Q & A with Broadway Choreographer Bob Richard!
BB: Where did you got to college for theatre and/learn the trade in order to move to NYC to pursue theatre as a career?
BR: Did not attend college….started dancing professionally at 16.
I trained in a dance company in Fargo North Dakota by a Broadway Gypsy and his Ballet Dancer wife who moved to Fargo Moorhead to get out of the rat race and raise their kids. And, with no dance in the area they were soon began teaching and eventually had a dance company that traveled the world!
I had danced for over 11 years in this company then reached out to a musical theatre summer stock to see how I did and saw my training wasn’t half bad….. and it encouraged me to go to LA and NYC…..
So, I never went to college but I did help start a dance program at a local college and then after coming to NY I was asked to teach for a semester at NYU… not bad for never going to school!
BB: What is one thing that you learned while actively pursuing a NY stage career that you wish you would have known/learned before moving to the city that you could impart to others?
BR: I wish I started earlier, never wait! Life is not waiting for you!
BB: What did you do to adjust/conquer NYC.
BR: Nose down and hit every audition I could and take class from everyone I could! I wanted to LEARN!!! I knew you only get anywhere through hard work!
BB: Advice for children wanting to be on Broadway.
BR: Studies are NUMBER ONE! Without good grades you should not be able to work towards a career! School first and foremost!
BB: How/when did you get your first Broadway job?
BR: As a Choreographer in 2006 "How the Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical!"
BB: Can you offer a piece of audition advice?
BR: There are no negatives, just opportunities to try another path, another audition, another class…..gain more experience!
If you are in this as a lifer…… live it, it pays you back in more ways than you can count!
BB: What was/is your day job/other ventures in between gigs or do you do both simultaneously?
BR: A bartender, a manager of a restaurant, a night clerk at a mini mart, anything to pay the bills and pay for classes etc…..
BB: Do you still train/work on your craft? How? Where?
BR: I don’t dance as much as I used to, but I certainly am aware of what is going on in classes and on stage by my friends colleagues and peers.
BB: Any words of inspiration or anything else you want to say/impart?
BR: Life is a string of moments….. make the most of every single opportunity out there and don’t ever be afraid to tell people what you want!
Make your path! no one is going to come take your hand and say “here, this way!”
We are story tellers…. the best job in the entire world….. live it and share what you love!
Bob Richard is the choreographer of Broadway’s top selling Christmas show "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical". Off Broadway, Bob was honored to work with the York Theatre Company in "The Road to Qatar!", the true new musical comedy honoring the road films of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. His work has also been seen on "The Today Show," "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, and center stage for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Bob’s choreography has also been seen in Film estivals across the country, premiering in the prestigious New York Big Apple Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Expo and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in Florida.
Bob is the Resident Choreographer for Sacramento Music Circus and has staged over twentynine productions there over the past 13 years. His extensive regional work has taken him to the 5th Ave Theatre, Theatre under the Stars in Houston, North Shore Music Theatre, and American Musical Theatre of San Jose, to name a few, where he has pleased audiences with classics such as "The King and I", "The Music Man", "Fiddler on the Roof", "The Sound of Music", and "Annie", as well as the world premiere production of Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow’s "Footloose" and the Tenth Anniversary Production of Frank Wildhorn’s "Jekyll and Hyde". Bob also choreographed the first productions of both Hairspray and Les Miserables to ever be staged in the round. His work can be seen every year at the Old Globe Theatre, with the longrunning family production of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical," where Whoville will live forever in the hearts of the children of San Diego.
Bob has wowed audiences with his jazz, tap, and musical theatre choreography, and also notably with his original, full length, character driven ballets. He has been honored to win awards for his choreography from San Jose, California and Seattle, Washington to St Paul, Minnesota and Houston, Texas. His career has encompassed 30 years of dancing, teaching and choreographing in major cities all over the world, including Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka, Nagoya and Hiroshima in Japan; Moscow, eningrad and Minsk in the Former Soviet Union; Vienna, Austria; Copenhagen, Denmark; and ours that have blanketed the United States and Canada.