BWW Interview: Irish Rep's William Bellamy on Finding His Second Home and The Enchantment of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER
This summer, Irish Rep is bringing the beauty and wonder of one of Broadway's most captivating musicals, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever back to New York City. With music by Burton Lane, theatergoers can soak up the magical score comprised of classics such as "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?" as well as the title song "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" - among countless others.
BroadwayWorld recently caught up with ensemble and chorus member, William Bellamy, who covers multiple roles in the production, about the unforgettable score; how he finds balance in playing numerous parts on stage; and uncovering his past self.
How have performances been going so far? You've performed quite a bit at Irish Rep in past shows such as Finian's Rainbow & The Emperor Jones - does it feel like a second home?
It's been such a whirlwind - it's been so exciting and we can't wait to share! It's been such a gift to perform here and find a second family. It's so special to have built these relationships and bonds here at the Irish Rep. I've performed in over 180 performances on that stage over the past year - it hit me in our first preview. It feels so comforting to discover who you are as a person and as an artist in this community.
The music of the show is so breathtaking! What would you say resonates the most with you about the legendary score?
As a singer, it's everything you want! It allows you to use all of your tools and the full range of your voice. The music is so grand and beautiful and I'm able to pull from every skill that I have. Our music director, John Bell, is so passionate about the music and has given us a gift to go in and explore! It's amazing and makes me so excited to get up there every night.
Being a smaller cast, can you describe your experience taking on multiple roles, as well as being part of the chorus - any secrets for finding the balance?
I think the real secret is just to have fun! Through experience, you cultivate the skills of wearing multiple hats, but the part that makes it work is to live in the moment and have a good time. While it's about the end result, it's also about the big picture. I've been able to weave my own way and feel grateful to Charlotte [Moore], John [Bell], and the whole team for allowing me to be me. It all comes down to this environment that has provided the keys to success!
What lessons of the show do you think still ring true in 2018?
I think the title song is so profound - for everyone to figure out what their "clear day" is - among the chaos of the world. This message is so deep, because it's about finding your utopia. While pain and loss will always be present, it is possible to find a world more loving, accepting, and diverse. We need to fight for our happiness. I hope that others look at the feminist aspects of the show and the confines that people lived in and take some time to reflect on where we are today. It's important to ask ourselves the big questions.
If you could connect to your past self, who do you think that person would be?
I think I was a killer whale in a past life (laughs)! I've always thought that it was someone who was really big on community. I thrive on having a strong foundation of family and friends and being connected. Killer whales travel in groups and have a great sense of community - I'm convinced that was me in a past life!
Like in the show, Daisy realizes how important it is to know who you are - it makes her realize that she didn't know at the top of the show. She is a person with dignity and dreams and goals - - this situation has shaken it out of her. I connect with that and it propels me to be a better person, artist, and family member!
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever will open on Thursday, June 28th and is scheduled to run through August 12th. Visit https://irishrep.org/ for more.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg