YBAN’s Lindsay talked to Christopher Paul Richards (Finding Neverland) ahead of tonight’s premiere of his new CBS show “Me, Myself & I” and the release of his new film “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women”! Read the interview HERE.
Devin Trey Campbell will depart Kinky Boots on October 22nd! Go see him before then if you can!
Here’s Jasper Newell (Samara) sharing his thoughts on his show!
Tonight, “The Son” premieres on AMC at 9/8c, featuring Tony nominee Sydney Lucas (Fun Home)! Make sure to tune in!
“Stranger Things,” starring alumni Caleb McLaughlin (The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, The Lion King) and Gaten Matarazzo (Les Miserables, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), is nominated for Show of the Year at the MTV Movies & TV Awards! Congrats! Get more information on Deadline.com.
Check out Sunday in the Park with George‘s Instagram stories, where Mattea Marie Conforti did a takeover today! Find out more in her post:
And here are pictures and videos from the kids of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Waitress, School of Rock, Anastasia, The Lion King, Miss Saigon, On Your Feet, Sunday in the Park with George, and Amelie!
Congratulations to Brandon Pereyra and Samuel Li Weintraub, who have joined the cast of Miss Saigon as Tam!
Miss Saigon has announced that the production will offer rush tickets! Get more details on TheaterMania.com. In addition, Sunday in the Park with George has announced that they will continue to offer rush tickets through the end of their run! Find out more, also on TheaterMania.com.
Finn Douglas (Radio City Christmas Spectacular) has booked a voiceover commercial!
Get a sneak peek at The Light Years at Playwrights Horizons on TheaterMania.com!
We hope everyone attending Kids’ Night On Broadway has a great time!
Eleanor Koski (Les Miserables) makes peanut butter cups with her sister in this Broadway Bakes video!
Watch Dylan Boyd (Finding Neverland) sing at a Madison Square Garden halftime show!
And here are pictures from the kids of Dream Street, Matilda, On Your Feet, School of Rock, Waitress, and Kinky Boots!
We continue with When I Grow Up, our interview series where we catch up entertainment pros with Broadway kid roots and talk about their upcoming film/TV/music projects! This month we talked to Akira Golz who recently finished playing Alice in Matilda, her Broadway debut. She lept from Broadway to Nick Jr. a month later to star as the titular character in “Nella the Princess Knight”! Akira plays 8 year old Nella, a princess who fights for justice with her fellow knight Sir Garrett and trusty unicorn Trinket. We talked with Akira about booking Matilda, playing Minecraft, and leading a groundbreaking Nick Jr. show!
How did your performing arts career begin?
My parents actually have videos of me singing from a very young age, so think I was born that way. LOL. But my career started when my gymnastics coach suggested acting to my mom because I’d always sing and dance when waiting in line to use the different equipment. After a lot of pushing from my coach, my mom sent my picture to two modeling agents and it began from there. So I started out as a print model at age 5 and from there did commercials, voiceovers, and musical theater. I began auditioning for musical theater at age 7 before ever being in a theater production. After auditioning for a year of Broadway shows I started doing regional and community theater, which helped me soooo much on my journey to Broadway.
Photo Credit: Akira Golz
What was it like finding out you booked Matilda?
Well I’ve been auditioning for Matilda for about 3 years. The music director at Matilda told me that I was one of the first group of girls to audition for the role of Matilda, I was 7. There was a period where I auditioned for both Matilda & Lavender roles. After that I auditioned for Lavender/ensemble kids, then I got Alice. Matilda has been a big part of my life so when I got into Matilda I was beyond happy!
Describe your Broadway debut.
I was very excited on my Broadway debut. I wasn’t nervous at all. I’m not sure why but it felt like a rehearsal with an audience. I was worried more when I had my put-in.
Did you have a favorite song or scene to perform in Matilda?
My favorite song to perform was Revolting. Because the feeling of the dancing in that number made me feel empowered. I always looked forward to performing it.
What was your favorite thing to do backstage at Matilda?
My favorite thing to do backstage was to play Minecraft with the other kids and I loved making Video Stars. They are videos you make where you lip-sync to a song, like it’s a music video.
What was the audition process for “Nella the Princess Knight” like?
My audition for Nella I could not make the audition in person due to Matilda rehearsals. So we ended up doing a self-tape recording the sides on my phone. Sometimes you do so many auditions you forget about them, but probably a month to maybe 2 months later I got callback. My callback was in person. One month later my manager called me with the news that I booked Nella. I couldn’t believe it!
