PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Touring Evita Star Sean MacLaughlin

By Matthew Blank
03 Dec 2013

How you got your Equity card: I was just out of college and got an audition for Ford's Theatre's A Christmas Carol. I never knew what Equity really was, but I auditioned for the show and got the role of Young Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future (big freaking awesome death-looking outfit). The contract was an immediate membership.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: In NY, Fuel on 9th between 47th and 48th for pre and between shows. Brother Jimmy's for Sunday night and Monday night all-you-can-eat.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Diet Mountain Dew
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Before a show, I like to listen to music that will get me in the mood. At the moment, this show seems to be the "Drive" soundtrack. Odd. You'd think I'd listen to some tango or some other stuff..
Most challenging role you have ever played: Homer in Floyd Collins
Biggest challenge about this current project: After the curtain comes down, I would have to say that letting go of the mental journey of this show from beginning to end is probably my biggest challenge. Peron's journey is very complex and runs deeper than one would think. The walk home after every show is pretty somber. I still haven't found anything that can change my mindset quick enough.
Most fulfilling or fun aspect about the project: Besides being in Evita, the most fulfilling part is being able to share the stage with such an incredible cast. We're experiencing new stages across the country and also becoming a family with every day that passes.
What research did you put into portraying Peron? I did everything possible to research Peron. Internet, library, archival footage, you name it. The hardest part in researching his life is separating fact from fiction. Outside of political fact, history is fairly blurred when it comes to him as a person.
Some other Andrew Lloyd Webber roles you'd like a crack at: Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: I would have to say that "MAGNETIC PORTCULLIS" at the end of Final Lair in Phantom of the Opera was pretty stand out. I was playing Raoul, and for those of you who know the show, the Phantom is supposed to place a noose around Raoul's neck.

Well, that night the noose didn't quite work and the Phantom had to throw me against the portcullis and magically hold me there with a Darth Vader force hold for ALL of the final lair scene.

Unfortunately, for me, when I hit the portcullis, I had to pretend that I was stuck there on contact (why I thought that is beyond me) and I stayed in a one-legged position for THE WHOLE SONG. Yes. Magnetic Portcullis. Almost as good as Poison Boot.

Worst job you ever had: Administrative assistant. Never again.
Craziest audition story: Well… I am not a dancer, but I would like to THINK that I move well. Anyway, years ago at an audition I was to go to a "Movement Call." I had made it through a majority of the callbacks and this was the dance portion. Well- I didn't know there was ANY dance in the show, but I thought, "Hey it's a 'movement call,' it won't be that bad."

This "Movement Call" ended up being Ballet taught to me by the choreographer in front of the creative panel in one of Ripley Grier's smallest studios. I gave it my all for what seemed a good 15 minutes, pretending I was graceful and DON'T have size 13 feet.

Well, while pretending that I was freaking Baryshnikov, I KICKED a waste paper bin filled with what seemed to be ALL of Ripley Grier's trash. I'm talking juice boxes, banana peels, tons of balled up paper, you name it. At that point, I politely thanked them for their time and quickly left the area.
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? Josh Young- I have always loved Che. But I will tell you, I'd never sound as freaking amazing as he does in this role. Dear God: Josh is amazing.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Sweeney Todd, Gordo in A New Brain, Emile De Becque and Javert
Leading lady role you'd like a shot at: Phyllis in Follies
Something about you that surprises people: I'm not as serious as I look.
Something you are incredibly proud of: My son. He has changed my life for the better.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I am partially deaf and need contact lenses.
Career you would want if not a performer: Toy and comic shop owner or film editor/cinematographer.
Three things you can't live without: My family, my dogs, my toys.
"I'll never understand why…" … reality television is so popular.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Don't blame yourself. Don't compare yourself. Don't ever apologize for who you are.