To The Revolution!
Many of us feel some level of frustration with everything happening in the world right now. Brexit in the U.K. followed by Donald Trump’s appointment as President of the United States has shaken the status quo, and with so much happening in the news and on Social Media (can we bring back all the cat videos, please?), we might be forgiven to want to stick our heads in the sand, only emerging again when everything seems to be on firmer, more settled ground. Although this might be a fairly natural reaction, I think it’s important to remember that we have a voice – all of us – and I firmly believe that if we commit to our convictions, with loud voices and strong message, we will thrive individually and make a difference collectively.
This same commitment can, and I believe should, be transferred to our careers. In a time where there is more original programming on television than ever before; Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and Groundhog Day just some of the many original musicals reaching wider audiences with great success; not to mention the film industry’s continuing success; THIS is the time to show up, to be the best we can be, fully committing to our self-development and craft. By applying the same voice and commitment to our talents, don’t we have a greater chance of success?
In New York you can be a new man
My resolute stance in this regard has recently been fueled by my work on the musical Hamilton. In addition to my responsibilities at Boland & Reeve, I am lucky enough to be the Musical Director on the 1st U.S National Tour, playing San Francisco until early August before moving to Los Angeles for the rest of 2017. It is a show very close to my heart, for many reasons, but there are two that are important: It resonates with me because I’m an immigrant, and it has inspired me to be BETTER.
As Alexander Hamilton did in 1773, I arrived in New York in 2012 to make a new start. I arrived knowing nobody (except for my lovely wife, Lisa, who was the reason behind the move in the first place), and had to work hard to pave my way. I first met Alex Lacamoire (the musical genius behind In The Heights, and now Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen) at my interview for the US Tour of Bring It On in 2013, and we have enjoyed a solid friendship and working relationship ever since. Alex first asked me to get involved with Hamilton as a rehearsal pianist for the Broadway production in June 2016, and my first rehearsal was the day after the Tony Awards (I was in the theatre playing for a dance call when Lin-Manuel Miranda walked across the stage with his two statues!). To be involved with the Broadway production at a time when the show was firmly cementing it’s importance in American culture was an amazing feeling, but more than that, it was incredibly special to be a British Immigrant, in New York City, working on a show that is set in the American Revolution. I would travel to work from Hoboken – just a mile from Weehawken where Hamilton was shot, and where his son, Philip, died – knowing that many of the events taking place in the songs we were rehearsing happened in Manhattan. I’ve felt very connected to the show as a result, and I can’t wait to continue the journey around the U.S.
The Room Where it Happens
Being in a rehearsal room with a multi award winning creative team on a show like Hamilton is thrilling! Alex Lacamoire, together with Tommy Kail (Director), Andy Blankenbuler (Choreographer), and Stephanie Klemons (Associate Choreographer) are all professionals at the very peak of their game, and I learn so much from them every day. The care in which they execute their input and direction is exceptional, and the story telling element of this show is nothing short of mind-blowing. Listening to them speak about their work and ‘why’ the show was created the way it was, is fascinating. I walk out of the rehearsal room thoroughly exhausted every day – but oh so happy. I thank my lucky stars to be amongst such creative genius, and I’m very grateful for their trust in me.
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who tells your story
This show, this creative team, this City, this move to California, and Boland & Reeve’s success during this time have inspired me to be better. Better for myself, but also better for our clients. Boland & Reeve has made great strides in the last year, expanding our office space, our staff numbers, and our client base. We are proud of our commitment to ‘personal’ representation, and we’re always pushing hard to be able to open new and exciting doors for our clients, ensuring their considerable talents can be showcased in as many mediums as possible. I’m motivated to see what else we can achieve in this regard in 2018 and beyond, and with this in mind, I’m excited to get to Los Angeles later this year to identify an agency with which we can partner in America, hopefully enabling us to offer exciting work opportunities to our UK based clients in Los Angeles and New York. Watch this space!
Meanwhile – here’s to YOUR revolution!
Julian can be found on the following platforms …
Facebook: Julian Reeve