The 2017 Tony Awards nominees share their success secrets with us

There’s no business like show business, and to be able to find success in the Broadway world is an accomplishment in itself.  Hundreds of actors, directors, set designers, choreographers and more make their way to The Big Apple each year with the hope of scoring a lead in a hit Broadway show.  Their ultimate goal: to one day win a nomination for the Tony Awards, which celebrates Broadway’s stars. While the awards are in June, the nominations came out on May 3 and we at Ladders were there to talk with the brightest stars.

As tough as it is to make it onto the Great White Way, you will find that these people have struggles that can be relatable in any other type of industry, it’s all about your determination and learning along the way that can get you to the point of success that you want.  At today’s “Meet the Nominees” event, I spoke with several nominees about their best success tips that led them to the 2017 Tony Awards.  

Star: Sally Field

Tony Nomination: Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, “The Glass Menagerie”

Success secret: “You know, when young actors ask me about having a career and how you do that, and how you keep going, there isn’t any real answer except to want it more than you thought you would ever have to want it.  It has to be something you do because you can’t not do it, because to not do it, is that you have like lobbed off a limb or something.  It doesn’t feel quite alive, without it, because it has to be a constant and driving means inside of you.”  

Star: Josh Groban

Tony Nomination: Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, “Natasha, Pierce & The Great Comet of 1812”

Success secret: “I would say it is always important to challenge yourself and it is also important to find things that keep you a little bit scared in a healthy way.  Whenever you have a bit of success, which I was lucky to have early on, the bar is suddenly raised.  You have more “yes” people around you than you’ve ever had, and that can be dangerous.

“I think it’s important to try to look at things objectively, to trust your own gut and your own meter for what’s good and what isn’t.  I think that, for me, I always try to keep with ‘Is this something that is going to be inspiring to me?’

The show was certainly that for me.  Ultimately, we are all human so I think that picking things and choosing work that truly makes you feel something quite good and special are extremely important.  Also, always be nice to people because you never know when they are going to be your boss.”

Star: Laurie Metcalf

Tony Nomination: Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, “A Doll’s House, Part Two”

Success secret: “I would say work with people who are really great, because it makes you better. Including great directors and playwrights.  This was just a wonderful stew of all of that, and the wonderful hand that Scott Rubin plays in it also, so it was like an A-Team was part of why I wanted to join and also I was thrilled at the audacity of the title of the play.  I was like, ‘Oh I got to read this to see what he is bringing in his script here!'”

Star: Eva Noblezada

Tony Nomination: Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, “Miss Saigon”

Success secret: “I would say to anyone my age, that age does not define you.  I’ve heard it all before, you know, ‘Oh, I’m shocked at how mature you are for your age [21],’ and it’s like, well, there’s people half my age that are very mature.  

I want to tell everyone, especially students who are aspiring to be actors and actresses, that because that it still me, I’m still very young and aspiring to be better and trying to be a sponge and soak everything up.  One thing would be to not to compare yourself to anyone else, it is the quickest way to fail, and you will never be able to find your own individual potential if you keep looking at somebody else’s.  Trust me, I know, I’ve fallen for it and it didn’t work.  Also, speak lovingly to yourself and make sure you are taking care of yourself and as much as I love giving and my time to people I love I have to remember that self-care is so important.  You can’t do a role like this, you can’t do theatre where you are giving so much to thousands of people a night if you don’t give an hour to yourself a day”.

Star: Alex Lacamoire

Tony Nomination: Best Orchestration, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Success secret: “When I write, I feel like I know when I’m done.  Meaning, you try stuff and eventually you end up with ‘OK, I want to choose that,’ because it could be A, it could be B, it could be whatever it is, but you never know until you make a decision that you are going to go with C.  

“But, how do you know what that is?  How do you know when that is?  I think it is just a natural feeling, so I would say it is gut, it is instinct, and going with what feels right and natural.  If you are working too hard at something, it is probably not the right choice.  Sometimes, you have to go through the eye of the needle to arrive at something beautiful, but you have to go all around the tree to see the tree for what it is.  

I would say just keep at it, know when you’ve done your best, know when you can do better, and if you can do better, just keep working.”

Star: Brandon Uranowitz

Tony Nomination: Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Falsettos

Success secret: “I think just be completely unafraid to be you, in everything that you do whether it is in the audition room, whether it is here in front of you guys, or it is on stage.  It took me such a long time to be comfortable in my own skin and to not take the rejection personally, but once I found myself and who I am, my work started getting more confident and more solid.  That really happened right before “An American in Paris”, and then “An American in Paris” sort of boosted all of that for me.  

“So, learning to love yourself and be confident with what you bring to the table, because only you can do what you do and only I can do what I do.”