Akira presenting at UNICEF’s 70th Anniversary Event with Chen Lin and Millie Bobby Brown. Photo Credit: Zimbio.com
Did you have a favorite Nick Jr. show when you were younger?
Yes! My favorite Nick Jr. show was definitely Dora. I watched that every day before I went to school.
What’s your schooling situation like for “Nella” as compared to Matilda?
Since I record Nella once to twice a week I’m able to go to back to my public school. When I was in Matilda I had to be home schooled, because we had to go in 2 hours early for safeties. So that schedule didn’t work to well for regular school, especially my middle school.
Take us through a typical day in the recording studio.
A typical day is I first warm up on the car ride into the city. When I get to the studio I’ll have some tea, it helps warm up my throat. I go into the booth with the voice director and engineer. Sometimes the director of the show Skypes in from Europe and the musical director from California. The voice director talks with me about what we’ll be recording that day. It could be episodes, songs, promos for the show, pickups (which are changes in the lines), or a video game. Then I start recording. I do each line 3 times with different reactions so they have something to choose from.
What’s your advice for kids who want to pursue a career in acting?
My advice is just to never give up. I kept going to auditions even when my mom didn’t want to go. Another tip is to have a good attitude when you go in. Most of the time people want a kid with a good attitude so they’re easy to work with. Also, don’t be scared to ask questions.
Favorite thing to do in NYC: Either go to Central Park or to any museum.
Favorite food to eat in NYC: Chipotle. Because there are none where I live. Broadway dream role: Elphaba in Wicked or Angelica in Hamilton. I can’t decide. If you could swap roles with anyone on Broadway (male or female) right now for one night only, who would it be?: Either one of the roles I listed above. If someone wrote a musical about your life, what would it be called and what would be the name of its show-stopping number?: It would be called, Holo There!: The story of a 12 year old wannabe hipster. The best number would be called: Hunty (like honey but hunty. or hun-ty if that makes sense.)
Thank you so much Akira and mom Wyonna for this really fun interview! You can catch “Nella the Princess Knight” weekday mornings at 10am on Nick Jr.! Check out a promo below:
Happy Trails to the company of Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which played its final performance today! We can’t wait to see what’s next for all of you!
We are launching a monthly interview series with YBAN alumni today called When I Grow Up! The first installment is now up on our website; our founder Lindsay chatted with Katherine McNamara (A Little Night Music) about her Broadway kid days and about Season 2 of “Shadowhunters,” which premiered at 8pm tonight on Freeform! Read the interview HERE.
Watch the final curtain call of Matilda below!
Check out the last curtain call of Fiddler on the Roof below or on BroadwayWorld.com!
And here are pictures and videos from the kids of On Your Feet, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Matilda, Waitress, School of Rock, and Falsettos!
Happy Trails to the company of Matilda, which ended its almost four-year run today! We can’t wait to see what’s next for all of you!
Caleb McLaughlin (The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek, The Lion King) and Gaten Matarazzo (Les Miserables, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) are both listed among the Biggest Breakout Stars of 2016! Read the full list on BuzzFeed.com.
There’s just one day more until our big announcement about the new project we’re launching!
And here are pictures and videos from the kids of School of Rock, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Falsettos, Matilda, On Your Feet, and Waitress!
Thank you for a successful 2016! We have loved meeting so many of you this year and watching so many of you go on to thrive in film and television! Here’s to a wonderful 2017!
Happy Trails to Nerghiz Sarki (Dream Street) and the company of Fiddler on the Roof, which played its final performance tonight! Congratulations on a great run; we can’t wait to see what’s next for you, Nerghiz!
On Your Feet performed during “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” tonight!
There’s only two more days until our big announcement–any guesses about what the exciting new thing we’re launching is?
The broadcast of Falsettos will be filmed January 3rd and 4th! Get more details on Playbill.com.
And here are pictures and videos from the kids of School of Rock, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and Matilda!
Keep an eye out for something new we are launching on January 2nd!
Falsettos and Runaways were both included on Yes Broadway’s Top 10 Theatre Experiences list! Check it out HERE.
Matildapalooza is coming up soon! It will take place at 54 Below on January 6th, February 3rd, and February 4th, and it will feature the girls who have starred as the title character in Matilda on Broadway. Here they are rehearsing for the event:
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