Nick Cartell & Mary Kate Moore: "Les Misérables" | Talks at Google
I. Dreamed. A dream in time, gone by. When. Hope was high and life. I. Dreamed. That love would never. I, dreamed. That God would be. Forgiving. Then. I was young and. Unafraid. And dreams. Were made and used. And. Wasted there. Was. No ransom. To. Be. No song on a song. And. Taster. But. The, Tigers. Come at. With. Their, voices soft, as, Thunder. As they, tear your. As. They, turn your dream. To shame. He. Slept a summer by, my side. He filled my days with endless, wonder. He. Took my childhood in. History. But, he was gone when autumn care. He'll. Come. You've. Caught a grantee. And, all. And. I am old. Oh easy. On. Me. Zoning. A boy. Nothing. Hey. Bring. Him. Home. First. Of all Wow. Thank. You for those incredible, performances, and for being with us here today we are so so excited to have you so thank you we're excited to be here so thank you so much for having us. So. To get things started I thought we could just do a few rapid-fire, questions if. You can just answer with the first thing that comes to your mind so Kate if you want to go first ammendment, great okay okay, first one favorite, song and Leamas one, day more bring, him home. Favorite. Song you don't sing oh. It, doesn't like any of the other marks people saw the people song baby. Okay. Last thing you googled. The. Full. Moon lunar eclipse that's, happening today oh yeah. How. To properly, tie a Windsor knot. I. Think I did it right yeah. Um, favorite, city you have performed in not including, Denver, Seattle. Nashville. And. Last one dream. Role in any musical. Mm-hmm. I'm. Gonna say mother in ragtime in 20 years. Phantom. And the Phantom of the Opera. All, right okay, so, now we'll get into some more. In-depth questions so if, you can both tell us a little bit more about how you got involved with diamonds and what the audition process was like sure. Um well. I first, auditioned for this show in I think April of 2016. And did. Not originally, get cast and. Waited, for maybe. Three or four months and it was kind of down to the wire for the casting team I think they're about to start rehearsals in a couple weeks so I went back in for another audition that I didn't realize was kind, of a final callback and, I started, my journey with Leamas as a member of the female ensemble, understudying, Fantine. And in, March of this year I bumped, up and started playing the role full-time mm-hmm. And. I. Started. Minder, my initial. Audition was in April and. I. Actually, I think was one of the last people that was cast and, over, the course of five callbacks, and. Then finally. Booked the. Role. Congrats. To both. Amazing. Nick. Can you tell us a little bit more what it's like to play such an iconic role of Jean Valjean and are, there any characters. Are there any actors who have played the role in the past that inspired your performance, sure it's. Very, easy no. It's. It. Is very demanding but, it also because, there's a lot of responsibility that, comes with playing this character, so many people have you. Know amazing men who have come before me that have played this role from Wilkinson, you, know Hugh Jackman in the movie you've got you know all of these amazing, artists, and you.
Also Have a responsibility to, the fans of Layne miserab that have seen the show that know what this character is and so it also is, fun to kind of make it your own and you have to make it your own and I feel like I have made it my own. You. Know but. I would say some of the people that I look up to obviously, is comb is comb, I mean he. Started the whole thing you have to look up to them and her originated the role but, then also I did a regional production of it about nine years ago and so the two gentlemen, that played. Valjean. When I actually played Marius, really. I looked up to you because I saw how they made it and how they sang differently, and stuff, like that so it. Was a good prep. Yeah. For this okay. Kate. Fantine. Makes a huge impact in the beginning of the show how. Do you prepare tonight to start off the show so strong you have any special rituals, there at MoMA or things you do before you tonight I, think, it's kind of absorbing, the energy of the rest of the cast because it. Is true, that I am, introduced, and then like about 30 minutes later I'm dying in a hospital beds over. Very quickly. But. I, would, not I wouldn't say that I'm the only person making a high impact at the top of the show there's really no such thing as easing, gently into a performance of limas right, so. I think it's just meeting. My fellow castmates where they are when they start the show because. We all kind of have to give 100% so, yeah. Cool. And. This can be for both of you people fun answer just one so. The show has so, so much history it. Not only takes place in 19th century 19th. Century France but it's also based on Victor Hugo's 15, 1500. Page novel from, 1862, and that is a lot of content how, have you gone about preparing, for your roles and is there any extra research you did before, you started uh I. Did. Read the book it, took me months but. I did read the book because, I mean that's a natural, resource you have the, original words that Victor Hugo wrote that are right there that, can tell you everything you need