Interview: Shoshana Bean (Secret Broadway)
Secret Broadway is a series of unforgettable evenings of musical theatre favourites, with numbers performed by special guests from Broadway and beyond. It’s part late night sing-a-long and part homage to musical theatre and cabaret. Nothing unlocks the love of theatre like a musical – and these artists are inviting audiences to fall in love with their favourite songs all over again.
When first beginning a new project, what is the first part of your process in approaching a new role?
I try to find the point at which she and I intersect. Where we are similar and then where we are different.
Do you have any opening night rituals? If so, what are they?
Nope! Just a prayer I remember all my lines and blocking!
What is something that you take away from each show that you work on? Do you feel like you take a piece of the production with you each time?
I do. I take wonderful new people that become like family and each role changes me in some way. Each character teaches me more about who I am and therefore cracks my heart open a little more. If a role hasn’t changed you, even in some small way. . .I don’t think you’ve really shown up to the task.
When was the turning point for you when you realised that theatre was not just a hobby but a passion? How did you go about making it your career and is there any one show that you can attribute this to?
I think there were a series of moments and I just kept following the breadcrumbs. But I think a really pivotal point that set me down the path was when I was in a professional production of Sunday in the Park with George at 9 years old. The woman who played Dot, I was enamoured of and she happened to be one of the first musical theatre graduates from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. When it came time for me to choose a college, I was certainly swayed by the fact she had attended, and I ultimately chose to go to Cincinnati. Had it not been for her I’m not sure the school would have even been on my radar. The rest is history!
Across your work, is there one story, thought or theme that keeps you interested in continuing to create? What stories do you find yourself drawn to the most?
Because I know it’s my purpose. I know we have the power to change people and culture and society with our work. And with that comes a responsibility to continue to create and show up to the work. To continue to mine for new depths. I am drawn to stories that crack open my heart. I am drawn to the truth of who we are, to the truth of our pain, because it is at that point that we all connect.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and what is still on your performance bucket list?
There have been so many. . .but I’d say since it was the most recent, waitress. I’d love to originate a role on Broadway now!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given that you would like to pass on to aspiring theatre makers?
Best piece of advice was trust your gut.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
What is your favourite production you have ever seen?
That’s so hard. Ever??? On Broadway I think the one that comes to mind immediately is ragtime.
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world - where do you go?
Oooo right now I’m craving Italy!
What is your dream show to work on?
What is a hobby you have beyond the theatre?
I suppose writing and recording.
What’s next for you after this show?
Time to work on a new album!
Secret Broadway is on at Home of the Arts Queensland for one night only - February 22, 2020. You can get your tickets here.