BWW Interview: Shoshana Bean - on PMJukebox, Wicked, Hairspray and more!

BWW Interview: Shoshana Bean - on PMJukebox, Wicked, Hairspray and more!Shoshana is touring Europe with Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox and we had the pleasure to sit down and speak with her about her career, Wicked, Hairspray, YouTube, upcoming concerts and much more! Check it only on BroadwayWorld.com!

Lee la entrevista en Español

BroadwayWorld: You've done UK before but it's your first time doing an European tour. How excited are you to be performing in Spain, especially with two sold out concerts?

Shoshana Bean: I think that the concerts are secondary. First for me is being in these amazing cities. It's the energy of the European crowds, which is very different from American crowds. They're loud, they cheer, they get very excited. In Lisbon last night they were on their feet at the end of every number. So that energy is very different from anything I've ever experienced; but mostly I'm just so grateful that I get to see so many cities I've never been to, especially to be back in Prague which is one of my favorites!

BWW: You've got an amazing Musical Theatre career but what brought you here was Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox. Tell me about this collaboration and how it happened.

SB: Mutual friends, amigos! introduced us. I've been working for them for a year, a year and a half. Mostly I hire singers for them, I know a lot of great singers, great musicians, like Maiya Sykes. I introduced a lot of them when they moved from New York to LA, and I did videos of them. They asked me to come on tour a couple of times, but these cities in Europe is what convinced me! Absolutely worth it. And it's just one month.

BWW: YouTube had a lot to do with this phenomenon! You have definitely approached your fans through Social Network, and you used some interesting platforms like Stage.it back in 2012, in a one-to-one online concert. How was this experience?

SB: It's great because for all the cities that I don't get to go to, all the people who want to feel the experience, that's the benefit of it. But there's nothing like being in the actual city. In the event that I can't go, it's a fantastic platform. Actually Scott Bradlee's manager has a twin brother, and he founded Stage.It company. Small world!

BWW Interview: Shoshana Bean - on PMJukebox, Wicked, Hairspray and more!BWW: They're geniuses! Apart from rocking the social networks, with viral videos, like the Disney Medley, you created your own music label. How has the journey from SUPERHERO to SHADOWS TO LIGHT been like?

SB: It's a lot of work... that's the other reason why I'm in this tour, because I'm not in charge. Not the boss. I just show up, and sing! That's nicer. So it's been a lot of work, but thank god for social networking, that's my platform to sell, interact, promote my records, and making my music known.

BWW: You're very active in all of them - Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat...

SB: I try! I'm gonna SnapChat you know! At first, when I was in Wicked, I was very open to fans, but then some took advantage and I closed. Thanks to social network I opened to them again, and I've found a balance.

The journey from the first album to this last one has been amazing and beautiful, because I went from being a perfectionist and needing to control everything to just being grateful and appreciative, and enjoying the process.

BWW: Now, are you focusing on your musical career or are you combining it with theatre?

SB: I'm doing both, because for a long time I was only doing my music, and now I'm just open to doing theatre, like I did Beaches last summer. I'm doing Funny Girl this next June in Boston, as soon as I finish here. And then I'll be back in London, maybe Viena, South African, Berlin... Australia has just been announced! You've got the exclusive! I'll be performing at The Hayes.

BWW: Definitely you stand out on your own with your music, your label, but I have to mention the little two tiny gigs you made back in 2002 and 2005... Was it WICKED or something? And this other show, HAIRSPRAY? What was the best about doing both shows.

BWW Interview: Shoshana Bean - on PMJukebox, Wicked, Hairspray and more!SB: The best about HAIRSPRAY, where I played Tracy and Amber, and I'm not the only one from the company saying this, but it was the most magical group of people and the most magical three years, of our lives, of our careers...

BWW: You had Jerry in the team!

SB: Jerry (Mitchell) is a lunatic!! (laughs) He's loyal, he never has a bad attitude, he's an amazing person to work for and with, so HAIRSPRAY is the best, I created my family, my best friends still are from HAIRSPRAY... 14 years to now! So even now, I don't see them very often, like Laura Bell Bundy, who created the role of Amber, lives very nearby where I live in LA. We met last week, we hadn't met for a very long time, we hang out and we are siblings, we are like family, and we picked up from where we left off. That was HAIRSPRAY. Best possible Broadway debut you can ever ask for.

