Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Swing, Swing, Swing, Swing! Tony Howell is Male Swing!

For my blog, I thought I would introduce readers to what I do! Often when I tell people I'm the Male Swing on Beauty and the Beast, they say "I don't remember that character in the castle!" :)

Essentially, as Swing I am an on-call actor. If someone can't do the show (due to illness, injury, or conflict), I fulfill their performance, or track. My job is to cover the eight tracks of the male ensemble. I was also hired to understudy Lefou. In an emergency situation, I also cover the eight female ensemble tracks in the town scenes! 

Swinging requires a person to be very organized and detail oriented. There are different vocal parts, blocking, choreography, acting intentions, and set changes for each track. This also includes costume changes, prop shifts, entrances and exits.

While it took a while to obtain and memorize all the information, many performances I am exempt from the show. Therefore, I also am an Assistant Company Manager. I find gyms for our company to stay in great shape, prizes for an internal rewards program, and recently started organizing company blogs and dance classes!

I really enjoy my job because every day is different! Doing the same thing everyday in a long run has its advantages and disadvantages. However, Swinging Beauty and the Beast has taught me things about myself and theatre that I would not have garnered if I didn’t get to observe and do so much!

Hanging out at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE.
A typical day backstage: playing Bananagrams!!!

Visit Tony’s official website at www.tony-howell.com.
Click here to read Tony’s bio on www.beautyandthebeastontour.com.

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