Jarrod Spector has been a performer practically since birth, so he knows how to stay calm, cool and collected before hitting the stage as real-life songwriter Barry Mann in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. But he can't do it alone! We sent the newly minted Tony nominee on a photo scavenger hunt around the Stephen Sondheim Theatre to show us his favorite props, co-stars and dressing room must-haves. Check out his photo stash below!
My favorite thing in my dressing room
“Jeb Brown, my dressing roommate, is obviously my very favorite thing in my dressing room. He just happens to be holding the Chemex coffee maker he uses to brew amazing coffee every day. Again, it's a total coincidence that he's holding that beautiful little glass miracle in this picture. Jeb himself is my favorite.”
My must-have pre-show item
"The all-powerful roll of paper towels and my cell phone. Must have them both for my vocal warm-up, which I have to do absolutely every day before the show. Usually on the subway. So if you ride the B, C, 2 or 3 trains and see me, you'll know. And please stop looking at me that way."
The best thing to eat on a two-show day
"The Kaisen Don bowl set from ______ (it's already too hard to get into this place between shows). Miso soup for calming the voice, a little light protein and brown rice for fuel, sea vegetables, pickled vegetables, green tea...everything you need to get overfull and then pass out for 20 minutes before getting ready for the second show. Watch out for thieving spouses [Kelli Barrett]."
My view from the stage
“This is RIGHT after the curtain call, and the whole audience is looking toward stage left as Jessie Mueller comes back out to wave to the adoring crowd once more. Not a bad way to end the workday.”
The coolest prop in the show
“It might not seem so amazing at first, but anyone interested in music would love our Billboard magazine props. This one, used right after ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ becomes a hit, has the actual magazine cover on the front and inside is the actual Hot 100 list, with the Shirelles at the top and a whole slew of others that show just how great the music was at this time. It's a little slice of music history.”
My favorite co-star
“...Is (or, at least, was) Keven Duda, who is apparently getting a little too big for his britches. I asked him to pose for a selfie and he left this signed headshot on my station instead. How sweet.”
The crew member who saves my ass
"Any Broadway actor will tell you that a dresser can make or break your show. My dresser Charlie is fantastic and saves my ass every day, multiple times. Here he's pictured telling me to zip up my fly, which is chronically down. It's a condition. I'm working on it."
The best costume piece I wear
“...Is this huge crazy (but totally authentic and appropriate) shearling coat. On me it usually looks like I've skinned a bear and I'm on Game of Thrones. Anika Larsen, however, manages to wear it a little better than that."
My favorite post-show snack
“Salad. I'm not as young as I once was and eating a huge meal after the show is, sadly, a thing of the past. I'm still ravenous after the show, however, so a salad has to suffice. My fiancée Kelli and I have made it a project to see how much stuff we can cram into it and still consider it ‘light and healthy.’”
My favorite spot in the theater
"I'm very fortunate at work. I have a primary dressing room I share with Jeb Brown but then I have another little room (aka the Mannex, the Mann Cave, and the Den of Manniquity) that has a bed in it. It's my favorite place in the theater. It usually doesn't have a Carole King on it."
Selfie right before I go onstage
"A fist-bump in the stage right wing with my stage manager Johnny Krause is the last moment I have before I head onstage to hit on Cynthia Weil!"