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Claybourne Elder (Andy, originally April) Actors are not nurses. We’re not saving lives. If anybody can stay home, we can, and that is nothing against my community. I think most of us feel that way. We absolutely should have stopped exactly when we did and we should not come back until it’s entirely safe. Cat oday I Am Wearing A Lovely Shade Of I Slept Like Crap So Don’t PissMe Off Shirt, hoodie, tank top
But what I’m worried about the most, frankly, is not for me, who’s at mid-career. I’m going to be fine, Patti LuPone is going to be fine. It’s the kids that just showed up and who were just barely going to make it that I worry about, especially young people of color. I was never a trust fund kid but I was fine and I had people to support me. When I showed up in New York and was taking that huge risk because I hadn’t graduated from a fancy school, I knew that the worst case scenario was that I could go back and live at my parents’ house and they would take care of me. That is not the case for most people, and the chance to do this dream is completely crushed for a large group who are now back in their hometowns working at Applebee’s because they have student loans to pay. There’s no miracle chance that they’re going to book a Broadway show. There’s no chance to even be in New York working at a restaurant and making good tip money. Those kids are gone, and what is Broadway going to do in several years when we need them? Are only the really lucky and the really privileged going to come back?
I know that there are a lot of organizations that have gathered around this topic about helping the next generation, helping kids get paid internships, getting them in the door, but when we’re talking about bail-outs or funding or backing or whatever you want to call it, it shouldn’t be just about helping people like me pay their mortgages. It has to help those 19-year-old kids who blew their shot and were living in New York for six months trying to go to auditions and waking up at 5 in the morning to wait in lines and then had to leave the city. How can we help a person like that?
Nikki Renée Daniels (Jenny) At the risk of sounding cheesy, I just love singing. It’s the passion of my life, other than my family. Even when I’m not working, I’m always singing or practicing or learning, going back to my old opera aria books and trying to learn a song. But I miss being with a cast. The special thing about Broadway is that it’s different every night. I’ve done a few little TV gigs and stuff since we’ve been off, and you feel like you don’t have control over the final product of your own performance. Even with these virtual concerts I’ve been doing, you tape a song four different times, and you don’t know which one they’re going to use. Now, yes, it has been nice to not feel the pressure or the instant worry when you get a sniffle or a sore throat and you have eight shows to do and you’re like oh, no, am I going to be out? But being on Broadway, every night the show is different, and alive, and you feel like your performance is your own. I did The Book of Mormon for four years and there was always an understudy or a new cast member or something that just kept it so fresh, and that’s so specific to Broadway.