to know about the characters and you know yes you can take stuff but there's there's one line, in. In, the book that Javert, actually says to Valjean, the way that he recognizes, Java, Jean. Valjean at one point is because he walks with a limp and it, was literally just one line that is written and so. I adapt. Adapted, that into my character so as I age through the show when, we get into it when I'm in older, age I. Start. Walking with a limp and it was literally stuff, like that that I was able to take out of the book and put, into my character and and also, just to see the way that you, know Valjean is so broken at beginning, and how, everybody treats him really, helps to inform my. Character, and journey every night so for. Me that was truly. What I did. What. He said I don't have a limp. Yes. I did uh-huh tomato I was first introduced, to it when, I was a sophomore in high school and, I didn't know the musical at that point and we watched the, the very, famous 10th anniversary, production, concert. Version of it in, bits and pieces and class and so. Yeah that was when the. Love affair started, and when we started rehearsal the first day we all walked in with, the novel sitting at our binders, so, they, gave us the novel and they were like. So. Then do, either of you remember the first time you saw the show I.
Saw. It I, think, I was 2014. In. London I saw it in the West End oh and, that's the only other professional, production that I've seen or been involved with at all before this one so oh well yeah and I saw it on in. The tour version in. 1996. When. It played my hometown in Tempe, Arizona so that was really really great that I got to see. It there and sat, in the top balcony and was just amazed. Okay. So Leamas first premiered in Paris in 1980, almost 40 years ago and it's still a worldwide, success why, do you think the show has really, stood the test of time, I. Think, that. Even. Though it takes place such a long time ago there are a lot of very important, and pertinent issues, that the show deals with that's, happening. For us society, right now there's a lot of members. Of the. Cast a lot of characters that are ostracized. Persons. And oppressed, and there's, a lot of that going on in the world that, we experience every day so I, think audience. Members either find it really relatable or they. Experience. A really important, lesson over, and over and over again of looking. Out for people who are more vulnerable than, you and, so. It's important, for both of us I think to, be able to tell the. Stories of these characters, that do experience, that oppression because it is so important, now. Ya. Know I would say that and then the, music is what brings people back I mean these are songs that you, know they've been on the radio I mean it's it's pop culture at this point so I think that people, come back to see the show because they have a love for the show along, with connecting. With these characters, that are just a fight. For the human spirit trying to make the world a better place so when. Did both of you get first, involved with theater and was there anyone that inspired, you to start acting. You. First. Got involved with theater when. I was, in. Fifth. Grade I I. Would always grown up singing in choirs and things like that at seventh grade sorry and I ended. Up doing a production of, an opera, called a mall in the Night Visitors or on Christmas and that, was kind of what sparked, it and then I went, saw field trip of a production of Cinderella and I was like that's what I want to do. And. Then it, just kind of took off from there and ever since then that's what I've been doing I, was. A late bloomer I didn't, really do musical theater until high school actually my first show was when I was a freshman I did Hello Dolly it's. In the ensemble, had a lot of straw hats. But. It was great yeah and I remember like waiting in the wings before, the show started one night with our like now, I know very subpar high. School orchestra playing, an overture and. Just. Experiencing. The feeling of anticipation, before going on stage I was like oh my god people do this as a career I want to do this so yeah, oh. Cool. And both of you have been in lots of other shows what's it like to be in Leamas versus, like past, shows that you've been in it's. Huge, this, shows huge and and because. You. Are meeting, fans, at the stage door that, have either seen, it before, or it's their first time seeing it and so. You have a responsibility to them but, then you also have responsibilities, to the work but. Then you also just get to do lamé is I mean it's been running for almost. 40. Years I, mean and so to, say, I'm. In laymen's Rob is pretty cool you know we all, have some, of, us in the, company have swag and you, know which is you know so we'll have a jacket or a hat on and we'll walk in. Like. Five minutes. Switching. Gears a little bit what is the best advice either, of you have been given so. I would, say probably just, to release. Any expectations. You have about where you need to be, and. To. Just do, your. Job you know with. Integrity whether that's for. Us performers, you know it's it's it's sometimes, difficult to find work and obviously we're very lucky to be involved, in the production that we're in right now but whether.
