In the corporate world, employees leaving a job are asked to sit through a sometimes grueling "exit interview" about their time at the company. Although that concept doesn't exist for Broadway performers, we think it's fun to check in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Below, Cinderella star Laura Osnes, who won the 2013 Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a Musical and garnered a Tony nod, looks back the friends she made (including fellow BACA winner and Tony nominee Santino Fontana!) while starring in the hit Rodgers & Hammerstein tuner.
Job You’re Leaving:
Cinderella in Cinderella
How did you feel when you first got the job?
I was thrilled and honored when producer Robyn Goodman called to say she wanted me to play Cinderella in the developmental reading of the show a couple years ago. I feel so blessed that I got to remain with the project through a successful Broadway run!
How do you feel now that you’re leaving?
It's always bittersweet. I am ready for a change and excited to be taking on a new challenge, but it's going to be very hard to say goodbye to my cast and to Ella, who has been a part of me for the past two years.
What are three words you would use to describe your experience in Cinderella?
Joyful. Magical. Rigorous.
What was the easiest thing about starring in the show?
The wedding scene, because I didn't have to talk or sing, and it meant the show was over, haha!
What was the hardest thing?
Facing so many cuts and edits during previews. Favorite moments/songs were eliminated, new lines were added at a moment's notice, trying to make new jokes land, working through kinks in the script... Plus, it's the busiest time, between rehearsing every day, performing every night, and typically doing a dozen press events leading up to opening night, ha!
What was the highlight of your time in Cinderella?
One of my favorite days was when the Tony nominations were announced. Such excitement, joy, gratitude, and cheerfulness filled the air at the theater that evening. But, mostly, just getting to tell such an iconic story with this fabulous cast—I love the backstage moments and traditions we all have that make me smile every show!
What skills do you think are required for who steps into Cinderella's glass slippers?
Cardiovascular stamina—must be able to constantly be out of the breath and still be able to sing! And for extra credit, a kind heart, a generous spirit, a gentle confidence, and a belief in the "impossible."
What advice would you give?
The transformational quick changes are a piece of cake with a bit of practice! Be patient with yourself, drink lots of water, remember to breathe, and above all, HAVE FUN!
How do you think you’ve grown during your time in Cinderella?
I get teary-eyed reminiscing about my journey with Cinderella. I'm now two years older, I'm richer in friendships and in memories, I'm learning how to pace myself—when to push through or when to be okay with taking a break, and I've grown from watching and working with the brilliance of Santino Fontana, Victoria Clark, Harriet Harris and Rebecca Luker. And Ella has definitely instilled a greater desire in me to be generous, kind, and forgiving.
Why are you leaving?
I'm moving on to do The Threepenny Opera off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company.
What will you miss most?
I'll miss laughing with Santino everyday and getting to play with my friends, especially my dressers, Tammy and Carrie. I'll miss the glances I have on stage with orchestra conductor Andy Einhorn, and hearing the awe-filled applause of the audience when the magic happens.