This episode features Casey Nicholaw, the Tony Award-winning director and choreographer who has been called “the King of Musical Comedy,” with credits including Mean Girls, The Prom, The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone and Disney’s Aladdin. Casey discusses his journey from a kid who “didn’t really fit in in high school” to an aspiring performer to a visionary known to extract exuberant performances in joyful productions, often showcasing youthful casts. “I just look for talent and energy and enthusiasm and optimism,” he tells us, also stressing the importance of being a well-rounded performer, while being true to your distinctive gifts and personality: “I respond to someone who’s in their skin, who’s confident and knows who they are.” While he always considers how nervousness can affect auditioning performers—and concedes that the industry is getting even more competitive—he also advises them to have fun, while getting as much experience as possible. “Meet as many people as you can,” he says, adding, “You just never know how many people are going to deliver for you later in life.”
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Edited by Derek Gunther.
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