‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical ‘is currently on Broadway thanks to an incredible collection of huge hit talents.
When we participate in ‘Moulin Rouge’! The Musical ‘In March, Ashley played the lead role of Lauren Satin and we thought she was great. He was a student at the time, but since then he has taken on full-time acting roles, which has inspired us to delve deeper into the world of studying, alternatives, standby and swing, and the much-needed versatility of actors in multiple roles. Covid is still taking a toll on industries across the board, not immune to Broadway staff shortages and occasional absences, making the role of cradle, standby and study more important than ever.
What is the difference between an under study, a swing and a standby?
Some clarifications for non-theater lovers; There is a difference between a swing, an understudy, and a standby. A swing is an off-stage performer responsible for learning both the ensemble and the main role, so they are able to keep their feet on the momentary notice when someone from the cast calls. In many cases, the role of a swing ensemble will get in the way of a member when that ensemble member steps into a more prominent role that they can understand. An understudy is an actor in a musical or drama combination who is responsible for covering a supporting or main role. A standby is an off-stage performer whose sole responsibility is to lead a production. Don’t sleep on any of these, as they speak to the power of versatility and often provide a great stepping stone for the lead role!
We chatted with Moulin Rouge! Musical cast members Tasia Jungbauer (Arabia / Ensemble + Satin Understudy), Kylie Byrne (Arabia and La Chocolate Understudy) and Bobby Day (Jidler Understudy) are ready to take action when the show has to go on or off.
The life of an understudy
“Thankfully we often practice roles so if you’re on a moment’s notice you know what you’re doing,” Kylie Byrne told BOSSIP about the preparations she’s putting into a role she doesn’t perform every night. “The roles I understand are a physically demanding dance track so I try to be aware of my habits and preferences for taking care of my body. Physical and vocal stamina is just part of the job of maintaining you.”
Tasia Jungbauer also agrees that “mindful living” is an important part of preparing for the life you are studying.
“I can never go out the night before or stay up too late because you never know, you can be the leading lady the next day and you don’t want to hangover or feel your best,” said Jungbauer. BOSSIP. “It’s a lot, but it’s a great way to build some great habits for life.”
“I like pilates and yoga to keep me in shape for the show, to walk my dog, to drink plenty of tea and water, to get plenty of rest. I think I sometimes live like a monk, “said Tassia as she prepares to go on stage through the storm to make sure she takes action.
For Bobby Day, who is studying Zidler, a strong musical foundation has equipped him with skills that enable him to cover multiple roles.
“I’m a lyricist and I write songs almost every day,” Dai told Basip. “I think knowing the chords from playing the piano was my super power to differentiate the melodies between the different characters in my head.”
The pressure of being Broadway Understudy
As you can probably imagine, taking on a role isn’t the easiest thing you don’t necessarily take on every day, but ‘Moulin Rouge! The musical performers we talked to had a great idea of how to cope with the pressures from studying life.
“Of course there is pressure but it is usually self-motivated,” Kylie Byrne told BOSSIP. “There is always a lot of encouragement and support from the management and the cast and crew when you are there. No one is perfect and being cast in a role that you don’t usually play every night is thrilling and nerve-wracking, but has been prepared and worked out, so you just have to believe in your gut and enjoy the journey. “
“I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but for me, there’s always the ‘expectation’ pressure,” Bobby Day added. “Listeners somehow feel like they’re being deceived by the real star so your first moments are trying to win their trust.”
“The actor who usually performs, you want to do everything just like him, so it’s not entirely annoying to other people on stage,” said Tasia Zumbauer. “Sometimes you don’t get the chance to play a role that often happens, or it can take months, so you can’t build muscle memory so easily. I think for the best performance you have to try and give it up and be present as much as possible. “
Bring something new to the role
Any time you join a drama or Broadway show, there may be someone studying or new. It can certainly be exciting for visitors who want to see something a little different than people attending a different exhibition. There are also extra personal touches that each actor brings to their roles. We asked ‘Moulin Rouge! Musical performers come up with something new in how they understand the role.
