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Chaz Wolcott Discusses All Things NEWSIES on the WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast

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Chaz Wolcott Discusses All Things NEWSIES on the WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast

Dancer Chaz Wolcott (CATS and NEWSIES National Tours) joins host Patrick Oliver Jones to share his days on the road as Buttons in Disney's iconic musical and in filming the show with Broadway and Touring cast members, including Jeremy Jordan and Kara Lindsay.

But his journey to being in NEWSIES was not an easy one. It took seven separate rounds of auditions and callbacks before he was finally cast in the show. Wolcott may have lacked tumbling and gymnastic skills but knew he had other talents worthy of being in the show. In fact, he won the Gold Medal at the US Tap Championships and went on to win the Bronze for the United States at the World Tap Dance Championships in Germany when he was 14 years old. And so it was this confidence and belief in his abilities as well as a deep desire to be in NEWSIES that kept him coming back audition after audition.

Though national tours give actors a wonderful chance to travel and perform in cities around the country, Wolcott says that it is a constant whirlwind of rehearsals, packing and unpacking, and dealing with a variety of personalities that sometimes don't get along. It is also a time of being away from home, away from family and friends. He shares his own struggles of dealing with his father's passing while on tour.

Wolcott also addresses his amazing yet ultimately heartbreaking appearance on So You Think You Can Dance. Though he was cut from the show, he learned a great deal from that experience and the choreographers he worked with. He remains grateful for that chance to share his talents with a national audience.

These days, however, Wolcott has mostly been behind the table directing and choreographing regional productions of NEWSIES, which he calls "the gift that keeps on giving." His most recent was at Westport Country Playhouse where he brought his own original choreography to the stage.

That production closed just before the nationwide shutdown due to coronavirus, and Wolcott opens up about his own efforts in confronting this lack of work and opportunity that so many performers are facing these days.

Throughout his career, though, he maintains a realistic and hopeful outlook on his experiences, drawing joy from the highlights and lessons from the setbacks. "You gotta to find some kind of coping mechanism for how difficult this industry tends to be," he says. "Or else you won't make it."

Listen to Wolcott's podcast episode below!

Why I'll Never Make It is a weekly podcast hosted by actor Patrick Oliver Jones and features conversations with fellow creatives about the realities of a career in the arts. With the Broadway season ended and Tony Awards canceled, the podcast is taking a look back at previous Broadway productions. Kilgore and Elless are the third in a month-long focus on the artists who made those shows happen, with varying degrees of success. Past guests on the show include Douglas Sills (SCARLET PIMPERNEL), Caitlin Kinnunen (THE PROM), and Georgia Stitt (Composer of SNOW CHILD and MOSAIC). Find these episodes and more at whyillnevermakeit.com.


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