Talking at the Bring It On Stage Door with Richard Nielsen

richard_headshot_no_nameI love Broadway. If I was rich, I would spend a month in New York City and see all the Broadway and off-Broadway shows. While I can’t make my way to the Great White Way, it can come to me via touring shows. Without these touring shows I would be searching YouTube for poor quality pirated videos of the season’s current hits. When Bring It On The Musical crossed my path, there was no way I was going to miss the Tony nominee based off the greates cheerleadering movie. As I often due, I hung out by the stage door to hopefully meet actors and crew. This time I was rewarded with Richard Nielsen of Troika Entertainment. Richard is the stage manager for the Bring It On tour and I asked him some questions of tour life and his career.

Whitney Grace (WG): Please tell me a little bit about yourself and what led you to start a career in theater?

Richard (RN): When I was little, my parents took me to see shows at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, PA. I loved everything from the Nutcracker to Fiddler on the Roof, but it was when I saw the first National tour of Phantom of the Opera that I knew I wanted to be a part of theatre the rest of my life.

WG: What are some of your favorite Broadway shows?

photo 1RN: This is such a hard question! As I said before, Phantom originally gave me the “theatre bug.” I was a HUGE Rent-head when was I was in high school and would play that soundtrack, along with the soundtracks of the revivals of Cabaret and Chicago ad nauseum. More recently, Bridges of Madison County and Once were truly exceptional and beautiful evenings of theatre.

WG: How did you get your current job as stage manager on the Bring It On tour and how long have you been doing it?

RN: My name had been passed along from previous jobs. For those jobs, I got my foot in the door by applying for anything and working in every aspect of theatre that was possible. We started rehearsals for Bring It On back in December 2013.

WG: What exactly does the stage manager do?

photo 4RN: This is a question that even my spouse can’t fully explain. A stage manager’s duties can change slightly depending on the production or where it is being performed. During rehearsals, we facilitate communication amongst the entire company, help to manage the schedule, record everything that happens during rehearsals, and try to make the rehearsal period as smooth as possible for everyone involved. Once the show opens, we give all of the technical and lighting cues that happen during performances, rehearse the understudies and swings, and maintain the artistic integrity of the show while still facilitating communication and schedules.

WG: While cheerleading and dancing have many similarities, what are some of their differences when presenting them for theater?

RN: I can only speak with a very limited experience in regard to cheerleading, but from my understanding, cheerleading usually prepares for one competition at a time whereas a Broadway show is expected to perform the same stunts eight times a week. I am amazed at what our cast does each and every day.

WG: Would you please describe what typical day or week is like and what is necessary to get a show ready?

RN: If we are only in a city for a single night, the crew begins loading in the lights, set, costumes, etc., starting in the morning. Once everything is in show-condition, the cast arrives at the theatre for a company meeting, sound check, stunt call, and to get ready for the performance. Finally, after the performance, the crew reverses everything that they did that morning and afternoon; they load-out the show and travel to the next city.

photo 3WG: Are you and the performers constantly fearful of injuries?  What preventative measures are taken to ensure the performers’ safety?

RN: I think that any performer or athlete that relies on their bodies for their profession is mindful of injury. As individuals, they spend their whole lives training and learning proper technique to avoid injury. As a production, we have an amazing physical therapist that works with everyone in our company to avoid anyone getting hurt.

WG: When do understudies and swings usually take over roles? How often do cast changes happen?

RN: Swings and understudies go on anytime someone gets sick or needs to leave the show for personal or professional reasons. All of our swings and understudies are beyond talented. Each of them knows multiple roles and they blow me away each time that they perform with the rest of the company.

WG: In your professional opinion, what makes Bring It On a great show and different from other musicals?

