Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company
The Working Actor: Musical Theatre

The Working Actor: Musical Theatre

Episode 115: The Working Actor – Musical Theatre

Heather McGuigan is a musical theatre performer by trade and is just about to start her fifth production of Mary Poppins.

She’s toured the show across North America and talks about how this is one show she never tires of. Heather also talks about what it’s like to play every single role in the musical theatre canon: swing, understudy, ensemble and principle.

She shares the ups and downs of each role and the one thing you should never do as an understudy.

Show Notes

Episode Transcript

Welcome to TFP – The Theatrefolk Podcast – the place to be for Drama teachers, Drama students, and theatre educators everywhere.

I’m Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk.

Hello, I hope you’re well. Thanks for listening.

Welcome to Episode 115! You can find all the links for this episode at

And we continue on with our Working Actor series. What’s it like to be a working actor? How did a choice of school help? What is it like to tour? What is something you should definitely not do as an understudy in rehearsals?

This week’s focus is musical theatre. Heather McGuigan has done it all from swing to principle and every role in-between. This is a great primer to life as a musical theatre performer.

And I just need to preface that, as I was recording this podcast, I was suffering from a very mild case of consumption – a lovely cold, or a smoker’s cough, one or the other. Ah, but I’m sniffling and coughing and all that fun stuff.

Lindsay: All right. Hello everybody! I am here today with Heather McGuigan.

Hello, Heather!

Heather: Hello!

Lindsay: So, tell everyone, where are you in the world right now? Where are you sitting?

Heather: Currently, I am living in Stratford, in-between gigs throughout the year. My boyfriend is a company member here so I tend to come back here when I’m not working.

Lindsay: So, the Stratford Festival is what we’re talking about?

Heather: Yes, the Stratford Festival. He’s in his third season in the musicals and he is in one musical and swings the other. So, this year, he is in Man of La Mancha and he swings Crazy for You.

Lindsay: That’s a word that we’re going to get into in a little bit. But you yourself are a working actress. You are a musical theatre performer, yes?

Heather: I am.

Lindsay: Yes, and what’s your next job going to be?

Heather: I just finished a production of Mary Poppins and I’m now heading to another production of Mary Poppins. This one is going to be at Theatre Aquarius. I will be playing the role of Winifred Banks and understudying Mary. This is actually my third production this year.

Lindsay: Your third production. Have you done more than three?

Heather: I have done five. I started on the first national tour as an ensemble and a Mary understudy. A year later, I joined the second national tour where I did basically my similar track but on the other foot. And then, I covered Winifred and then a production at Neptune where I played Mary and a production at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope where I played Mary.

Lindsay: Okay. So, there’s a ton of things I want to ask you about this whole thing. The first is, what’s it like to do a show, not once, not twice, but five times? When you’re going into it for this fifth time, what’s going through your mind?

Heather: I think this was a show, actually, it’s one of my favorite stories. This show, well, the books, you know, I have been a fan of basically my whole life. I have the fabric-bound copies that were printed in ’64.

Lindsay: I have one of those myself.

Heather: Yeah, I’ve got all of them. They were passed down. They were gifts from my great grandmother to my grandmother to my mother to me. So, it’s been a story that I read for a very long time. The movie is probably the only thing that I would watch – besides Star Wars – as a kid. So, the songs have been kind of in my heart for a very long time.

When the musical came out, I remember I was in my little basement apartment in Toronto, singing full blast, you know? And I called my boyfriend, I said – you know, statement – “I am going to be in this show. I think I’m meant to do this. This was written for what I do. I am going to be in this someday,” and it took, I think, three more years, four more years, to actually get on the tour, and now it’s come around and now it’s here and it’s a brilliant piece of work. I think anybody who gets to tackle such a well-rounded, well-constructed piece of musical theatre is lucky to tackle it this many times.

