June 05, 2016


And here we are again with a great new interview! We had the chance to interview Rachel Anne Moore during Christmas holidays (read here!) and Heidi Karlsson on Valentine's Day (read here!). Now we're celebrating that summer is almost here with Jazmin Gorsline. She's playing Christine's alternate and with this interview, we close the circle having interviewed the three ladies that play Christine in Liebe Stirbt Nie.  Read ahead:

Did you already know the musical? Did you see any previous production in London, Australia, Denmark or Vienna?
When the US was casting its production of Love Never Dies in 2009 (which didn’t end up happening at that time), I had never seen it, but I just knew I would be right for this show. I tried desperately to get an audition, with no luck. One day, I was at another audition when I realized Love Never Dies work sessions/auditions were happening right next door. I knew the music director only slightly, from past auditions for Phantom of the Opera, but she was always so gracious and kind, and when she came out of the room on a break, I told her how much I would love to be seen and she quietly said there was nothing she could do this time, “but don’t give up.” Fast forward to this production years later, and not only being cast as Christine but getting to work with THAT SAME music director who told me not to give up - can you imagine? It wasn’t until we were into rehearsals that I even remembered that happening. I’m not sure if life gets any more fateful than that.

What do you think, in your opinion, that makes this production unique/different from the others?
Well, this production is the same beautiful design as the Australian production, but when it was being staged, our director Simon wanted to explore the best ways for THIS cast to do it, as opposed to just copying everything from Australia. We have such a wonderful, unique and talented group of people, so it is designed around their skill sets in many ways. Also, Andrew Lloyd Webber was part of our rehearsal process and came to Hamburg to compose a new song that was added to this production, as well as make adjustments to another.

How would you describe your first performance as Christine? 
As an alternate, most of my rehearsal process was just phonetic coaching of the German and learning the show by watching. Luckily, I’m pretty comfortable with learning that way, so when the creative team asked me to do a preview before it was really planned for me to go on, I felt pretty ready even without actually having spent time on the stage. However, knowing that I was performing in German, for Germans, was scary. It is so much more important than just looking or singing pretty, it was essential for me to be able to communicate the story and to be understood. A few hours before my first show, I had my first wig fitting and that’s when I got pretty emotional - I realized that I have wanted to play Christine Daae for so long and there I was. So from that point on, I was just full of emotion and could have burst into happy tears at any time.

During the show, I just tried to stay in each moment and not think ahead, and to be as honest and true to the story as possible. Our director and choreographer and music director all came backstage at intermission to give me hugs and take pictures with me, and that is what I remember most - the love from them that night. The cast was very supportive and kind, and I had a good friend in the audience who has always made me feel like a star and like I belonged up there. Also, my guy was visiting at the time and we hadn’t expected that he would be there for what was supposed to be my first show in the weeks to come, so it was a nice bonus surprise for him to be there and see the very first.

Which one was your favorite song to play?
I don’t want to give anything away, but my favorite is at the end of Act I, when Christine reveals the secret she has been keeping, in the reprise of “Einst in Einer Andern Zeit” (“Once Upon Another Time”). The music perfectly matches the words and emotion of the scene and it feels so natural. This whole score is just so wonderfully written that it is a joy and easy to sing. Also, my favorite song from Phantom has always been “Twisted Every Way” so I really love the moment in our show where I get to sing a few lines from that.

And your non-Christine favorite scene to watch?
I LOVE “Coney Island.” The way the show begins at that point with all of the ensemble members and the carnival lights is so magical to me, with so much to look at and the story beginning.

What about your favorite dress in the show?
I share many of the skirts - like the peacock costume - with Rachel, who is taller than me, so they aren’t really made to fit my body - BUT I have my very own perfectly-fit cream colored dress for the hotel room scenes, and I think that is my favorite. :)

How it was the experience to be part of a production this big? 
It is definitely exciting. I have been a part of a few similarly large scale productions in the US, such as the transfer of the UK tour of My Fair Lady, and Carnival at the John F. Kennedy Center, and it is always nice to have the beautiful wigs and costumes and sets and designs, and all of the excitement that comes with that!

A great bond was quickly made between the cast, as we could see on social media of you guys sharing pictures and messages to each other. How was the welcome you received in the production?
There is something truly special about this group of people. I don’t know if it is because the cast is so international or what the exact formula is for having such a wonderful group, but I feel very lucky to know each one of them. My birthday was about a month after we arrived, and I tend to be shy about it so I only mentioned it to two friends the night before, and I could not believe the love and attention and gifts that were showered down on me the next day when everyone found out. This cast is very giving and supportive, along with being so talented and professional. In my position as an alternate, because I am only scheduled for two shows a week, it has the potential to feel very isolating. However, I felt people go out of their way to include me and make me a part of the company from day one. I also had my fellow Phantom alternate, Mathias Edenborn, to hang out with and we instantly hit it off, so it was nice to have an offstage partner.

If you could be any other character, which one would you chose to play?
I think I would really enjoy being Meg for a day because I love the emotional journey she takes in the show and she has some great showgirl costumes. I would also love to be the butterfly in the tower.

What are your dream roles, or what would you like to do next?
I have been so lucky to play so many great roles and I always look forward to doing a role again, as I have learned so much by doing that. I have played Eliza Doolittle in four different productions, and for a while, I dreamt that I would continue to do one a year until I am Laura Benanti’s or Kelli O’hara’s standby for it on Broadway, so that is still a dream. I’d also love to revisit Irene Malloy in Hello, Dolly! - I had so much fun with that show a few months ago - the comedy and so much laughter were just wonderful. As far as roles I haven’t done, I think my biggest dream role is The Girl in Once. Some others that I’d really like to do are Marian in The Music Man and Louise in Gypsy. I would also love the chance to perform Christine in the first Phantom, just to come full circle with her journey.

Any fun experiences on stage you want to share?   
Oh yes, I can think of a few. My first show, I hadn’t quite worked out the traffic pattern at one point when I’m running offstage through all of the ensembles in the second act “Streets of Coney.” In this number, we have two people in costumes that we call “big heads” and they are these massive round costumes which make it very hard for them to see and move, so it is really important to look out for them so they stay safe. Well, we had a bit of a traffic jam and I just kept running full force into a “big head” over and over again in a panic trying to get offstage, which was actually terribly inconsiderate of me, since I could see and he couldn’t. Imagining how ridiculous it must have looked makes me smile now.

Thank you so much to Jazmin and the attachment she took to make this interview happen, her voice and the great performance she's giving for sure. You can follow her on her facebooktwitter and instagram to see some Love Never Dies behind the scenes.

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