Ode to a Broadway Tour Girl!
An Interview with Nathaly Lopez
We’ve heard from actors and actresses on how difficult Broadway is – but what about Broadway tours? Check out this special interview with an actress on tour with In The Heights and find out what it’s like before the tour begins, life on the road and being in a different city constantly – all to bring you a Broadway show!
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Bronx. Growing up in NYC made me who I am today- thick skinned, confident, and fearless. I am a singer/actress and my goal is to make it on Broadway – the stage is my home! Everything in my life right now revolves around my career and getting to where I want to be. I am super focused on achieving my goals. I am also a graduate from the City College of New York and am currently on tour with the 2nd national tour of In The Heights!. I give God all the thanks for where I am and where I will be in the future.
I remember how talented you were in college! But I’ve always wondered, why musical theater (though, you were obviously born for it!)? Did anyone specific have an influence musically on your life?
I come from a family of musicians and singers. I have sung all of my life – in church and school growing up. My sophomore year of college I took an acting class and fell in love with it. I then thought, “Why not combine the two things I am most passionate about, singing and now acting?” So that’s what I ended up doing. My family in general had an influence in my life musically, but my dad more specifically. When he was my age, he was on the road trying to making it as a recording artist in our country and he stopped his dream in order to settle down and have a family, which included raising me. He could have continued his music career but that meant me and my siblings growing up without him always around. He made a choice and never achieved his passion. So that influenced me to fulfill my dream and in some way he’s living through me. If I make it, it’s as if he would have. So it’s a big deal for me and my siblings also. My younger brother is also trying to make it in the music industry.
We definitely think you’ll make it! How does it feel to be such an influence on your younger brothers and sisters?
It feels great. Not sure how much of an influence I am, but of course, me doing what I am doing, if that helps my brother push more, that’s amazing!
You are currently on tour with In The Heights. What’s the best thing about it?
There are a few amazing things about touring. But it’s also being on stage every night, which is what I love and going to different cities every day. It’s never repetitive. The most we are in one city is 3 nights. Later in the tour we will have longer sit downs but not this year. This specific show is about my culture and people. I’m celebrating my roots every day – so that’s the best part about touring with this show. Also, having great moments on stage with my cast, different moments every night. It’s fun.
What’s the worst thing about being on tour?
It’s super hard on your body. We are on a bus every day. Carrying our luggage on and off the bus every day is also annoying. But at the end of the day, it becomes something you don’t even think about. It’s like “Well, I need my things so I HAVE to do this whether I want to or not.” So I must put motivation behind it. Same as being on that bus for hours. It’s taking me to the next city, a new city I’ve possibly never been to. So it keeps it interesting. Finding good food is hard also. It becomes repetitive, sandwiches and salads for me. I miss my home food. But overall, it becomes normal and you get used to it. So it’s cool. At the end of the day, I’m doing what I love so as along as I take care of myself, stretching, eating well, resting as much as I can when I can, it’s all good.
What were rehearsals like?
Rehearsals were super rough in that I had no life. All I did was rehearse for twelve days. My time off was to sleep. But it was working super hard to produce a great show. I had to be focused and learn everything as quickly as possible because there wasn’t much time at all. And then we jumped right into tech and performances. So it was a rough two weeks. We rehearsed about 6-8 hours a day. So it was a super speedy process.
Talk to us about your first night on stage with In The Heights, how did you feel?
I felt energized and ready to go! I felt at home like this was a normal part of my life to be on stage. I was excited and had this huge rush in me!
Tell us about your dressing room.
My dressing room changes everyday. Some rooms are huge and others very small and tight. Some are more luxurious as far as lights and bathrooms. They are all very different. Sometimes, I share with all of the women, and other times, just the ensemble women. Sometimes I have my own complete station in one room. It changes from theatre to theatre. It is exciting to see the next dressing room also. And see the difference. The common thing is that your station has your name and role above it of course. That’s all I have as far as dressing rooms. I can’t complain. It’s different all the time.
If you could be the star of any Broadway show, what would it be?
I would do anything to be Mama Rose in Gypsy! I played the role in college for a student directed workshop production and I fell in love with her.
Be sure to be on the look out for this up and coming talented girl!
Make sure to check her out in, In The Heights Tour, her Twitter for updates and her Youtube page to hear her glorious voice! Enjoy!
-Ashley, December 2011