Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Q&A with Cliff Lyons

1. What are your roles in the show?
I play a few roles. I play the Bookseller, a Knife, a Salt & Pepper, and I am a member of the court in the show’s finale. I also understudy three roles in the show. I cover Cogsworth, Maurice, and Monsieur D’Arque. So even when I’m offstage, one ear is paying attention to what is happening on stage! It’s exciting stuff.

2. What are some of the Bookseller's favorite books?
Oh! The bookseller has quite a few favorites! He loves all kinds...especially spy novels. Still, nothing beats a good fairy tale! His favorite: Beauty and the Bookseller. (It’s not widely known...)

3. Can you tell us about your audition process for Beauty and the Beast?
My audition began in front of the casting director for the role of Cogsworth. He had me sing and read from a side. (A side is a small scene that you are given to read in an audition.) The casting director asked me to come back about a week later to read and sing in front of the Associate Director. I returned as requested and was told “Thank you.” Sometimes “thank you” means that they’re not interested, but they thank you for coming in. I left believing that I probably wouldn’t be cast in the show, but felt confident that I had done a nice job.

About a month later, I was at work serving tables. You can imagine my surprise when I received a call from the casting office. I wasn’t allowed to be on the phone at work; so naturally, I ran to the restroom and hid in the stall! Apparently the team had an ensemble track that they were casting at the last minute, and they decided I might be right for it. I agreed to a 10 a.m. appointment for the next morning. I was lucky--appointments are rare! However, I was supposed to open the restaurant the next morning at 8 a.m. I BEGGED people to take the shift, but no one was interested. Finally, I had to bribe with money. I paid another server $50.00 to take the shift.

I went to the studio the next morning to sing, read, and even move for the team. They asked me back for one more callback later that afternoon--to meet the Director Robert Roth. Later, I did it all again for Rob and then went home. The next day, I got the call that I was being offered the show!!!

Best $50.00 I ever spent.

4. What have you learned from your experience with Beauty and the Beast?
This is a tough question to answer. I’m still learning every day. Here are the top 3 things that I’ve learned...so far!

1: Be on time--no matter what. If you’re not, then you could throw an entire group of people off.
2: Patience! When you travel as a group, things rarely happen in your own time. (See answer #1)
3: Teavana at the end of the day will fix almost anything!

Cilff Lyons on Teavana? "They're Grrrrrreat!"

Click here to read Cliff’s bio.

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