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When a show closes, what does the ensemble do?

BwayDreamer00
Understudy
joined:12/14/16
Understudy
joined:
12/14/16

Kind of a weird question but I’ve ALWAYS wondered it. On behalf of the ensemble in musicals, when their show closes or posts its closing date, what do they…do? Do they literally face reality and collect unemployment or…do some of them get lucky and get performance jobs off the bat? It’s just disconcerting especially to any making their debut as to what’s next when their job just ends and they can’t do anything about it.
??

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Leading Actor
joined:10/14/18
Leading Actor
joined:
10/14/18
Principals, Ensemble, Dressers, stage management, props, ushers, sound, lightning, band, hair/makeup everyone involved goes unemployed until they start the long process of finding work again.
lightguy06222
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/3/06

I dont understand why we think the ensemble would do anything different than the principals.

not all principals are idina Menzel or Kristin chenowith....

MANY actors with principal roles struggle with finding work when a show closes....

SOME ensemble members will pop right into the ensemble of another show!

some principal actors never work again....

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haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/29/14

BwayDreamer00 said: "Do they literally face reality and collect unemployment or…do some of them get lucky and get performance jobs off the bat?"

Yes.

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BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/27/06
Ensemble are always auditioning. I know a few that are always auditioning for the next big show even while they’re already employed on a hit Broadway show. Everyone is hoping for their breakout role so the hustle is hard. It’s endless.
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Wee Thomas2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/28/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/28/12

They usually go to a bar

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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/5/09

They get packed into these nice reinforced cardboard boxes and go to the licensing house that owns the rights to the show, so that people who produce that particular show can rent the ensemble as well.

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Wick3
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/5/14

If the show is closing and a national tour is starting, a few members of ensemble who don't mind the travel schedule opt to do that.

 

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Eris0303
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/30/07

Cold storage

"All our dreams can come true -- if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney We must have different Gods. My God said "do to others what you would have them do to you". Your God seems to have said "My Way or the Highway".
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Robbie2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/2/10
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/2/10

Most if not all stay unemployed for a while if not years till the next job or just leave the business

"Anything you do, let it it come from you--then it will be new." Sunday in the Park with George
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SweetLips22
Broadway Star
joined:7/1/18
Broadway Star
joined:
7/1/18

I was always in the ensemble, never a soloist. I was a waiter/usher/sold sheet music/extra on TV shows and movies/modeled/wardrobe[couldn't sew]dresser/unmentionable/ensemble again then repeated the process until no more.

The experience from all that then lead to another phase where I used all the previous experiences to be relatively successful in my next phase.

It's a tough and cruel life and only the strongest and most talented survive and it takes more courage to walk away before it's too late to find the other 'you'.

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Kitsune
Broadway Star
joined:12/29/06
Broadway Star
joined:
12/29/06

I'm a huge Groundhog Day fan. When the show was running, I followed a lot of the cast of their social media, and have kept up since. So just for fun (and a sample), here's what happened to the ensemble of one show post-closure a year and a half ago:

(Also, the below are just what I remember off the top of my head while avoiding work, I'm sure I'm missing a lot of projects)

Vishal Vaidya (Larry): Did Dave in DC, still involved in the workshops

John Sanders (Ned Ryerson): I think he's about to be in something, don't remember what

Rebecca Faulkenberry (Nancy Taylor): Has done various TV and movies, at one point was attached to some new musical.

Gerard Canonico (Fred): Currently in a principal role in Be More Chill

Katy Geraghty (Debbie): Did a regional production of Hairspray, currently starring in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Hairspray.

Raymond J. Lee (Ralph): Did Soft Power out of town, has been involved in a bunch of readings and concerts

Andrew Call (Gus): Played King George in the Chicago cast of Hamilton for a while (not sure if he's still there?)

Rheaume Crenshaw (Doris): Currently in the Waitress tour as Nurse Norma

Josh Lamon (Buster): Currently in The Prom in a principal role

Sean Montgomery (The Sheriff): Did Jagged Little Pill out of town, in the ensemble of Beetlejuice

Travis Waldschmidt (Jeff): Was in the Hello Dolly ensemble/swing until it closed, currently a swing for Kiss Me Kate

Michael Fatica (The Chubby Man): Currently in The Cher Show ensemble

Tari Kelly (Piano Teacher): Currently playing the Dowager Countess in the Anastasia tour

Taylor Iman Jones (Lady Storm Chaser): Was a principal in Head Over Heels until it closed

Not sure what they're up to: Heather Ayers (Mrs. Lancaster), Jenna Rubaii (Joelle), Joseph Medeiros (The Deputy), William Parry (Jenson), the swings

 

All of this is to say that I don't envy musical theater performers their profession. As someone with a 9-5 office job, I don't think I could deal with the uncertainty. "What I Did For Love" and all that.

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Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/31/06
The reactivate their Scruff and Grindr accounts.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
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Miles2Go2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/10/17
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/10/17
The ghost light keeps their souls trapped in the theater until the next show opens.
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denali.fire
Broadway Star
joined:3/16/09
Broadway Star
joined:
3/16/09

Wee Thomas2 said: "They usually go to a bar"

That's exactly what I would do.  

 

 

A Director
Broadway Legend
joined:12/18/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/18/07

Bettyboy72 said: "The reactivate their Scruff and Grindr accounts."

I heard they are given your contact information.

 

A Director
Broadway Legend
joined:12/18/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/18/07

Kitsune said:

All of this is to saythat I don't envy musical theater performers their profession. As someone with a 9-5 office job, I don't think I could deal with the uncertainty. "What I Did For Love" and all that."

This is also true of actors who are in non-musicals.

 

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Kitsune
Broadway Star
joined:12/29/06
Broadway Star
joined:
12/29/06

A Director said: "Kitsune said:

All of this is to saythat I don't envy musical theater performers their profession. As someone with a 9-5 office job, I don't think I could deal with the uncertainty. "What I Did For Love" and all that."

This is also true of actors who are in non-musicals.


"

My mistake, obviously people who work in non-musical theater are in the same boat. As are artists/performers in general. 

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bwaylyric
Broadway Star
joined:10/22/03
Broadway Star
joined:
10/22/03

They head straight to 54 Below. 

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Lavieboheme3090
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/9/04
It's true. That reunion concert is gonna perform itself.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/13/09

Bettyboy72 said: "The reactivate their Scruff and Grindr accounts."

Please, like they ever deactivated them

Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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HogansHero
Broadway Legend
joined:2/26/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/26/12

AEA AGMA SM said: "Bettyboy72 said: "The reactivate their Scruff and Grindr accounts."

Please, like they ever deactivated them
"

Is there an alternate universe where women have these accounts too?

Emmaloucbway
Broadway Legend
joined:10/16/11
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/16/11

Kitsune said: "...John Sanders (Ned Ryerson): I think he's about to be in something, don't remember what"

 

He just finished a supporting role in "My Very Own British Invasion" at Paper Mill.

 

 

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SweetLips22
Broadway Star
joined:7/1/18
Broadway Star
joined:
7/1/18

HogansHero said: "AEA AGMA SM said: "Bettyboy72 said: "The reactivate their Scruff and Grindr accounts."

Please, like they ever deactivated them
"

Is there an alternate universe where women have these accounts too?
"

And I always thought you were a man. Motto--don't believe an avatar.

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HogansHero
Broadway Legend
joined:2/26/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/26/12

SweetLips22 said: "And I always thought you were a man. Motto--don't believe an avatar."

You're right not to believe avatars and you were always right about me being a man. I'm not quite sure what led you astray. When a show closes, what does the ensemble do?