And then WICKED was a whole other thing. It was not a family (laughs) but professionally it's the reason why I have any career. If I have any music career is because of the exposure and the fan base it gave me, and still gives me. You know, I did that show 11 years ago, and they still know who I am. I can come to Lisbon and girls meet me and recognize me because I played Elphaba. And I'm very grateful.

BWW Interview: Shoshana Bean - on PMJukebox, Wicked, Hairspray and more!BWW: So you don't mind singing Defying Gravity once again?

SB: No, it's a great song! (laughs) An artist can get sick of singing their own song, but it's their own music. Defying Gravity is not mine, so I think if it was mine it would feel differently.

BWW: But Musical Theatre performers bring songs to life, you give them flesh and bone.

SB: That's a very fair point, that's a really good point. I guess because I make my own music, I feel it from the point of view of an author. So, like with fans, I've come to love the song, hate it and then again I love it. And now I'm very aware that everything that I have is because of that show.

BWW: You stood out in that show. As one of the actresses who have played Elphaba, you were very different, and you left an imprint in the legacy of Wicked, and a memorable performance to all of us who saw you.

SB: Thank you, that means a lot... Because when I teach I tell people to try to be themselves, and the uniqueness is what make them succeed, but you don't know until you're in the experience. When I first started there was not a Tracy Turnbland, there was not an Elphaba, there weren't roles for girls like me, I had no idea.

Especially when you're starting, you're young, you look at people like me or Megan, or Eden, or whoever you're looking at, you think you need to be like that to succeed. You know when I was in college, I looked up to Alice Ripley, and Emily Skinner, and Marin Mazzie. We wanted to be like them, but I'm not Marin Mazzie. I think it's a waste of time trying to be somebody else.

It's very important trying to be who you are, because your uniqueness is going to make a difference in the industry. Figuring out what that is and being ok with it would be my piece of advice.

BWW: As part of the Broadway audience, you have seen many musicals, through all these years. With your insider's point of view, and a lot of information first hand, in your opinion, how has Broadway industry evolved from Wicked to Hamilton, how these shows have affected the business?

SB: I think the amazing things of those shows, The Producers and Hairspray prior to them too, very rarely, every 10 years or so, a show comes along that also affects the popular culture and reaches all across the pond. There are lots of shows that happen, most people don't know. Well, you do, because you're on BroadwayWorld, but that guy across the street don't know them. I'm grateful for these titles because it brings mass attention to the Broadway Community.

Also the originality of those shows, with the exception of those which come from movies, but Hamilton, Book Of Mormon, Wicked are such a success. They're not just pop culture, they're originals. That's the most important thing to me, I wish people would notice that the originality gets attention and press. I mean, they're spectacular shows, but I love they're bringing so many people... Hamilton is printing vinyls, they won the Grammy, they're pushing boundaries, opening up the world's eyes and ears to Broadway.

Sometimes producers think sometimes that because you know the movie or the book... But none of them are succeeding.

BWW: There you have the example of Beaches right?

SB: Beaches too, obviously! We didn't get picked up. We are not going to Broadway. It was based on the book, not the movie, they're quite different. But even still... it's all original music. But original stuff is... You caught me! (laughs)

BWW Interview: Shoshana Bean - on PMJukebox, Wicked, Hairspray and more!BWW: Next thing for you, apart from the rest of the tour with PMJ, will be FUNNY GIRL, then? Are you excited about bringing this iconic role to life in Boston next June?

SB: It's actually a dream come true. There's a lot of things that sure I wanted, like being on Broadway, but it IS a dream come true, literally. I'm terrified!

BWW: Because you will sing 'Don't Rain On My Parade'!

SB: Yes! And I don't want to be bad, because everyone knows I wanted to do this, my whole life.

BWW: No pressure! You must enjoy it then!

SB: Thank you. It's a month of work, I'm not bothering about Broadway, it's a limited season.

BWW: Well, thank you for your time, it's a pleasure to have you here in Madrid and meeting you. Hope to see you again real soon!

SB: Thank you!

Shoshana Bean Official Website

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