The. Work that you're doing is preparing for a role or it's being. Perseverant, and getting yourself up for auditions and and. You. Know taking, the time when you're not in a show to work on yourself it's, all about the process and not necessarily the destination, I, would. Second that, perfect. Okay. What is your favorite part of telling this profound, story every night for. Me it's it's, getting. To show, the journey of, Valjean, to, show how broken, a man. Can be at the beginning of the show all he holds on to is, his. Name and a, single piece of his soul that's left and it's, not until the bishop forgives, him that. That all breaks apart and, completely, is his, entire, world is flipped upside down everything, is decimated, and he. Has to rebuild himself from the ground up and that by the end of the show he's. Finally found forgiveness not only for everybody that, he's come in contact with but. Also for himself, and, I think that telling, that story. There. Are people that can connect, with that and that need that in their lives and I think that that for, me is. What. Is the joy for, me. I think the reason that I said one day more is my favorite song is because of, how iconic, it is and. So. I'm we do it a lot we do the show a lot we've done it hundreds, of times now, but. 331. Okay. So. That's a lot of ones anymore but. If. You can really like make yourself present in that musical, moment it, it's. Very overwhelming to, be a part of it to be marching. In that V formation and, in the periphery, to see the red flag waving, and, we're. Really. Lucky to be part of a very talented group of people so there's never a night when that moment isn't like breathtaking. Even, being a part of it so that's. Probably my favorite theatrical, moment, of the show and I think that that's also so so cool about this. Production of Lima is is that we have such. An amazing cast it's, a young cast we have an energy that, we bring on stage every single night but. The, other thing that's so amazing about it is that you can look at any single, person at any point in the show and somebody, is has. Something going on they're invested, they, are creating, their own stories, and every, bit that's what I love about this company is that we we. All support, each other but they we also we. All have our own you. Know ideas, and things happening inside everyone's taken a lot of responsibility, yeah are there rules and I mean it's really great, to be a principal performer about this show is. Like. The engine of the show is the ensemble and they're always onstage, and they are always committed, and they're really fun to watch so if you go to the show make a point to to. Check out what's happening behind the immediate action, because there's always a lot yeah. And, then what, would you say is the most challenging part of this show. I. Have. To experience, a lot of emotion, in a very short amount of time, and, it's. Definitely the kind of thing that I've gotten used to but there, are some nights when it's just it's not really there and so, I, would. Say that's probably most challenging, for me finding consistency, with that because it is such a tragic, story. Fantine. Story and I. Am NOT a very tragic person, in life, in general so, that. Is difficult but very, fulfilling. Yep. For me I'd say just the stamina, to do a, three-hour. Musical, every single night is is. A lot it's hard and it's making. Sure you get enough rest and making sure that you're warmed up and you, know on those days where you're not feeling, great, figuring, out how to still push through and give the audience a hundred percent and. You guys are covering a lot of cities in your tour do you find that different audiences have different responses, or anything, different, when you go to a new city yeah, we. Just spent some time in Canada actually and their their, theatre etiquette is just different than ours so we. Had a lot of quiet, but still very appreciative, audiences, which is not something that we're used, to you know we feel kind of like rock stars at, certain moments of the show. Starts. And all of a sudden yell. From the crowd and everybody on stage is like all right let's go yeah yeah. So. You just have to kind of get used to different energies, from the audiences but we've never been to a city where. They haven't loved, what we're doing and left to their feet right at the end of the show yeah always, it standing up no yeah I'm switching gears a little bit more have.
