BWW Interviews: Adam Pascal Hosts Master Class on the Basics of Auditioning in Musical Theatre
Straight from New York is bringing Adam Pascal to a city near you for a Master's Class this fall. As of now, master's classes are booked in Charlotte, NC (Sept. 16 - 17), Oklahoma City, OK (Sept. 18-19) and Austin, TX (Sept. 20). Straight from New York provides educational opportunities for performing arts students to work with top Broadwqy artists in cities around the country. www.straightfromnewyork.com
Adam Pascal is an actor, singer, and musician known for his portrayal of Roger Davis in the original cast of Jonathan Larson's musical RENT as well as the movie version. He is also known for originating the role of Radames in the Elton John/Tim Rice Aida. He was also in the revival of Cabaret as well as Huey Calhoun in the Broadway Company of Memphis.
When you work with students, what is your approach to teaching?
I approach students from an existential place. I don't have any formal training. My training is practical from all my experience. I listen to what students are doing and offer them practical instructions on how to make it better. Tyce Green, the artistic director of Straight from New York, brings the technical experience. Together it is a great combination.
Where did you go to school? What did you study?
Where I grew up, everyone went to college. In my family, you just did it. I attended the University of South Florida for my freshman year. I then transferred to the NY Institute of Technology and got a degree in communications. I didn't necessarily want to go into that field but I knew I needed a degree.
What is your favorite role you've played?
Emcee in Cabaret
Have you ever done any classical Musical Theatre roles and are there any roles in classical Musical Theatre you'd like to tackle?
I would love to play roles from classical musical theatre but have not had the opportunity. I find many of the roles to be outside the box what people are used to seeing me play. These roles are out of my comfort zone but I look forward to the challenge. I think I'd like to play the role of Curly in Oklahoma!
How did you feel taking over the role in Memphis and how was it taking over from the man who originated the role (Chad Kimball)
They always allowed me to play the character and develop him on my own. I was never asked to play it like anyone else. They wanted me to bring my own personality to the role.
What is your favorite musical you've never done?
Les Miserables, Hedwig and the Angry Itch, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd
For the young performer who wants to pursue musical theatre as a career, what advice would you give them?
- There is no other reason to do musical theatre other than the love of it. Don't do this to be a star! Pursue this because you love it.
- Have something else in your life that brings you happiness. The majority of this business is not getting the job. If you are only happy getting the role, then you will live perpetually unhappy.
As a teacher, it's frustrating to hear kids say, "my life is RENT." As well all know there could not be anything further from the truth. When you teach your seminars, how do you convey there is more to Musical Theatre than RENT and Les Miserables?
I tell kids to have a career in theatre, you have to be as versatile as you can be. If you sell yourself as only one thing, you will be handicapped in this business. To have a long career you need to be able to sing and do anything. It goes for people who are classically trained as well. You must know all aspects of this business and learn to do as many as you can.
What is the focus of your master's class?
We focus on the audition process. We want our students to learn to be comfortable performing under pressure in any situation. There is no other situation with as much pressure as an audition. We focus on technique, relaxation methods, choices in an audition, what to wear, and what to expect in any audition situation. We are extremely honest with addressing the pros and cons of choices made by students who attend our seminar. We try to bring each student as much practical information as we can.
Why should someone take your master's class?
Only take this seminar if you interested in learning honest information on the world of performing. This seminar will be full of information and advice you can't get anywhere else.