I actually love doing it with this many different people. It allows you to make new choices. It allows you to be challenged by so many different people and different ideas, different choreo, different staging, especially when I get to play Mary and with Winifred as well. You work with kids. The whole time, their perspective on it is so completely different and it’s fun to have the relationship of being open to brand new things, but also bring in an incredible amount of knowledge which can help technically in terms of people going, “How does the bag work?” you know, “Well, if you do this, this, this, this and this, it’ll work perfectly.” “Ah! Perfect. Thank you so much!” You know, there’s little things that you can bring in to help the production along as you know the secrets – the Disney Magic.

Lindsay: And then, here’s something else which I think will be of great interest to our teachers who have young musical performers. Of course, when they’re in high school, they have this, “I’m going to get the big parts and I’m going to be on Broadway.” They have big, big thoughts and what you’ve said with this particular show, you have played an understudy and you’ve also played Mary, the big part, but now you’re going in to play a little smaller part and I think your attitude sort of has to be “take everything,” isn’t it?

Heather: Power to anybody and bless their hearts for thinking they’re going to play leads their whole life.

Lindsay: Why not, right?

Heather: Hey! Why not? You know, I love a big dream. I love a big goal. You have to have a big one to keep at it. I think that’s the same in any business though. That’s somebody who, you know, from high school says, “I’m going to be a brain surgeon at every major hospital in the world and I’m not going to do any of the ground work. I’m just going to go to school and then I’m going to be the top brain surgeon in the world,” which is great – and enthusiasm is great – but so does everybody else, you know? Everybody wants the lead and in this country and in the States, the talent is remarkable. That’s a great place to be because of what you can learn, what you can bring, and the people that you get to work with. But that’s not going to happen.

Lindsay: It’s not the reality, is it?

Heather: No, it’s not the reality of any business, I think, that people go from zero to management, and I also don’t think it’s healthy. The things that I have learned and taken from being in the ensemble to middle parts to big parts to understudy to swing – that all plays into part. I don’t think you can do one without the other and I think having a wide variety of experience within a company gives you great perspective on the whole show and what your part is in it.

Lindsay: How long have you been a musical theatre performer?

Heather: Fourteen years.

Lindsay: So, let’s go back to the beginning. Here in Canada, we call it university but, in the States, everyone knows it as college. So, where did you decide to go?

Heather: I went to the Sheridan College performance program. I auditioned for a number of different places. Sheridan was, I think, the right fit for me in terms of what they were focusing on. I’m a small town girl at heart. I was seventeen at the time, so moving to downtown Toronto, I wasn’t quite ready for that, but the idea of going to Oakville and living in an apartment across the street but still being not quite in the big city was a perfect match for me.

Lindsay: A lot of our listeners will have students who are thinking about going into a program. What did you look for? What were those specific things that made Sheridan a fit for you aside from being the small town girl and the programs itself?

Heather: Yeah, at the time that I had attended Sheridan – and things do morph over the years – the time that I was there, there was a huge focus on vocal performance and that’s what I do. That’s what makes my heart soar – is to sing. I mean, the program was wonderful. You know, the dance classes were fantastic. It really is a triple threat program. But they trained singers and that was ideal for me.

At the other times, there were other schools that focused primarily on a dancer – I guess a straight play, a non-musical. It’s hard to say “focus on actors” because we’re all actors.

Lindsay: Yes.

Heather: But, yeah, that was the right fit that I was looking for.

Lindsay: What was your first show out of Sheridan?

Heather: My first show was a new Canadian musical. That was in my second year of school. It was called Race Day. And then, in the same summer, I did two Canadian musicals with most of the same company. One was Race Day and another was called Jasper Station. Music was written by Steve Thomas and the book was written by Norm Foster.

Lindsay: Craig Mason, with Theatrefolk, was in Jasper Station with Heather McGuigan!

Heather: I know! That’s my first show!

Lindsay: Well, okay. So, you were out of school and you’re dealing with the school world and then you get plunked into professional world. How did that change? How did things change for you?

