In the corporate world, employees leaving a job are asked to sit through an "exit interview" with HR 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. Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who made her Broadway debut in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, is saying farewell to her royal kingdom on June 8. But before she rides her golden carriage off into the sunset, Jepsen looks back on her “inspiring, humbling and unforgettable” time in the magical world of Cinderella.
How did you feel when you first got the job?
I was ecstatic when I found out I got the part. I had gone through two sets of auditions. First in L.A. and then a callback in New York. I was playing it cool over the phone when I talked to the musical director Andy Einhorn, but I was actually skipping all around my apartment like someone who had just won the lottery.
How do you feel now that you’re leaving?
Sad but also excited for what's next. It was a bucket list goal of mine to be in a Broadway show, but I never could have imagined it would be as good as this. I made a family of friends that I'll be keeping for life. And I learned so much. It was hard work but it was also extremely gratifying.
What are three words you would use to describe your experience in Cinderella?
Inspiring, humbling, unforgettable.
What was the easiest thing about starring in the show?
Getting to know my lines and staging. Our stage manager Ira would always tease me that I would be a great stage manager because I remember weird details very easily.
What was the hardest thing?
The repetition. After doing my own shows on tour where I could change the set or decide on a whim to play an acoustic number it was hard to perform the same exact show every night. That being said, I found the trick to staying present is making new goals for myself. I was always looking for ways to make my performance stronger.
What was the highlight of your time in Cinderella?
When my family came to see it! They've known what this means to me since I've been dreaming of it since childhood. It was surreal for all of us.
What skills do you think are required for future stars who step into Cinderella's glass slippers?
It's an exhausting track, so stamina and endurance are key. Flexibility doesn't hurt either. Lastly, Cinderella is a kind spirit and I think that quality needs to be sincere to be believable. I've met Paige [Faure, who begins performances June 13] and I'm happy to report she's as sweet as they get. She's going to be just fantastic!!!
What advice would you give to future Cinderellas?
I would just say to not be afraid to make it your own. No two Cinderellas are the same and that's okay. The timelessness of the story still allows room for interpretation and you shouldn't be afraid to make it originally you.
How do you think you’ve grown during your time in Cinderella?
My voice has gotten a lot stronger. I was worried I wouldn't make it through without getting vocally strained after so many performances each week. Cinderella Is involved in 17 different numbers throughout the show. But I worked with a vocal coach and learned some new techniques. I'm singing and talking in a way that's much less straining. These tricks will surely help me on tour as well. I also just learned that it's good to stretch past your comfort zone and bravely try new things. It's where all the best discoveries happen. I never knew I would enjoy acting so much. I'm addicted to it now.
Why are you leaving?
I've been writing a new record and now I’m ready to get back into the studio to start work on my next album. My band boys are all itching to get back on the road and I'm kinda craving that chaos again too. I hope one day I can come back to Broadway though!
What will you miss most about this job?
My friends. My cast mates and the crew and Marissa my dresser. It's gonna be hard not seeing them every day.