Page: 1


An emsemble role in a Broadway show or lead role on a tour/regional production?

EponineAmneris Profile PhotoEponineAmneris Profile Photo
EponineAmneris
Broadway Legend
joined:5/25/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/25/06
There are valid, good arguments for both.

If you could list "Chourus Girl #3 in show XYZ on Broadway in NYC" or "Eponine in LES MISERABLES, Millionth National Tour" (just an example) on your resume, which would you want to show and why?

There are valid, good arguments for both.

Discuss An emsemble role in a Broadway show or lead role on a tour/regional production?

"TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD"- LES MISERABLES--- "THERE'S A SPECIAL KIND OF PEOPLE KNOWN AS SHOW PEOPLE... WE'RE BORN EVERY NIGHT AT HALF HOUR CALL!"--- CURTAINS
Updated On: 2/21/12 at 08:36 AM
Mark_E Profile PhotoMark_E Profile Photo
Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
I'd choose Broadway. Once you have a Broadway role on your CV it is much easier to get more in the future.
Drunk Chita Rivera Profile PhotoDrunk Chita Rivera Profile Photo
Drunk Chita Rivera
Broadway Legend
joined:3/27/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/27/08
Weren't those Sutton Foster's options back during Millie? Look how it turned out for her...
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/20/03
There's a certain snobishness about being on Broadway as if that's the be all/end all of the theater world.

There are many far superior regional productions going on around the US than some of the crap that's landed on Broadway. Trinity Rep, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Steppenwolf are just three that have turned in far superior productions over the years than comparable shows on Broadway.

If a person is in the first five years of their acting career, I think a lead role in a tour is more beneficial. You're going to get more stage time and more of a chance to work on the craft and learn.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
EponineAmneris Profile PhotoEponineAmneris Profile Photo
EponineAmneris
Broadway Legend
joined:5/25/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/25/06
Thank you all for your input An emsemble role in a Broadway show or lead role on a tour/regional production?

Well said, Gothampc, and my thoughts exactly.

And very true, Drunk Chita Rivera. Many step off the tour bus onto a "Broadway" stage and soar An emsemble role in a Broadway show or lead role on a tour/regional production?
"TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD"- LES MISERABLES--- "THERE'S A SPECIAL KIND OF PEOPLE KNOWN AS SHOW PEOPLE... WE'RE BORN EVERY NIGHT AT HALF HOUR CALL!"--- CURTAINS
LizzieCurry Profile PhotoLizzieCurry Profile Photo
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/7/05
I was just going to mention Sutton Foster and her having to decide between full-time Eponine on Broadway or ensemble in a new show in La Jolla. It really does depend -- well, on the individual, of course -- but on how you weigh being a replacement lead vs. ensemble in a new show.
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/20/03
Also, an actor has to really decide on their own what's right for them. Ensemble work is fine, but it's a very limited career move (see A Chorus Line). It's like extra work in the movies. You should only do so much of it or you will end up sacrificing your sacro, working in the back row.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
BrodyFosse123 Profile PhotoBrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/27/06
Bianca Marroquin was already a seasoned Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of CHICAGO when she took an ensemble role in the 2006 Broadway revival of THE PAJAMA GAME. After that limited engagement ended, she was back to headlining in CHICAGO.

As that Gershwin lyric says: "... nice work if you can get it."

Also, during its original run, it was quite known that actors in A CHORUS LINE didn't want to take a full-time replacement role on 'the line'. They made more income as understudies and/or swings depending on which role they were filling in for. Not the case if they were playing a permanent role.
Baiseur82 Profile PhotoBaiseur82 Profile Photo
Baiseur82
Leading Actor
joined:11/25/07
Leading Actor
joined:
11/25/07
Brody I'm just curious, why would they make more money as understudies or swings rather than doing the part full time.
"I'd rater be nine peoples favorite thing, than a hundred peoples ninth favorite thing"
Taryn Profile PhotoTaryn Profile Photo
Taryn
Broadway Legend
joined:1/24/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/24/04
Brody I'm just curious, why would they make more money as understudies or swings rather than doing the part full time.

The Equity agreements are going to be different nowadays, but you get a lot of bumps to your weekly salaries for things like understudying and swinging.
newintown Profile Photonewintown Profile Photo
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/3/10
I don't think the Sutton Foster story is the most apt example; Millie was a new show that was clearly coming to Broadway.

If the choice is between ensemble on Broadway now, or a lead in a Broadway-bound production starting out-of-town, the lead is probably the better choice, if your goal is to be a known featured name with a commercial career.

But if it's ensemble in a Broadway show vs., say, Melchior in a production of Spring Awakening in Arizona, the Broadway gig is, in all likelihood, going to do much more for your commercial visibility.

But, as noted, it depends on your ultimate goal. And a young actor should have a goal.

But it's still the case that staying and working in town (and that's New York City, kids) makes you much more visible to the people who can further your career. That is, if you aren't a movie/tv person - in that case, you ought to be in LA, anyway.
shrekster224 Profile Photoshrekster224 Profile Photo
shrekster224
Broadway Legend
joined:1/27/10
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/27/10
I personally would love to be a swing on Broadway. Knowing and covering tracks and not knowing when you are going to go on and who would keep it fresh, and I'd rather stay in NYC. A big factor, though, would be understudying. I think I would rather be a swing and cover 2 or 3 leads than have an "always back row" ensemble track. But, if the ensemble track had featured parts, a la, hmm, let's see, the white kids in Memphis all have solos and dance solos at some point, and in How to Succeed all of the men have different characters with a few lines here and there, that also would, just IMPO, be better than a lead in some regional theater. Like Mark_E said, once you book one Broadway show, it's not easier per say, but gives you a head up on booking another job, whether it's the credit alone, or the connections you make doing it.
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/30/09
It obviously depends on the situation and roles, but, and I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned this, the money does play a factor in it. Also, it depends which theatre and which show on Broadway.
E.Davis Profile PhotoE.Davis Profile Photo
E.Davis
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/1/08
But Sutton was not the lead yet, what happened to her was one in a million.
"I think lying to children is really important, it sets them off on the right track" -Sherie Rene Scott-
The Distinctive Baritone Profile PhotoThe Distinctive Baritone Profile Photo
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/28/04
To me the obvious choice is the ensemble role on Broadway. It's all about building towards the future, and if you have been on Broadway, even if it's "just ensemble," you will be much more attractive to regional theatres for principle roles in the future.
OnMyWay Profile PhotoOnMyWay Profile Photo
OnMyWay
Leading Actor
joined:6/3/06
Leading Actor
joined:
6/3/06
Like AwesomeDanny said, money is a big factor. Most actors treat their careers like a business. A bigger paycheck with a longer run, thus better benefits, carries a lot of weight. Most actors dream of working on new, exciting, challenging work, but often the safe option financially will win out.
"People that excel in the arts understand that the journey is the reward...the result an added bonus. Every day I act or train is a blessing and a dream come true. If Broadway beckons so be it. I have a personal definition of success that is unshakable by a possibly unobtainable goal." -HamletWasBipolar
Vespertine1228 Profile PhotoVespertine1228 Profile Photo
Vespertine1228
Broadway Legend
joined:10/30/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/30/05
Not sure how many people responding to this are actually actors, but no one has discussed the obvious logistics of a decision like this.

Sure you might play a bigger role and make more money on tour, but you also have to leave your family/friends/New York for an extended period of time, you have to sublet your apartment, etc. Plus going on the road puts you out of consideration for developing projects and TV/film.

I would probably take the ensemble part.