You Had any on stage or backstage mishaps. And if so how did you adapt. So. There's. A there's a moment on the barricade where I have to let. Javert go and. But. I still have to pretend to shoot him so I have a rifle, because we do use live, ammunition that's blanks and. So, and so. I let him go I hold, the gun for a moment I pointed up to the air and I fire and the. Minute that I pulled, it up into the air somehow, the strap that was on the gun got between the, firing mechanism, so when I went to fire nothing happened, because it got stuck and. There's a prop our prop master Kurt. Is standing off in the wings and he has another gun ready to go in case that happens and I. Was. Up in this position he heard it he went to get his gun and right, at that moment I lowered, my gun back into the way, and he, shot. So. Valjean. Is a horrible, sight. Because. I act I, didn't, actually kill, Javert that night. That. Was probably, yeah. For me that was the worst onstage, mishap exactly so far knock, on way. Before. I took over, the role when I was still under studying, it, was the first time that I ever went on so I was feeling very anxious and excited in Nashville, actually in this favorite city and. Something. Happened, oh it was a life alert went, off in the house I think somebody, with a life alert had come to the show the night before but, left the alarm on accident, so, they were like at their house trying, to find their life alarm they like kept pressing like find my life alert and it was just like going off in that in the audience so, I made, the entrance into the factory, I was. So like, overstimulated. By what was happening to me as my my first my like principal debut that I didn't, notice it was happening but, everybody in the ensemble was making real weird faces at me like what is going on and. So. At the end of, the factory seen when Fantine gets thrown out of the factory she ends up upstage. Sitting, on the ground ready to go for I dreamed a dream so this entire time I've been like psyching, myself up for the big song and, I get to my spot and the spotlight, hits me and I, hear, our stage managers, voice over, the loudspeaker, to the whole audience like we're. Going to hold the show ladies and gentlemen like as I'm going. And, so. I had to get. Up and walk. Walk. Upstage and stand there it. Was just the weirdest break in like momentum. So. They brought the curtains down and I just kind of stood there for two minutes like trying to figure out how to keep it going I didn't know I mean so. Then I had what we call my Tony performance, now where I like went back out and sat myself, down once they figured it out and like the curtain, rose and, the song started, and then I got, to do it but that, was probably the biggest one, I'm very memorable, yeah. There. Was also one on the, first one. Of her unlike our opening, night in Providence, Rhode Island, we, got to the very, end of the show I mean, literally. We are in the last song and. We. Here help stop doctor, please, somebody. Had, been crying so hard but. Still decided, it was a good idea to eat peanut M&Ms. Put. One in their mouths were sobbing sucked, in and started choking. So. We had to stop the show we're, within, the moments of ending to show you to stop the show and, then, we all have to file back on but yeah. There. Aren't that many we have a great crew we have a great group of people that there aren't that many mishaps. That happen and those weren't our fault. Yeah. I'm. Kind of along those lines too so for, the songs you're not in like when you're backstage like how you stay in character, are. You just hanging out or as. Soon as I pass. Away I can. Kind. Of I can kind of let go a fantine for a little while she does come back at the end of the show so I don't really have to worry about that so much. Most. Of the time I'm not on stage I'm changing costume were doing makeup or doing, something like that so there's, always an element of. Keeping. That there. But. Also we've done 331. Performances, of it so I figured out how, to get back into it take that moment before so I can walk, back onstage and sing bringing them so. We do have some questions on the dory I did want to open up to the audience if, anyone has an audience question if you want to come up to this my can form a little line. You. Know, for. The first initial, audition I say, memory. From cats so. There's, that and then from that point on they give you, material. From the show just saying and when I went in for my audition I was just given material from the show so I just sing the, soliloquy bring. Him home and. Who am I and then I also had to prepare the confrontation. For my, final callback so. You mentioned the big cast, doing. Things in the background and we actually got to see you last night and it was excellent, um, and, there were a lot of really fun bits. What is your favorite. Like just little one.
