the most elaborate plays and musicals and sing and dance. And we would perform them for these handicapped kids. I mean, they had no idea what we were doing, but we had a lot of fun. So that was my outlet for it.
Montego Glover: I started studying acting when I was 12. I had the great privilege of going to an incredible school, and fell in love with the classics. We were doing them, recreating them. I was a 12 year old with other 12 year olds who were very serious artists and we put up our plays and we loved it. I remember one time in school, like my second or third year in the program, we were taking bows, we had done Beauty and the Beast and recreated it. We were so proud of it. We did all the costumes and the sets and the makeup designs, and we were taking our company bow, and we did the upsweep, and all of our teachers and parents were out there and they were applauding. And I was holding the hands of my cast members, and I remember thinking, "I'm so happy right now. This is what I want to do."
Sierra Boggess: I just liked being in front of people. I was an ice skater for ten years, and I would do competitions and stuff. I always sang and things with my sisters, but I discovered loving being in front of people by performing through ice skating. And that sport is so expensive, so we had to stop. And then I guess the natural place to put me was in an acting class, so that's where I went. And I loved it because then everyone had to listen when I talked or sang.
Lisa Howard: I would sit in front of our record player and listen to show albums - The Sound of Music and Annie - and I would just sing and sing and sing, and my brothers were so annoyed at me. And I got the solos in the Christmas pageants and things like that, and someone said to my mom, "Maybe you should get her voice lessons." This was fifth or sixth grade. So I did that, and then I really started and found a love of performing because I did show choir, which was very big in Ohio. I'm from Akron, Ohio. And I did show choir, and so I learned how to sing and dance and smile. I was in the ETC All-American Youth Show Choir, and we had a whole week-long workshop in the summer, and you learned how to sing and dance and smile and that's where that love started. And then I did my high school shows and things like that, but that's how I began.
Harriet Harris: I began to overcome shyness. I was sent to a theatre school. It was tough love. It really was some of my mother's friends just said, "Eleanor, your daughter, she's just backward. She is not going to get anywhere like this." Because in the town where I grew up, everyone was very social. And I was - I'm fairly reserved when I'm not doing the thing I do. I like a context, you know, I think rehearsal provides a context, a show provides a context. I love amusing people, and I love putting stories out in front of people and communicating that way. So from that six year old trying to learn how to relate to people, it's been a great way, it's been a great avenue and probably the best course my life could have taken. Although I think I would have been a good florist, too.
HARRIET HARRIS (Georgette Howard). Broadway: Madame, the wicked step-mother, in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Present Laughter, Cry-Baby: The Musical, Old Acquaintance, Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Featured Actress in a Musical) and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Encores!: Little Me. Off-Broadway: Standing on Ceremony; Yeast Nation; Jeffrey (Drama Desk nomination), Bella, Belle of Byelorussia (Drama Desk nomination). Film: Love Is Strange, Memento, Nurse Betty, Addams Family Values. TV: "Desperate Housewives" as Felicia Tilman, "Frasier" as Bebe Glazer. Member of the Acting Company, AEA. www.HarrietHarrisActress.com. Twitter: @msharrietharris LISA HOWARD (Jenny Steinberg) is thrilled to have originated her role of Jenny Steinberg in the George Streetproduction,and to now bring it to Broadway. Broadway: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, 9 to 5, South Pacific, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Drama Desk Award winner). National tour: LES MISERABLES. Regional theatre: Pitt Civic Light Opera, St. Louis Muny, Olney Theatre Center, Kansas City Starlight. Film and TV: Siobahn in the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, "Ugly Betty." Her debut solo CD, Songs of Innocence and Experience, is available on iTunes. Graduate, CCM. Thanks to my boys M, L and A. www.lisahowardnyc.com Twitter: @lisahowardnyc SIERRA BOGGESS (Rebecca Steinberg). Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera, Master Class, The Little Mermaid (Drama Desk and Drama League noms.). London: LES MISERABLES, The Phantom of the Opera (Royal Albert Hall), Love Never Dies (Olivier Award nom.). Other NY credits: Guys and Dolls (Carnegie Hall); Love, Loss, and What I Wore; and Music in the Air (Encores!). Recordings include the 25th anniversary concert of The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, The Little Mermaid and A Little Princess. Concert appearances include the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center's American Songbook, New York Pops and 54 Below, which resulted in her album Awakening: Live at 54 Below. DAVID BURTKA (Brian Howard) . Broadway: Gypsy (Fred Astaire nomination); The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? Off-Broadway: The Play About the Baby (Clarence Derwent Award), Beautiful Thing. Regional: The Opposite of Sex (Williamstown), Rent (Hollywood Bowl), Children of Eden (Paper Mill Playhouse). Film: Dance-Off, Annie and the Gypsy, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, 24 Nights, Hollywood Ending. TV: "American Horror Story: Freak Show," "How I Met Your Mother," "Crossing Jordan," "CSI: NY," "On the Lot," "The West Wing," "Neil's Puppet Dreams." Education: University of Michigan, William Esper Studios, Le Corden Bleu. Thank you Neil, Harper and Gideon. MONTEGO GLOVER (Annie Shepard). Tony and Drama League Award nominee, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for Memphis (Felicia Farrell). Broadway: The Color Purple. Regional includes The Royale (San Diego Critics nom.), Aida (IRNE Award), Once on This Island (Helen Hayes nom.). TV: "The Following," "Black Box," "Hostages," "Smash," "The Good Wife," among others. Concerts: NY Pops, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Philadelphia Symphony, Atlanta Symphony. Artists' Committee for Kennedy Center Honors, NY Pops Ambassador.www.MontegoGlover.com Twitter @MontegoGlover CHIP ZIEN (Murray Steinberg) created the roles of the Baker in Sondheim/Lapine's acclaimed Into the Woods and Mendel in Finn/Lapine's award-winning Falsettos. Other (partial) Broadway: The Big Knife, The People in the Picture, The Country Girl, Thénardier in LES MISERABLES, Grand Hotel. (Partial) Off-Broadway: Hot L Baltimore, Isn't It Romantic, A New Brain. Mr. Zien starred in the La Jolla reworking of Merrily We Roll Along. TV (regular): "The Caroline Rhea Show," "Almost Perfect," "Now and Again," "Deadline," "Shell Game," "Love, Sidney" and the recently completed "Crime" for HBO. Book writer: The History of War (NYMF), The Little Immigrant (Barrington Stage).