Backstage Chat with Alan Wiggins

Alan Wiggins

(Currently in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway)

 

How is being in Beautiful different from your experience at The Lion KingWhen I was in Lion King it was much more stressful, because as a swing I didn’t know when I was going on, and who I’d be going on for. I had to be ready for anything. Here, I know what I’m going to get, and there’s comfort in that.

 

What do you love most about being a part of this cast? It’s really exciting to get to tell a story every night that is a real story—there’s a different kind of responsibility to share someone’s legacy and life experience.

 

What was the audition process for The Lion King like? Someone from Binder Casting came to my Penn State showcase. I got an audition a few weeks later for future Simba replacements. I didn’t know how well it went at the time, but fast-forward almost two years later, they had called me back in, and it was down to me and one other guy. I didn’t get the job, but six months later, another track opened up and they offered me the job. You just never know! Getting cast in Beautiful was even crazier. One Sunday I got a Facebook message, of all things, from the casting director. I auditioned that Wednesday, callback on Monday. One hour after the callback I got the job, and I started a month later.

 

What advice would you give to current students? Trust the training. Really give it all you’ve got. The faculty will set you up for success if you really want it. When you graduate, audition for as much as you can that you feel that you’re right for, because it really is a numbers game. Don’t be so sure about where you fit, and what you do. You never know what someone else may see in you. Be open to as many experiences and opportunities and the right thing will find you.

 

How important is community once you get to the city? It’s everything. Try to surround yourself with the people who you think are going to make it. The people you think are working hard and are passionate about this career. They will only make you better. We have the choice to create our own family outside of our actual family. When you come to New York, you will need support, so make a good support system for yourself so you don’t feel alone when you’re standing in line at 6 a.m. at the Equity building.

 

What’s your regiment to stay healthy? If I feel like I’m getting sick, I’ll take the Wellness Formula (you can get it at Whole Foods or the Vitamin Shoppe). Try to get as much sleep as possible. I always make sure I have some kind of tea (Throat Coat).

 

Have any audition advice? It is your time. We’re trying to make people like us all the time. Let that go. Trust that you’ve done the work. Your skills are there. Have a good time. That’s what they will respond to. This is your five-minute show. They can’t leave. So give them your all. If you don’t get it, there will be another audition. You’re going to hear a lot of no’s before you hear that yes. The more you go in, the more you can build relationships and trust with casting directors. Every day someone is booking their biggest gig, and one day it’s going to be you.

 

What’s your wish for this next chapter in your career? I would love to originate a role in a show on Broadway. A classic-sounding contemporary musical. I have goals, but I try not to let them rule me.

 

What other things do you love to do? I love puzzles. I like things that keep my mind active. I spend a lot of my off time hanging with friends. I am starting to explore photography a bit, and I’m excited about that. I like bowling. I’m kind of a dork J.

 

How do you handle stress? When I need to calm down, I read a book. In general, I make an effort to be kind to myself, and remember that tomorrow is another day.

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