Second Bit that that people do and. Well, I I mean, I'm kind of in a, special. Position with that because I got to be in the ensemble for, a while and I think my favorite scene was always the Paris scene when you're first introduced, to Eponine. And you see the tchen rdas again after, they have sung master in the house at the end but there's just so much going on in that scene and what's cool about it is that every ensemble. Member has kind of been given a different costume and a different character, and, people, get real serious. About it so I think there's true, commitment happening, back there from a lot of them so, that one's really fun I like coming into the factory because. There is that level of power that you walk, into as the, mayor and so. To come into the factory and you. Know say, my piece and then as I walk up I always have the men's ensemble, that come rushing, up to me asking me questions, and yesterday. Yesterday. Was my birthday and. So, I. Connect. Walking. Up the stairs of the factory at the matinee and they all come rushing up to me and I was like what and they all started singing happy birthday to me. Thank. You get back to work, that. Was great that was great I thought huh, introduce, yourself okay, oh yeah my name is Josh thanks for coming and thanks I'm here today josh is act actually um my question was. Specifically. For mr. cartel Oh because it's such a very. Serious. Role yes. And. You have to do it for a long time is there any time that you've ever broken or, like on stage like like laughed or anything yeah. Josh. Is are Chabert in the show yes. And. The, answer is never. Laughter. Can. I talk I'm gonna talk about yeah you can talk about that because there are moments where. Nick. Is such a happy guy he, is and as soon as he starts smiling he can't stop so. I I mean. The, most. Tragic. And, emotion. Filled moment, of the show for me is at the end of the docks when like they're about to take me to jail I don't, know what Josh does when he comes on stage but he did something one day to make Nick start laughing and. Sometimes. We'll just look at each other and. If. We're in a mood then it just it just happens but the thing that I will say is that, what. Always pulls me back like, if ever I get to that point especially when we're in that dock see yeah she, actually spits on me and she. Will and she will spit in my face and it immediately pulls me and I'm like down all right here we go. Yeah. But, it's really difficult you know when you're trying to cry. And. He turns around with a full grin on his face and, sings. The line never again so okay. Do. You ever experience, bleed. With your characters emotions coming through and sort of you feeling the characters emotions or is it just all simulated. And you've done it enough. Well. The. Last couple. Like the last month. My. Grandma passed away and I. Thought. I was fine I thought I was totally fine and I didn't, really cry about it but I always cry in the show and that. The night right after it happened, I wasn't. Sure after, I got out there and started crying if I was going to be able to make it through so, there are definitely moments where, if something's happening for you and your personal life that, has. Affected, you emotionally in, any way this, show can be very therapeutic for. For that sort of thing but it cannot I mean there's a very fine line that. You can't really cross over, so. Yeah I mean sometimes it's it's really difficult to to, meet, that line and not exceed. It I'm. Not sure yeah no I will. Totally second, that. Especially. If you're angry, about something you, know that there are those moments for me, my. Mom passed away the day before my final callback for, this show and so. To sing, bring them home every night is emotional, to sing the end of the show is emotional, it's it's. And. It is it's a it's incredibly, therapeutic to, do this show and I think it's been some of the best therapy in order to do the show because there are moments where you can cry and you can let. That emotion, out that, sometimes.
You Might not be able to do outside, in the theatre it. Also teaches you how to access those emotions, though too so, you know there there, are those few performances, where it's dangerous. But. Then once you get past that point you can remember what it feels like to. To, have your your chest constrict, like that and you. Know the more often that happens the, more. Easy it is to find it so. Thank. You for sharing that yeah, if. You could play another character, in Leamas for one night would you and who would it be hmm. Am. I going first yes I. Well. I've always wanted to be a bass, so. Probably. Devere. I. Would, say I would like to play up here too yeah watch, out Jack I'd like to play the other side. Someone, who inspires to be in the arts and I'm curious because there's, a lot of trial and error in starting, the career is there, something you're really glad you did when you first started, really putting yourself out there and is there something you kind of wish you done differently maybe not put as much energy into or, oh you know don't worry about that to do this what. Is your advice and not like something you're super glad you did at the start of your career and something you wish you just maybe done differently I wish. That I would have gotten into, more dance for. Me especially. In musical theater I can, move but I'm not a dancer. And I wish that I could do I wish I could tap dance more I wish I could you know do all those things I. Don't. Think that there was anything, that I would. Say, I'm. Sorry that I put my energy into because. I feel like everything, that I did in some, way shape or form was a learning experience. It. Was, you. Know a way to figure. Out alright, this is the right thing to do or this is the wrong thing to do. So. That was that's me, yeah. I think it's um I mean, that's a really good question but there's, no formula. For success. In, my, opinion so, anything. That you might experience as an aspiring, performer. Wasn't. Meant for you to experience. So. I would, just say that it's important for you to have patience, and to, be kind, to yourself because, they're probably a lot of people in the world who won't be that nice to you, but. There are a lot of people who will be incredible.