Heather: For the better, I think, in a million ways. I think there are some schools that encourage students not to work over the summer – to continue with training, to focus until the school and you feel that you are completely prepared to go out into a professional world. For me, the experience of going out was so wonderful, but I was going into a show – you know, not a show of 25, not a giant mega-musical in the city. I was going into a very small company of incredibly kind, incredibly wonderful actors – you really couldn’t have asked for a better first experience – who all sort of, you know, I think. at some point went, “You’re eighteen? Okay!” But, like, really took me in and were so kind and, you know, the ability to watch rehearsal, to watch how people worked, to watch what questions are people actually asking, what demands are really coming up, what are the million things that I am completely prepared for that is so great that I’m here at this point, and what are the million things that I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

Lindsay: Right.

Heather: Yeah.

Lindsay: You have performed The Gambit, right? In terms of musical theatre performer, you have been in the ensemble, you’ve been a swing, you’ve been an understudy, you’ve been on tour, you’ve been the lead, and I think that I’d really like to go through each one of those and just sort of get out there what they are because I think a lot of our young performers, they might not know what a swing is, for example.

Heather: Absolutely.

Lindsay: Yeah! So, let’s start with what’s it like to be in the ensemble of a big musical? What are things that you really need to focus on?

Heather: There’s a wonderful, wonderful quote by a director that I heard when I did an ensemble and she said, “The ensemble creates the world that the leads play in. If you don’t create that world, then the story is not important for the storytellers.” So, that was an amazing thing because sometimes you can feel, “Oh, I’m in the crowd. I do the dance scenes. I sing the songs. I move some sets. I’m not really contributing to the show.” But, actually, you know, the ensemble is vital.

So, things you need to know about the ensemble, you know, music is a big thing. You’re going to learn it fast. Those notes are going to come out quickly. That’s going to be homework. It’s mostly going to be you play it out, you sing through, and you go home and you come back the next day off-book. That’s the plan because, as soon as you learn the music, you have to add steps and choreo to that. So, you know, you have to come in the next day completely prepared. You’re not going to get the same amount of rehearsal time with the music. Then, you add in choreo. It completely depends on the choreographer and what their process is. But, for the most part, it’s pretty darn fast!

So, you know, you’ve been hired for the job. There’s nothing wrong with really going up to your choreographer or your dance captain and go, “I didn’t get that. I didn’t get it. I stood in the back. I have no idea what that is. Can you please break this down for me?” But, inevitably, you come back the next day and you know it. The learning curve is very fast and actually changing choreo on the fly during tech, during previews, you know, that’s going to happen so things are going to change remarkably fast and you have to be very adaptable.

Lindsay: What’s the most number of parts that you’ve played as an ensemble member?

Heather: In a show? I mean, one, two, three, four, five… I guess six?

Lindsay: That, too! Part of being on the ensemble is that you’re, you know, townsperson, you’re shopkeeper, and you’ve got to keep all that in your head too with the singing and the dancing and being part of making that world.

Heather: Absolutely, yes! Your backstage traffic, your quick changes, your makeup changes, your wig changes – those have to be done with incredible specificity but, yes, once you’re on-stage, you have completely embody an entirely new person. I mean, I think Mary’s one of the widest groups where, you know, you play a London lady then you’re a girl dancer then you’re what they call the chatterbox and super cow so you’re a person who doesn’t speak, who expresses all of their communications through movement, then you’re a chimneysweep, then I was a doll, then a lady, then a chimneysweep. You know, you jump back and forth so much.

Lindsay: Does it ever get jumbled in your head? Do you ever go, “I do not know which part I’m supposed to do next…” or is it just so focused and regimented that you can just go from one to the other?

Heather: It’s pretty much there. I mean, the costume can really, all you have to do is look down.

Lindsay: Yes, chimneysweep, excellent!

