Today, we are thrilled to host an exclusive interview with Tom Flynn. Mr. Flynn is currently performing the role of Dr. Dillamond on the 1st National Tour of “Wicked”, a role which he also portrayed in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Production. Prior to this, he has also performed in several other shows, including “Juan Darién” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” on Broadway. Check out the interview below!
What was your first professional acting job, and how did you land it?
Right out of college, a director I had worked with cast me in an equity production of “Fiddler on the Roof” in Southern California, which lasted for 7 months. It was quite a shot right out of the gate.
What is your favorite role you’ve ever played?
Mr. Gatch in the Broadway production of “How to Succeed..” That was an incredibly fun time and fun company. Matthew Broderick was a dream to play with. Other great role was playing opposite Chita Rivera in a straight play called “Venecia,” which Arthur Laurents directed. AHHH-Mazing experience to work with both of those legends.
How did you come to audition for “Wicked” and what was the audition process like?
I saw they were casting the replacement for the tour so I wrote the casting director and also contacted my agent. I think I had a total of 4 auditions over the course of 2 months. The final audition was very high pressure with 12 creatives in the room including Joe, Stephen S., Wayne C. et al.
How long and how difficult was the initial rehearsal process for the show?
Only 2 weeks and not stressful at all.
What was your first show like? How were you feeling throughout the show – nervous, excited, scared?
I was THRILLED to be a part of Wicked and so excited and full of gratitude and high emotions on my first night. I have been in the business such a long time that I truly understand the fortune to be given a role like this in one of the biggest hits ever. I continue to love my job more than anything!
What is your favorite part of the show to perform?
The Classroom scene. Particularly when I alert Elphaba to the dangers in OZ. It really starts her on her journey of discovery.
What was it like to change productions of this show? Do you think it changed your performance any?
It keeps me fresh. Each company is so different and the LA company was slightly different than the San Francisco company. I am grateful for the California experience but I am infinitely happier being back on the road. It just suits my lifestyle better.
Do you have any onstage bloopers or mishaps you’ve been involved in or witnessed you’d like to share?
Early on in my Wicked tenure, I went up on my lines and panicked and had no idea what to say or do. This was during the tenure of Victoria Matlock and Christina DeCicco. No one was able to bail me out, so after what seemed like a couple of minutes (in reality, maybe 3 seconds) I screamed, “Class Dismissed.” Unfortunately, the chalkboard hadn’t been flipped yet or anything, so the audience probably had no clue what to think
Are there any dream roles you’d like to play one day?
Malvolio in “Twelfth Night,” Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” Hook in “Peter Pan.” Also currently, I would love to play Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins and the Father in “Billy Elliott.”
What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
Study, learn about life, all of life, not just acting. Know about art and philosophy and science and economics and math et al. The more you know, the better an actor you are. Get a degree at a University so if the business doesn’t work out for you, you have something to fall back on. Don’t be delusional. If after 2,3, 5 years at the most you haven’t gotten anywhere, haven’t gotten a professional job, aren’t making real headway and progress at making a living in this business…MOVE ON! You will be much happier.