And Super helpful and you. Know just look for the lesson and everything because it's always there. As. You're singing like in a forum. Like this or even on stage like, are you looking at the audience in their eyes like directly. Making eye contact or, especially. As you're in this big emotional journey where the audience may or may not be like, feeling, it quite the same is it awkward to be looking, at someone who's just sort of like looking up at you or do you kind of focus, more generally. In, some, houses that's that's impossible to, be able to make eye contact with people just because of how dark it is or how far away they are but like here, in Denver we're, close, to, the first like, maybe 15 rows so I can, see facial features and I. Find. It helpful, because. So much of this show, is. Is. A lesson you know so many of the songs that you're singing so many of the arguments. Or conversations. That you have with people through, song are about. The struggle, of the human spirit and things that we've all experienced. Before so I'm not afraid to make eye contact with people yeah and at the beginning of the show especially you know I kind. Of break the fourth wall of it and like I'm, singing to the audience and I'm yelling at the audience and and to. Be able to have those people that you can in there like. Like. And. It. Is it's because we have a lesson to tell and we have a story that we're trying to get across and if we can connect with people on that level then it just makes it better for us and it makes I feel like it makes it a more, rich experience for. The audience it's always it's. A goal of a performer, I think to make the, audience feel like they are part of what's happening, because. That's, really kind of how the lesson stick I think so. Yeah. Yeah you. Said you've done 331. Shows what, has been like the most memorable moment, for, me the most memorable moment, and it wasn't in a show it, was actually when we were still rehearsal, and it, was. We. Were going, into our day of sits probe and it sets Probus it's the first time that the actors are singing with an orchestra so. We are all on stage and we. Are walking, up to just stand microphones, and we're singing with this beautiful. Orchestra, and sitting. In front of us our is claude-michel, schönberg. And Alain Boublil who, wrote the show and, to, have that experience of, singing their, music, for them and. There. It. Is a moment that I will never forget. Yeah. That's that's a big one I would say mine's probably in, that that same time period when we were in previews, in Providence, and the, entire.
Creative, Team of lame. Azarov came to see us do that and we. Had all. You. Know heard, the the reputation. That Cameron, Mackintosh has. He's, a very particular man, and knows exactly what he likes and when. He came into our note session the day after he saw our show he, didn't. Have anything negative. To say about, us as an ensemble, and. So. That was very cool I mean we were all excited about that but then as soon as he left our associate director was like I just want you guys to know that I've never heard him say that before so. Knowing. Knowing that and knowing how. Strong of a group of performers we, are and, you. Know gives you a lot of pride for the work that you do yeah that's a huge compliment yeah. And. Then so, I'm. Assuming you're not always listening to Lena is when you're not in the show is, there any other you. Know current. Musical cast recordings you're listening to or any songs you listen to did I get pumped up before the show or I'm a bad musical, theater person, I don't like really listen to cast recordings, unless I need to for a show. So. I guess I mean I've been listening to a lot of Fleetwood, Mac in the dressing rooms lately nothing great that I. Just, kind of put on Spotify yeah and just how the mood hits me sometimes, it's jazz sometimes, it's big-band sometimes, it's you know pop whatever, whatever. I need to pump me up in order to do the show or whatever mood I'm in that's, kind of what pushes. Me in the right direction. You. Know in the, midst of a group of people who were, involved in technology, what. What. Sort of technology. Improvements. Would help people in ears occultation. Very. Good question, oh my gosh. We're. Kind of sad I mean I don't feel well guy I need something that would be amazing and I know that the technology is sort of there but I don't think it's been it's, been you. Know immediately. Or I don't. Know how to say that but. When. We go to when we get in every city we, have a local crew that we pick up in every city so if we travel with a crew of about 20, to 25 people and then, we pick up maybe, about another 50 to 75, people to help us do the show every night and sometimes. But. A lot of the time it's, the spotlights, that are on somebody. Like it's a local person and they're having to say all right you need to be on Valjean you need to be on budget on right now and the spotlight will come up over there and I'm here so, if there was technology.
That. You could wear something on your costume, that they could just put up the light and it would be on you as a spotlight, I think, that would be amazing, yeah. That. Would be super cool I'm I'm, technologically. Challenged, so maybe just like somebody helping me. Yeah. Thank you that's, a good question, yeah I have to think about that so, thank, you both so much for being here and yeah. Thank you for give them a round of applause. You. You.