Heather: If that ever happened, you kind of go, “Oh, okay! Perfect! This part.” If not, make a list. There’s nothing wrong with having a list on your mirror of the order of what things go through if that’s something that isn’t coming naturally to you.

Lindsay: Cool. Okay. So, let’s move on to a swing. What is a swing in a musical?

Heather: A swing is, I believe, the – the easiest way to say it – is an understudy for the ensemble. A swing is hired. They generally do not appear in the production every night. Their job is to know every single track of each of the ensemble members. And so, you memorize, you make incredible notes, you develop whatever your own system is. Your job is to have a handle on, I believe, in Canada the rule is nine – you can have up to nine roles.

Lindsay: Wow!

Heather: You know, in and out. So, you will get a call. It could be at 11 o’clock in the morning. It could be at 3:00. It could be at 5:00. It could be at the half. It could be 20 minutes into the show.

Lindsay: Really?

Heather: Oh, yeah! And they say, “Get dressed. You’re going on.”

Lindsay: So, you’re at home? Are you in the theatre?

Heather: Nope, you’re in the theatre. As a swing, you’re at the theatre all the time. Often, a swing is also the dance captain of the show. The dance captain is somebody who keeps track of choreography, making sure that things are clean, they’re in the right place, and everybody is working at the highest level of their capacity. Often, you do both because you’re able to be outside of the show and you can watch and take notes. So, that can end up being a situation where you know 27 tracks – which I’ve done.

Lindsay: As a swing, is it really hard to sit in the theatre and know that you may go on, you may not go on? Like, the tension and the energy level must be very hard to maintain.

Heather: Yes, it’s an incredibly difficult position. It is an incredible challenge to play that many roles, to take on whatever skill set, you know, whatever those people have, whatever tricks they can do, you need to do, or some semblance of those. You know, the vocal requirement, generally, you’re going to learn three different harmonies. So, you’re going to be learning, you know, you’re going to know every single vocal line of the show so your range either has to be great or you have the ability to make it expansive as you sing from the top note to the bottom in the show.

It can be amazingly rewarding. I was a swing on Les Miz which was great. So, I had eight female covers and a principle cover and then I was actually made assistant dance captain so I did learn every single track in the show. But that was a situation of joy because I got to sing the whole score.

Lindsay: You knew everything!

Heather: I knew everything and I played all the parts which was amazing, you know, because you can think, “Man, I could just sing, ‘At the end of the day, she’s the one who began it,’” and that’s it every day in every show. I got to play every role. I got to fulfil every single one of those dreams when you dream of being in Les Miz – if that is a big one for you, and it’s a big one for most of us. So, the chance to tackle each one of those parts is a real joy.

Lindsay: Yeah, you went on as Fantine in Les Miz as well?

Heather: That was my cover, yes.

Lindsay: Was that as a swing or as an understudy?

Heather: That would be as an understudy.

Lindsay: Okay.

Heather: Yeah, which was great.

Lindsay: So, let’s talk about that. What’s it like to be an understudy? How much time did you get? How much notice and prep time did you get to know you were going on as Fantine?

Heather: The first time, I had about three hours. I guess I was in rehearsal. I was actually in my understudy rehearsal. I had done my scenes and I came off the deck and my stage manager was there and said, “How did that feel?” and I said, “I feel great.” He said, “Great because you’re going to do it tonight!” So I screamed for joy and I ended up doing all sorts of leaps because I was quite excited. You know, I got on the phone immediately to anybody who I know to go and get a ticket because that was actually my first time in the show.

Lindsay: Oh, man.

Heather: It was actually doing that role. I think I did half a track. I did half a track of somebody’s. Someone got halfway through the show and I went but that was, I think, actually my very first full performance.