“It simply came to our notice then,” she told BOSSIP “Everyone is different so everyone is going to bring something new to the role. Lines, staging and bits have to be the same, but naturally, I have a different essence than anyone else. It’s fun to play the character with my own motives and thoughts. “
Kelly Byrne added, “I try to put myself in some of the roles I cover so it’s always unique to me.”
“I think my job is to fit the show’s fabric as seamlessly as possible,” Bobby Day told BOSSIP. “I have already been given a strong skeleton from the role promoter. I just need to deliver some meat. Just because we all bring something different to the plate, once we are comfortable, the interpretation of our own personality begins to come. Relaxing in a role leads you to a better life in your truth. “
Training that helps with the work being studied
All three ‘Moulin Rouge! We talked about musical ‘understudies’ with strong backgrounds in theater and performances but they each had different ideas about whether you could be “ready” to become an understudy.
“On my first tour outside of college I was to study the second cover leadership,” Kylie Byrne recalls. “It simply came to our notice then. I’ve never rehearsed a second performance, some of my costumes are still being changed, but it happened. Since then I have always had unexpected expectations and made sure to be ready for anything. I’ve been understudied many times now and have also had a swing. It puts you on your toes and it keeps you present. But I always feel my little panic, but if I can do it I can do anything!
“Nothing set me up to swing first and now to be a principal,” Tasia Jungbauer told BOSSIP. “As much as I have learned, I think I have learned more in these first six months than in my four years in college. But my experience was to do shows for extended periods, and more Red Mill And the roles I do and cover in particular are really fantastic and sometimes about being a bit on top, and I’ve been doing it since I was little! ”
“Before this moment every job was a lesson,” Bobby Day commented. “You pay attention to what works and what doesn’t.”
Unexpected study experience
We couldn’t finish our interview with Moulin Rouge! The Musical ‘understudies without asking about their unique understudy experience. So little study life preparation, but we felt that some of the best stories should come from a time when actors had to hit the stage unexpectedly.
“My first time as a satin!” Tasia Jungbauer BOSSIP says. “It was 5 months of contract so I lost any feeling like ‘Today is that day’! I just thought I would never get a surprise. But as I was cooking dinner I got a call and I thought … ‘What shall I do? Should I go to the theater now ?! ‘ I decided to finish cooking and try to stay as calm as possible. I knew if I got too excited or saw other people get excited I was going to feel it. And it worked well, just told myself it was another day, and it couldn’t be more perfect. “
“Less than a month ago, the National Touring Company because of Kovid Red Mill There was a lack of coverage, ”Keely Beirne recalled. “It was 5pm on Friday and as I was getting ready to leave my apartment for a show on Broadway that night, I got a call from my company manager asking if I could pack my bags and fly to Chicago. I was playing a role studying in New Can do York I arrived at the Chicago Hotel in the middle of the night with my dress and wig and rehearsed at 9am the next day to have a matinee at 2pm the same day. And it was my birthday! It was the most unexpected study performance ever! ”
“When I was inside Smoky Joe’s Cafe We had just started performing at Pre-Broadway in Los Angeles and another stand-by was set to go on a scheduled private day for the actor he covered, ”Bobby Day recalls. “We didn’t spend much time with the rest of us because the show was previewed and changed with regular cast. There was a rainstorm and one of the actors (whom I covered) was unable to go to the theater due to a mudslide. I was reluctant to go without many rehearsals or even costumes. Was it perfect? No, but the show never stopped, and I learned that I needed a song of my own [laughs]”
We love these stories and they certainly made for some incredible career memories, didn’t they?
Advice for newcomers
We had to gather suggestions for other aspiring actors and studies before saying goodbye to Tasia, Kylie and Bobby. They offer something really important for everyone to think about.
“Be really good at studying and observing,” Tassia Zambawar recommended. “And be self-motivated. People will help you, but a lot of focus is going to companies that play a role every night. You have to take the initiative and start learning and teaching yourself and feel comfortable asking people for help when you need it.” You can practice it now, watch a YouTube video or listen to a song and teach yourself! “
“Study what’s happening on stage every night and know it like the back of your hand,” Bobby Day agrees. “You have actors who have trusted each other on stage every night and you must earn that trust.”
“Exclude the word perfection and be present as much as you can,” added Kylie Byrne. “Give yourself grace and believe that you have done your homework.”