Photo Flash: Santino Fontana Makes A Surprise Appearance At Broadway Artists Alliance

On Thursday, July 18th, Tony® Award winner Santino Fontana surprised the students of Broadway Artists Alliance during their exciting week of master classes and rehearsals in the heart of New York City. It's been a little over a month since Fontana took home the 2019 Tony® award for playing Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie, but he is also well known for his roles in Cinderella, Hello, Dolly!, Billy Elliot, The Importance of Being Earnest, and for his various roles on screen in shows and movies like Frozen, Crazy-Ex Girlfriend and Fosse/Verdon. Fontana took time out of his busy show schedule to share some encouraging words with the young performers.

The Q&A session began with Fontana praising the students for choosing to focus on their training, and answered questions about his journey to Broadway. "When I was a kid growing up in a small town, the only way I could really watch professional theatre was every year on the Tony Awards... so to be where I am now is really humbling, and I haven't quite processed it." Fontana went on to describe hilarious stage mishaps with wigs, prop cell phones, and Billy Elliot swings, and shared advice about how to continue to grow as an artist. "I will tell you, there are always more no's than there are yes's, so I learned to not wait for a yes. I made things for myself. My friends and I would get out a camera and write something, and I've taken that with me in my work today. Artists have to create the stories we want to see, and you can empower yourselves to do it." The students were thrilled to discover that their passion for performing is still shared with even the biggest stars on Broadway. "The thing I love most about acting is that I get to play pretend for a living," Fontana exclaimed. "When I was your age, I wanted nothing more than to pretend that the floor was lava, that I was a king, or that I was friends with the troll under the bridge. And every night, I feel like I still do that. I am lucky enough to do that for a living."

Broadway Artists Alliance of NYC, founded with the goal of providing professional-level training to talented young artists, enlists talented Broadway performers, Tony® Award winners, and top industry professionals. Students enjoy a wide range of classes including vocal training, song interpretation, scene study, on camera technique, and various types of dance. BAA offers four Summer Intensive Sessions and one Winter Workshop for students ages 10-21, BAA Junior for students ages 6-10, the Adult Professional Program, and a College Audition Workshop for high school Juniors and Seniors who will be auditioning for Musical Theatre and Acting degree programs.

Broadway Artists Alliance's roster of master class instructors and guest speakers includes Christy Altomare, Laura Benanti, Susan Blackwell, Stephanie J. Block, Sierra Boggess, Christian Borle, Alex Brightman, Jason Robert Brown, Andrea Burns, Norbert Leo Butz, Carolee Carmello, Matt Cavenaugh, Michael Cerveris, Adam Chanler-Berat, Jenn Colella, Gabriel Ebert, Eden Espinosa, Michelle Federer, Katie Finneran, Sutton Foster, John Gallagher Jr., Alexander Gemignani, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Lena Hall, Douglas Hodge, Bill Irwin, Christopher Jackson, Nikki M. James, Gregory Jbara, Adam Kantor, Judy Kaye, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Beth Leavel, Caissie Levy, Norm Lewis, Andrea Martin, Donna McKechnie, Lindsay Mendez, Lea Michele, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bebe Neuwirth, Karen Olivo, Laura Osnes, Billy Porter, Alice Ripley, Lea Salonga, Stephen Schwartz, Duncan Sheik, Will Swenson, Marc Shaiman, Aaron Tveit, Noah Weisberg, Lillias White, Scott Wittman, John Lloyd Young, and many more.

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