As an understudy, it’s a huge amount of work on your own. Hopefully you get some music time – and I did, which was wonderful, with our incredible music director. You’re given about an hour with them. Then, you go on-stage to rehearse your material. It’s basically kind of once. If you have fights, you start at the fights so you have – I don’t know – maybe two goes at the fights. Then, you go through your blocking for safety and spacing. And then, you have a go to give it your all, and that’s about it. And then, you do the understudy run. You’re in costume and you do a full show. So, in a sense, you have three times.

Lindsay: When you’re an understudy, are you able to bring any of your own flavour to a role? Or is it your job to present what the actor playing a role has put out there?

Heather: It’s very different per show. It depends on who the producers are, who the directors are, and whether they are looking for something very similar or whether they are open to having you do different choices. Generally, what I tend to stick is, well, I mean, you also have to know your other actors because that’s the first thing. Are the other actors on-stage? Are they going to be ready for me if I try something completely different or are they going to be annoyed if I try something completely different? Because they are the principle performers; you are stepping in to a part that is not yours.

So, you know, you have to respect the people that are doing it every night and the show that they’re creating. You don’t want to trip them up strictly for the sake of making your own choices. So, that’s something that you talk about with them. Inevitably, you’re going to be different. You’re a different person. You know, you’re not doing an imitation.

Lindsay: It’s you.

Heather: You’re not doing a copy. It is you and you have to make that real. The second that you try to just copy what they’re doing, it’s going to fail and it won’t be satisfying for you as you are up there performing as somebody else in your own head which is tricky.

Lindsay: When you get an understudy role, are you usually just understudying one part? Or two or three? What do you get?

Heather: It can be two or three. It depends on who else is in the company. It depends on the nature of the show. Oh, I had two. I’ve had two principle understudies.

Lindsay: For what show?

Heather: For Charlie Brown at Stratford.

Lindsay: Right.

Heather: So, I covered Sally and Lucy in the show so that’s two principle roles. I was the dance captain as well on that. So, actually, you will end up knowing all eight. It’s a very common thread to swing or understudy and to dance captain. It often goes hand in hand.

Lindsay: When you are in rehearsals, as an understudy, what do you do? Like, do you get time on-stage? Do you just basically have to take a lot of notes? How is that understudy role? How do you take it on in a rehearsal?

Heather: Within a rehearsal setting, the idea is to learn what you need to learn. Be present. But you want to be as discreet and as respectful as possible to the directors and to the person playing the role. They are in a creative process. They are working things out. They are discovering making mistakes, trying new things, so it can be very distracting if there’s someone in the corner writing down everything that you do while you’re still figuring it out as that role. So, it depends.

I mean, in Canada, you are at least, and I know from here, you are very welcome to watch all of the rehearsals, but be in the corner and be quiet and don’t move around too much or anything that makes you too distractive. Really just try to blend in and just sort of be a pair of eyes and take what you can learn. But it’s great to hear the direction. It’s great to hear the reasons why you’re doing these things.

It’s a huge chance to watch the other actor, your scene partner. What did they do? How did they react? So that, when I get up there, what can I expect from them? You’re as much watching your scene partner as you are watching the person that you are understudying.

In music rehearsal, you know, you can record them. Don’t let them know. Don’t sing along. Don’t ever speak along or dance along on the side to their work. Those are things that are going either annoy the room, create an energy of competition in terms of there’s somebody doing your stuff right beside you, They’re ready. They’re ready, you know, they want to go on. They want to play your part. You really need to be as humble as possible while still getting the information that you need. But, if your lead hates you, you’re never going on.

Lindsay: They’re never getting sick – ever ever ever.

Heather: Yeah, I mean, that’s the kind of thing. You know, you have to play that game a little bit because, if they go, “Oh, god, she just drove me nuts! You know what? I am never going off.” That’s not to say anything. I mean, anybody can be competitive in their own work.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Heather: This is a competitive business.

Lindsay: It’s exactly as you say. It’s the game that you’ve got to play and you’ve got to balance it out, right?

Heather: Absolutely, yeah.

Lindsay: Okay. Now, you’ve been on a couple of tours. What tours have you been on?

