BWW Interview: Young Actor Paul Schoeller Talks the New National Touring Production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC

BWW Interview: Young Actor Paul Schoeller Talks the New National Touring Production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Before Paul Schoeller won the part of
Friedrich von Trapp in the national tour
of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, he was a student
at Goodson Middle School.

Middle-schooler Paul Schoeller has traveled from Cypress to Austria. The young actor is Friedrich von Trapp in the new national touring production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, playing in Houston at the Society for the Performing Arts from June 1-3, 2018. Below, Schoeller talks about performing in a national tour as a "kid," his most embarrassing as well as his most proud moment on tour, and how the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical has stretched him as an actor and singer.


What's it like doing a national tour? The actors I've talked to say it can be exhausting.

Being a kid, a tour can be challenging because we have school almost every day; though there are positives about being on tour. I get to see places all around America. I get to meet new people. And I like the schooling better than in a large classroom.

This is a Broadway show and is bigger than anything else I have done at home. I have bonded with all the cast and crew members and we have become one big SOUND OF MUSIC family.

I do get exhausted from having a long day before the show, but I get my energy back as soon as I step on stage and have a good time.

What was it like developing a character whose circumstances are so different from your own?

It was difficult to develop Friedrich because I am an extrovert and he is an introvert. It was also difficult because Friedrich has grown up being proper and sophisticated and I grew up being a kid playing in the mud. The creative team helped me to set a determined character outline and I took the character from there and made it my own. Friedrich is shy and aloof. He is a person that you would find sitting by himself in a corner reading a book.

How did the songs stretch you vocally?

I had to train my voice to sing in my upper range to hit the high notes throughout the songs. I have to rest my voice because I sing a lot in the show and I work almost every day. Training to sing the music stretched my vocal range higher and allows me to sing a variety of songs. I carry a lot of the high notes in many of the songs so I drink a lot of water to keep hydrated. This keeps my voice clear and ready to go for every song.

As a performer, what has been the proudest moment for you in the tour so far?

The proudest moment for me was when I took my first bow on my opening night. I knew I worked hard to achieve my goal to sing in a Broadway/national tour production.

Do you have a most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment was when I ran onto the stage with Marta and Gretl too early before the "Party Scene". I turned around and went back off which was the wrong decision because I came back on stage with my group a few seconds later.

Do you have a favorite SOUND OF MUSIC song?

I love all the music in the show, but one of my favorites is "So long, Farewell" at the "Party Scene". The reason I like this song is because all the kids are playing a game and when it is his turn to go in front of the crowd, Friedrich takes pride and sings his heart out and is not his shy self in that moment. "So Long, Farewell" is a very fun song at the end of the "Party Scene".

THE SOUND OF MUSIC will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3, 2018. For more information, please visit spahouston.org/performances/the-sound-of-music/.

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From This Author Katricia Lang

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