Today, we are excited to post an interview with the man currently playing Fiyero in the San Francisco production of “Wicked” – Mr. Nicolas Dromard. He played in the first national touring company as a swing and understudy for Fiyero before being cast in the San Francisco production. We thank him for the insightful interview and hope that the readers enjoy it!
What was your first professional acting job, and what did you learn from it?
—-My first professional job was doing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Branson Missouri. I had a great time, and learned that you need the earn the respect of your fellow co-workers. Work hard and be respectful.
We saw on your resume that you performed in “Hairspray” as Sketch and understudied Link & Corny. Did the heavy dancing demanded by the show leave you drained every night? What was it like performing as two of the main male roles?
——I love that show! To this day it’s one of my favorite and I hope to do it again. The dancing was incredibly demanding in terms of energy and you always had to bring it or else you would stick out, but lucky me I have too much energy for my own good, so it was a lot of fun. I enjoy so much doing both Link and Corny, both for different reasons and both being very different characters.
What has been your favorite theatrical role thus far?
—– I have to say Fiyero. I kiss the blonde, I kiss the green, I swing on a rope and I take a bow. This is the best job. Ever.
How did you come to audition for “Wicked” (Tour) and what was the audition process like? How many times did you have to audition?
—-I was very lucky that I first went in for the Broadway show when it first started. I auditioned once and they called me a few weeks later to offer me a swing position and an understudy to Fiyero. Unfortunately I had just signed my contract to do The Boy From Oz and so they called me back for the tour. I danced, danced and danced, and then sang some more one Sunday from 10-6 and they offered me the same position on the tour in 2005. I left the tour in August of 2006.
What was your reaction when you found out you had the job?
—-It was my birthday, I was at the theatre doing Mary Poppins and screamed. And then called my parents.
How long and how difficult was the initial rehearsal process for the show in the ensemble?
—-It’s not too bad. We rehearsed for five weeks at a rehearsal studio. As a swing, it’s much harder because we are not learning the show by being up and doing it on our feet. We have to learn it by watching it and writing everything down, so it’s a little more challenging when you’re called up from your chair to fill in for someone during a rehearsal since it’s your first time doing it. It’s a challenge, but if you’re good, it’s also a lot of fun.
What was your first show like? What about your first show as Fiyero?
—-First show as a swing onstage was awesome. My parents were able to see me in Toronto on the tour and I was bouncing off the gear walls of the set. It was amazing. My first show as Fiyero was so amazing as well, in San Francisco. It was my first principal role so to be able to sing, dance and act and be recognized for what I do is such an incredible experience.
How was the initial rehearsal process for Fiyero?
—–Since I had already learned the role on the tour, my rehearsal process was a quick six days in New York, and then two days with the cast in San Francisco, and then we did the technical rehearsal for a few days and then, voilà! First preview.
How did the move to San Francisco come about?
—The show moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco. They hired me to be the Fiyero in San Francisco. So I packed my stuff and moved! Gotta go where the work is. My home is New York though, so I’ll be going back home when my contract is over.
How was your first performance in San Francisco?
—- I think I did a good job. I was very excited, not nervous, I just wanted to get the first one out of the way so I could enjoy it. But it was so great, the crowd was amazing.
Do you have any onstage bloopers or mishaps you’ve been involved in or witnessed you’d like to share?
—I slid and fell one show when I go to get Elphaba’s broom off the ground. I stood up right away and tried to hide the big smile on my face. I’ve also forgotten lines once or twice… It’s live theatre, stuff happens. And it’s always fun to remember the little mistakes we did.
Which is more exhausting: all of the dancing and heavy singing of the ensemble or the intensive acting and singing of Fiyero?
—They are different and it’s hard to compare. The ensemble does a lot of hard work. If they’re not onstage dancing and singing, they’re offstage changing costumes and running back onstage. The show wouldn’t be possible without all the actors that make up the ensemble. Lead roles have more pressure on them to be perfect and if Glinda or Elphaba forget their lines or keep making mistakes, the show suffers more than if one of the ensemble members forgets a lyric during a song. That being said I need to quote Carol Burnett: “I only played leads because I wasn’t talented enough to be in the ensemble.”
Are there any dream roles you’d like to play one day?
—-Jamie in The Last Five Years, Bobby Child in Crazy for You, Bert in Mary Poppins, Don Lockwood in Singing in the Rain.
What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
—-Learn everything that you can, take all dance forms, sing everything and take as many acting lessons you can. You never stop learning and you never stop growing. And never give up.