Heather: I’ve been on five.

Lindsay: Five tours? Where have you…?

Heather: I took Anne of Green Gables one year down to Connecticut. That was a Charlottetown Festival production. I have done two tours with Drayton Entertainment. We produced a full Canadian company show. We ran it in Ontario and then took it on a US – actually, well, North American. We hit a lot of Canadian cities – North American tours. The first one was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels where I played Christine Colgate and the second one was Camelot where I was Lady, well, Lady something.

Lindsay: Yeah, you know, Lady quote-unquote.

Heather: Lady something. That’s not great for the people where I just talked about you need to be completely involved as an ensemble member. I named myself.

Lindsay: You did. Of course, you did.

Heather: I’m sure I did. And then, two Mary Poppins tours.

Lindsay: So, what is it like to go on tour? Is there a number of rituals that you have to do to keep yourself healthy? What’s it like to go on a long tour?

Heather: They’re amazing. I am not attached to surroundings. I am not attached to my things. I am not attached to my kitchen. I don’t have pets or children. So, things are set up.

Lindsay: Touring works for you, yeah?

Heather: Touring works for me. I love the adventure of it. I love a new city. I love new food. I’m a big, big, big outdoor adventure person so the opportunity to cross the country and hike and climb. I like to white water raft but I think, if my stage managers knew I had done that, they would have been…

Lindsay: A little annoyed.

Heather: A little wary. But we did it at the end of the tour. We did it in the last week. So, for me, that adventure, and to be paid to travel, it doesn’t get much better than that, particularly with a musical. I had wonderful casts of people. Luckily, two out of those tours, I’ve done with Galen, and that’s a major thing. To leave your partner for that length of time, to be traveling, to have service, phone service, to not have phone service, to be in hotels where the internet is not great, to be in different time zones, you know, for weeks on end can be very difficult. To be away, that is certainly something that is not for everyone and that’s okay to admit that’s not for everyone. I did six months on the Mary tour and it was a long time. I think the last six weeks were on the west coast so I had a four-hour time difference.

Lindsay: That’s a lot.

Heather: It’s a lot.

Lindsay: What’s it like to go into a new theatre every day? Again, do you find that exciting just to have that challenge of, “Okay, this wing is completely different!”?

Heather: Yeah, I love it, particularly on the Drayton tours on Camelot and Dirty Rotten, we were going from 3,000-seat theatres to 500-seat theatres so there were days when we have a list of what set can we have today and what can’t fit in the building – great! So, you know, those are things that are fun if you are, in some senses, an adrenaline junkie and I think that’s why I actually enjoy being a swing and an understudy. I like the change. I like the challenge. I like things going on the fly. I like having new people out there. I like being the new person out there. But, again, that’s not for everyone and that’s okay to know that that’s not for everyone.

Lindsay: Absolutely. You’ve got to know where you perform best, right?

Heather: Yeah, because inevitably it’s your life. I mean, whatever the show may be, you want to make the best experience out of your life. If that is not stepping on-stage in a role that you’ve never done and you’re terrified and it’s stressful, don’t do that for the sake of a job.

Lindsay: Yeah. How do you keep care of your voice when you’re on a tour? Is it challenging or are you just one of those “I’ll just go with it”?

Heather: Not at all. On a tour, it’s very tricky. Hotels are very dry by nature – so are theatres. I travel with a tiny, tiny humidifier. How big is it? It’s about the size of maybe a lunch container. You plug a water bottle into it so that’s something that I turn on the minute I get into a hotel room.

I don’t go out that much. I mean, that’s the really big killer is honestly drinking and yelling in bars. That’s what kills you, I think, more than anything else. So, you learn, I mean, if you’re a principle, if you forget it on a tour, you know, you’re not seeing anything. You’re going home and you’re going to bed.

