This post was written by Makenna Baker (11) with some slight editing done by her mom.
Confession time, I have never seen the movie “Beauty and the Beast”. That didn’t bother the folks at the Victoria Theatre Association when they asked me to interview Jack Mullen (12) and Josh Feldman (10) – the actors who portray Chip in the Broadway version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”. The show opened at the Schuster Performing Arts Center last night.
As we walked into the Schuster Center green room we shook hands. I was nervous and not sure what to expect. But Jack and Josh made it easy. They were ready to answer all of my questions, and we even had a few minutes to talk about Star Wars, Marvel super heroes and skateboarding.
I don’t have a single idea on how you would get into acting in a Broadway show. I wanted to know how they got started. Jack shared that he went to the Broadway Artist Alliance in 2013 where he talked to casting directors. One of the directors asked him to be in a fill-in role for five weeks on the “Beauty and the Beast” tour. He really enjoyed it and
was asked to join the tour full time. Josh had a similar story, only he joined the cast full time from the start.
While both agreed being part of the Disney magic is so much fun, they disagreed on where is the best place to be during the tour. “Well, I think that being on stage and actually being able to act and sing is the best,” said Josh. “Being
backstage, watching the show and talking with fellow actors is fun, too.” added Jack.
Jack and Josh started acting when they were five years old. Josh has played in “The Fiddler on the Roof”, “Guys and Dolls” and “Cinderella”. Jack has performed in “The Nutcracker”, “A Christmas Carol”, and “Shrek The Musical”.
Like me, they are both homeschooled. Jack said it is sometimes hard for him because he has a deadline that’s hard to stick to. Josh added that sometimes it can be a little overwhelming with rehearsals and squeezing in homework before a performance.
They each like touring because they get to see different cultures. So far, they are enjoying Dayton. Josh shared that he loves to explore nieghborhoods and find new things. Jack said his favorite cities on the tour so far have been St. Louis and Dallas.
Although stars in “Beauty and the Beast,” they each have a dream character they would like to play. Josh would like to be the Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” and Jack would like to be Les in “The Newsies”.
They shared some back stage secrets, including that the beast, Darick Pead, isn’t all that beastly. In fact, he’s actually a big practical joker on the tour.
I told them to visit some of my favorite spots – Riverscape MetroPark, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and Scene75 – while they were in town.
Thanks to Diane Schoeffler-Warren of the VTA for arranging this interview. I had a lot of fun talking to Josh and Jack. I hope everyone gets a chance to see the show!
Victoria Theatre Association presents the 2013-2014 Premier Health Broadway Series production of DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST! BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, May 27 for a limited engagement! Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Center Stage Box Office, by phone at 937- 228-3630, 888-228-3630 and online at www.ticketcenterstage.com.