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Greg Roderick

Q & A with Greg Roderick


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?


GR:  I spent two years at a 2-year college, where I took all my basic classes, and had the opportunity to play great roles and “learn by doing”, then I transferred to a large university, Missouri State, in Springfield MO for my final two years. Since I had gotten all my core classes done in the first two years, I used my final two years essentially as my own “conservatory”, only taking theater classes.


BB:  As far as schooling/training what were some great attributes to studying there ?


GR: As far as the school itself,  at the time, it had an excellent acting training, and dance department.  I can’t really speak about the department now. It has changed a lot in administration and faculty since I was there. 


BB: How was the transition from going from college to pursuing a NY career?


GR: My first performing job out of college was in Branson, MO,  as a back-up singer/dancer for a country music star. It was like doing a Vegas show. I knew I wanted to move to NYC, so I used this time to save money! After two seasons in Branson, I moved to New York just shy of my 24th birthday.


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?


GR: The one thing I wish I would have known when I moved to the city was actually more about the “business” side of the business. I felt like I had a lot of training and ability. But I didn’t know how to network, or get myself out there. Over time, I saw that the young confident actors who came into the city more “savvy” with networking, making the personal connections, were the ones that booked big shows early on. I was fortunate to work a lot. But I started small-potatoes, and it took me years to work my way up in the Biz.


BB: How was the transition from going from college to pursuing a NY career?


GR: The thing I was happiest about with my transition to New York was moving with some money in my pocket. After having worked for 2 years in Branson, I had saved up about $6000. That was a nice cushion to get me settled, and survive here without having to struggle. I think moving to they city and having to struggle to make ends meet right away creates an added layer of difficulty to trying to be an actor here.


BB: How/when did you get your first Broadway job?


GR:  My first Broadway show came because of networking, timing, talent and luck. My first show was the 2008 Broadway revival of South Pacific. I had met the music director Ted Sperling a year before when he came to see a show I was in. Then, a year later, a friend suggested me to choreographer Christopher Gatelli for a workshop he was doing. After the workshop, Chris thanked his workshop cast by offering to try and get them seen for his upcoming projects, one of which was South Pacific. When I went in for the audition, I already had connections with both the music director and the choreographer. And the fact that I was really right for the show worked out for me.


BB: Can you offer a piece of audition advice?


GR: There are a million reasons why you don’t get cast in something that you are perfect for. You never really know what is going on behind the table. Maybe your part is even already cast. The best advice I can give is trust your talent, try to keep from taking things personally, and persevere. This business is going to kick you in the stomach and knock you on your butt more than you will ever imagine. But if you want to keep working, you have to stay in the game. It’s a tough unfair business. You have to find a way to emotionally handle that.


BB: What was/is your day job/other ventures in between gigs or do you do both simultaneously?


GR: My “day job” work has evolved over the years. I’ve been in NYC for almost 22 years. Back in the 90s, it was very easy to get Temp work.  It was a challenge to balance 9 to 5  with auditioning, but many Temp jobs were flexible. That all changed with 9/11.  I have not temped in over a decade, but I know that world has evolved. Since then, I have found myself doing lots of various gigs: I’ve folded sweaters at sample sales, worked as a personal assistant, set up show-rooms, worked as a host for a game company, and a hundred other side jobs that kept me flexible. Nowadays, I have a freelance film editing business. I discovered a talent for that, and it has grown into a money maker for me. And it is something I can do when I’m also working as an actor.


BB: Do you still train/work on your craft?


GR:  I do keep my body and voice in shape for auditions. But I rarely spend money on a class these days. I sometimes will attend networking workshops for casting directors. I took several classes when I was younger, and I see a benefit in them, if for no other reason than to hone your audition skills, or try out a new song in a safe environment.


BB: Any words of inspiration or anything else you want to say/impart?


GR: Show business has been rapidly evolving the past 5-10 years. What was “right” to do in 2005 does not apply now. Social media is changing things at lightning speed. Even theater audition submissions are happening via “video audition” sometimes.  I guess the best advice I can give about this is: there are no set rules now. Talk to people, share ideas, network, find out what is working and what isn’t. You will succeed, you will fail, and you will succeed again. One bad audition doesn’t mean the end of your career. People who are extremely talented don’t always work, and people who are marginally talented sometimes work all the time. It’s the nature of the biz. Focus on yourself, without comparing your career to others’ careers. You can’t control outside forces. But you CAN control your preparation and how “tuned” your singing/acting/dancing chops are.


GREG RODERICK  has appeared on Broadway in South Pacific (Lincoln Center), and in concert, Ragtime (15th Anniversary Concert at Lincoln Center); He was also in the world premiere cast of Bright Star, the new musical by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell at the Old Globe. His national tour credits include: Lincoln Center’s South Pacific, Parade (dir. Harold Prince), and Sound of Music; Off-Broadway: Barcode (NY Int’l Fringe Festival), Is There Life After High School? (York) and The Butterfly (Making Books Sing @The Mint). Numerous regional works, including Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse, The Muny, Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars, Houston’s Theater Under the Stars, Pittsburgh Public, Maltz Jupiter and Northern Stage. Twitter: @gregrodericknyc






Greg 2010 8x10