If you’re in an ensemble where the vocal demands are not as strong, you can enjoy your time. But, for me, personally, anything less than 100 percent every single show is not good enough. So, I hold myself at an extremely high standard. Those are my own goals. You know, when it’s a birthday party or a huge night-out, if I have a matinee the next day, I’m not going – flat out. I just don’t. But other people have the iron lung as they call it.

On tour, you have to drink, any time you’re in a show, you have to drink an enormous amount of water. But, when you’re on planes and buses and hotels, it’s five liters a day.

Lindsay: Wow.

Heather: Yeah, usually, like in Ontario, I usually sit at three, three and a half, four just to stay there. But, you know, you have to get in that extra little bit whenever you travel that much.

Lindsay: For sure. Okay. So, as we end up here, the last question I want to ask you is about being a triple threat. As a musical theatre performer, that’s the buzzword now, right? Act, sing, and dance. How necessary is it to be a working actor, as a musical theatre performer, to have all three?

Heather: In some senses, have to; in some senses, it’s not even a discussion – have to. Actor being first.

Lindsay: Okay, yeah.

Heather: 100 percent.

Lindsay: Why?

Heather: Because lots of people can kick their faces, lots of people can turn, you know, can do seven pirouettes, lots of people can do that. But, if your face is dead and you aren’t present in the moment, no one’s watching you anyway. So, it’s acting first because that leads into everything else. You can sing a high C but who cares if it’s not motivated? So, it’s actor first.

I think every single person – musical theatre or straight plays – you have to be able to dance in some way. If you are in a Shakespeare, if you are in Shaw, if you are doing Chekhov, you’re going to waltz – have to – or you’re going to do some sense of movement on-stage. You have to be able to know your right from left. You have to have at least some sense of your body movement. So, that’s a must.

I actually think we are now in a quadruple threat decade. I think playing an instrument now is quite required. I think that’s a huge thing and I think, if you can tumble on top of that, that’s part of it too.

Lindsay: Wow. All right. There you go. Now you must be the quadruple threat.

Heather: Yeah.

Lindsay: Why not?

Heather: Playing an instrument has become very common. It’s very common to have them on-stage. It’s very common for people to want to play orchestra and be in the show. That’s pretty common now.

Lindsay: Cool. Okay. Well, there you go, everyone listening. Go pick up an instrument as well.

Heather, thank you so much for talking to us today. It was lovely to just sort of get some insight into that musical theatre life. Thank you so much!

Heather: Thank you! I really appreciate it.

Thank you so much, Heather!

I have been loving these talks. We had our first talk in Episode 113 with Marty Moreau on commercial acting. Last week, 114 with Steve Ross about going to school and that kind of choice. And here, 115, musical theatre with Heather.

You can check Heather out on her website – – which I’ve also included in the show notes at

And, if you want in on the written reflection and listening quiz for this Working Actor series, you’ve got to join our email list. That’s the only place you can find these all written up and ready for you. You can get the link in the show notes for this episode –

Before we go, let’s do some THEATREFOLK NEWS.

So, this past month, on our blog, you know, I just threw out some really interesting resources there with our written reflection and listening quiz. We’ve got more for you! On our blog, we’ve been putting out some great rehearsal resources – how to have an effective table read, different warm-ups that you can apply to different types of plays. You know, what warm-up would you use for a devised show? A Shakespeare show? An absurd piece?

Yesterday, we just put up ten questions to ask during rehearsal. Get your student actors thinking in-depth about their characters and their place in the play.

You want to find all these great resources? Go to our website. Get on our blog. Or you can go to our show notes –

Finally, where, oh, where can you find this podcast? Where can you direct students to find this podcast? We post new episodes every Tuesday at and on our Facebook page and Twitter. You can find us on and you can find us on the Stitcher app and you can subscribe to TFP on iTunes. All you have to do is search for the word “Theatrefolk.”

That’s where we’re going to end. Take care, my friends. Take care.

Music credit:”Ave” by Alex (feat. Morusque) is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

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