Today we are pleased to share an exclusive interview with Ted Ely, who most recently portrayed the role of Boq in the 2nd National Tour of “Wicked”. He left the production in December 2009, being replaced by Zach Hanna. Prior to his experience on tour, he played the role in the Chicago production of the show. Enjoy the interview!
When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?
-I knew I wanted to be an actor professionally my second year in High School, in the middle of a musical theatre class I was in. Made the decision right there and never looked back.
What was your first professional acting job, and how did you land it?
-The chorus of The Wizard Of OZ at The MUNY in St. Louis. I flew to St. Louis and auditioned. It was in the summer of 2006, after my second year in college. It’s kind of crazy my first professional show was The Wizard Of Oz and my first big job out of college was Wicked. I still can’t believe it, I’m so thankful and grateful for such an opportunity.
How did you come to audition for “Wicked” and what was the audition process like?
-I got a call from my agent telling me I had an appointment to be seen. Then prepared the sides (parts of scenes)/song and went in and did my best. I had about 5 or 6 callbacks before I was offered the part. I really like auditioning so it was a fun time.
How long and how difficult was the initial rehearsal process for the show?
-Well, my initial process was learning the whole show in about two weeks before entering the Chicago company where I played Boq until it closed. Two days before I went into the show I had a put-in (a run through of the show with most of the cast where I was the only one in costume, very weird/overwhelming/informative), and then a couple days later I was in the show.
The rehearsal process for the 2nd national tour was great. I knew a lot of the cast as a lot of the Chicago company came on the tour, and I got to meet new cast members as well. It was a month full of playing, hard work, and attention to detail so we could find the best way to tell the story.
What was your first show like? How were you feeling throughout the show – nervous, excited, scared?
-This is what was going through my head my first show in Chicago (after only two weeks of rehearsal) excitement/fear/oh that’s what the orchestra sounds like/oh that’s what the lights are going to be like/don’t go there or you will get run over/AAHH!/I LOVE THIS!
-Our first on tour we were all just excited to finally have an audience after 6 weeks of emptiness. We all had a great time together, 2 hrs. and 45 mins. of playing with your good friends–just some good clean fun.
What was the rehearsal process like when transitioning from Chicago to the second national tour?
-Kinda got that one
What is it like to open an all new production of a popular show? Is there a lot of pressure put on you?
-Not really, it was pretty chill, from my end anyway. I think it really helped to have done it in Chicago already.
What is your favorite song or scene to perform, and why?
-Probably Governor’s Mansion, mostly because I just love Kristine and Marcie so much. It was an absolute joy to do that scene with them every night, I looked forward to it because of them.
Do you have any onstage bloopers or mishaps you’ve been involved in or witnessed you’d like to share?
-Almost stumbled into the pit once coming out on the “Glinda, Glinda” part in the beginning of courtyard. It wasn’t too funny at the time, but it sure is now. I’ve witnessed many falls and runaway wigs…those wigs can just pop right off sometimes, it is quite a mishap and quite funny.
Do you have any details on upcoming projects you can share?
-Not as of right now
Are there any dream roles you’d like to play one day?
-Right now, just to be in a play with Liev Schreiber. Saw A View From The Bridge on Broadway…He’s. Incredible.
What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
-ALWAYS BE PREPARED. Be fearless. Have fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay positive–didn’t get the role, no problem, something better is coming. And be nice!