Today, we are thrilled to be able to share an interview with Corey Mach. Mr. Mach is in the ensemble and understudies the role of Fiyero on the 1st National Tour of “Wicked”. Previously, he has toured with “Rent” as Gordon and the understudy for the roles of Mark & Roger. His website can be viewed by clicking here. Thanks, Corey, for the wonderful interview!
When did you first know you wanted to be an actor?
There really was no event, circumstance, or moment in which I instantly realized what I wanted to do. I don’t want to say I “always knew”, but ever since I started acting at 5, there had been nothing that ever trumped being on stage. The idea just began to grow into something more realistic and palpable as I grew up.
What was your first professional acting job? What did you learn from it?
The summer after my freshman year at Baldwin-Wallace College, I was invited to audition for the National Tour of RENT. I was doing a show at the time, so on my day off, I hopped on a plane to New York, sang “One Song Glory” for the director and casting director, and got the call a week later that I was cast. My school was incredibly accommodating about letting me leave my sophomore year while still keeping a full time status in college. For as much as I learned at school, spending a year on tour also taught me so much, but specifically that performing is a business; it’s not all autographs and curtain calls.
What was your audition process like for “Wicked”?
The process a bit more involved than it was for RENT. I was New York for my school’s senior showcase, and my first audition in the city was for WICKED. I was called back twice that week, and then was invited back for a dance call at the Gershwin with Billy, who is now on the Second National Tour.
Had you seen “Wicked” prior to being cast?
Yes, I saw the show once in New York and once on tour in Cleveland. The day I got the call that I was cast (which was a few months after that final dance call), I ran to the lotto and actually won (which, I hear is quite impossible!). It was a pretty surreal experience to sit in the front row and think that I’d be up there in less than a month.
What do you remember about your first time as Fiyero?
Not much. The day sort of flies by. There’s only so much preparation you can do; you have to just go out there with a “whatever happens, happens” attitude. In that situation, you have to realize that you’ve done all you can to prepare, and have the confidence to go out there, all hesitation aside, and kill it!
What are your favorite songs and scenes to perform? To watch?
I really enjoy the opening number because I am foremost an actor, and that’s the scene requires an intense amount of communication between every single person onstage. I like to think of it as the scene where the actors come together to begin to tell this magnificent story.
As Fiyero, I love “As Long as You’re Mine”. There’s something powerful about two actors singing their hearts out onstage with no blocking. Just singing.
As an audience member, I love the gravitas and the power of “Defying Gravity”.
Have there been any funny bloopers/mishaps you’d like to share?
Well my big job in the opening number is to hook and unhook Glinda from the bubble (so she doesn’t fall out). The first few times I did it, my hands were shaking so much because I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to do it right. I still freak myself out to this day about it.
Have you had to adjust any day-to-day habits to protect your body and voice whilst in the show?
Not really. Sometimes I have to make sure I get enough sleep on the nights before two-show days, only because they can get exhausting. And I usually work out at night, but obviously I’ve had to change that to afternoons because of the show.
What is your typical “schedule” for a normal day in the show?
Well, I get to the theatre a half hour before the show, hang out for a bit, and then all I have to do is put on my microphone, do my hair, and put on my undergarments. Usually takes about 5 minutes. During the show, I’ll read a magazine during my few moments of downtime. The show ends almost three hours after it begins, and then I’m out the stage door within 5 minutes of curtain call!
Do you have any dream roles?
I’ve always wanted to play Jamie in THE LAST 5 YEARS or Bobby Strong in URINETOWN. I also would love to be in RENT again. “Fiyero” had always been a dream role but I always cancelled it out because I figured I wouldn’t be able to dance it well enough… whoops!
What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
Probably just to not stop going. If you truly think you can make it in this business, do not stop. Work on your own faults as performers and don’t worry about anything else.