RN: Bring It On deals with universal emotions and themes of acceptance, hard work, and self-discovery. It uses wit and humor along with the intricacies of Andy Blankenbuehler’s staging/choreography and Lin Manual Miranda’s music to give its audiences a heart-warming and uplifting story. What makes this show different from other musicals is the performers. In music theatre, we use the term “triple threat,” to describe a performer who can sing, dance, and act with high proficiency. For this production, we had to find “quadruple threats” because the performers have to also be amazing at gymnastics and the sport of cheerleading.

photo 2WG: What is your favorite song in the show?

RN: My favorite song in the show has to be when Nadia Vynnytsky belts her face off in “One Perfect Moment.”

WG: If you got the chance, which role would you like to play?

RN: My body would break if I tried to play any of the roles. I’ve accepted that.

WG: Would you care to share any funny stories from working on the tour?

RN: Though we have many stories, I have a strict policy that what happens on tour, stays on tour.


Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Tiger Hunter
Now on Blu-ray: ‘The Tiger Hunter’ Glides by with its Charming Heart

Always a hot-button issue, the topic of immigration has recently dominated...

'12 Strong' Press Conference
Chris Hemsworth and the Cast and Crew of ’12 Strong’ Discuss Bringing the Declassified True Story to the Big Screen

In the days after 9/11, as the United States grieved the...

Shout! Factory Unleashes Joe Dante’s Cult Classic ‘Matinee’ on Blu-ray

We’re at this point in pop culture where everything seems to...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Vr Change
Guest Author: Katie Green – How Might VR Change the Way We Play

Super Guest Author, Katie Green, shares how VR might change the...

Yu-Gi-Oh Wave of Light
A Big Wave is Coming – Yu-Gi-Oh Wave of Light Structure Deck Releases Friday

A big wave is coming in the form of light, Yu-Gi-Oh...

Yu-Gi-Oh Lost Cards
Ancient Treasures Uncovered – Yu-Gi-Oh Lost Art Cards

Beginning in February, ancient treasures will be revealed and fans will...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Die Hard Christmas
The Greatest Christmas Movie Becomes The Greatest Christmas Book – A Die Hard Christmas Review

The greatest Christmas movie ever made becomes the greatest Christmas storybook...

‘The 49th Key’ is a Familiar Story Told with Soul

Title: The 49th Key Written by: Erika Lewis Art by: J.K....

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, the ‘Doomsday Clock’ is about to Strike!

Title: Doomsday Clock #1 Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Gary Frank Colorist:...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
WWE Slam Crate Starts the Year Off Right

In just two weeks time WWE’s Royal Rumble not only continues...

January’s Loot Crate is Here!

January is a month where resolutions are made, hopes are extended...

Yu-Gi-Oh Kaiba
Yu-Gi-Oh March 2018 Will Be Great For Your Yu-Gi-Oh Kaiba Cards

Yu-Gi-Oh March 2018 will be great for your collection of Yu-Gi-Oh...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bellator 192 Full Results including the Welterweight Championship and Heavyweight Grand Prix

January 20, 2018 – Tonight, airing for the first time on...

Bellator 192 Prelims Live on FanboyNation

Bellator: Lima vs. MacDonald – Live Tonight 9/8c, on Paramount Network...

LFA 30 Full Results

Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), one of the most recognizable names in...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Adult Continuity #11 Star Wars Underworld: A XXX parody


New Year's Resolutions for Fandom
New Year’s Resolutions for Fandom

It’s the start of another year and while everyone out there...

Samo Says: Star Wars – The Last of My Patience

When I was a child, I loved Star Wars. I had...

Event News Event Reviews
dough bar
The Dough Bar and the Protein Donut

Created by Marquez and Ondrea Fernandez, The Dough Bar Doughnuts are...

Improve Sleep and Performance with TrueDark

TrueDark by Biohacked aims to improve your sleep, performance, and health by...

Pyramid Escape Room Review
Escape Room LA’s The Pyramid Escape Room Review

Overview of The Pyramid Escape Room The Pyramid Escape Room, Escape Room...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...