Ginna Claire Mason Resume
Ginna Claire Mason Resume – From Kat: I was incredibly lucky to spend a summer with GC at the Flat Rock Playhouse (yes, the same summer as Alex Hairston’s Obvious Path feature)! Ginna Claire and I became instant friends, bonding over our love of cereal, coffee, girly dresses, a morning devotional, and puppies. I fell in love with the spirit of her.
We came to New York the fall after that apprenticeship and what you wish would happen to all the lovely and talented people in your life happened to Ginna Claire: she started working. And in BIG things. I’m sure it felt like a methodical promotion for her, but from the outside, you could see she was going to blow up. I moved around a lot, but Ginna Claire would always check on every new job, life development, and move to see how I was doing and tell me what was going on with her. 6 years after learning her, she toured Cleveland on the Wicked National Tour…
Ginna Claire Mason Resume
And, for all her success, she was as kind, welcoming, and funny as I remember. Ginna Claire displays charm, honesty, vulnerability, and bravery in her craft, but also in her life. She’s not afraid to make friends and, as you’ll read, she even sings in front of her math class. I am grateful that I can call her my friend. She has a light around her that she is contagious, even through a blog post! We’ll let her handle it from here.
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Gina Claire! Thanks for coming out of your Broadway bubble (see what we did there?) to talk to us! Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Hello everyone! I was born and raised in Nashville, TN, so I think music was always in my bones. My parents raised my family on musical theater classics: Sound of Music, Cats, Annie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. My favorite soundtracks growing up were My Fair Lady, Les Miserablés and Annie Get Your Gun. I have three brothers, so I’m a bit of a tomboy myself, with a definitely feminine side too! I saw my older brothers perform at the community theater and wanted to get involved too. The local show I did was Grease in the third grade. I’ve officially caught the theater bug!
In fourth grade, I saw my first Broadway show and realized PEOPLE DO THIS FOR THEIR JOB from her. There was no going back.
My after-school activities were completely consumed with dance classes, singing lessons, piano lessons, and game practice. The real game changer was in seventh grade: I saw the original cast of Wicked on Broadway and announced to my parents at intermission that I would be Glinda one day.
Ffb: Ginna Claire Mason — Fit For Broadway
Let’s talk about Elon, which has the reputation of being one of the top schools in MT… How did you get there?
In high school, I began researching BFA musical theater programs. I remember freshman year of high school for Christmas ordering all the NYU merch because I was thinking, “TAKE ME TO NEW YORK!”
After more research and guidance from my mother, I came to recognize the value of a more “normal” college experience with campus and student life. Besides, New York is not going anywhere!
Elon was my first audition and I considered it a “practice” school. I think that really put me in a good frame of mind, because I wasn’t super nervous. I was just having fun and soaking it all up! I fell in love with the magnificent campus (a literal botanical garden!), the warm and knowledgeable faculty members, and the friendly students. Then I saw his production of Sweeney Todd, and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t in New York seeing a Broadway show! The caliber of the talent, the sets, the costumes and EVERYTHING blew me away. I knew then that I wanted to go to Elon and be a part of a program that trained kids to act like that. I was lucky to get accepted early and ended up canceling all my other auditions!
Music — Episodes — Drama
What did you learn at Elon that changed your career? Did your partnership with Elon open any doors for you early on? (ie showcase/relationship with CD)
I honestly can’t say enough good things about Elon. My training there definitely prepared me for this race.
One thing I love about my alma mater is that it’s a liberal arts school with a conservatory-style education. That means that as a BFA musical theater major, I was, of course, singing, dancing, and acting, but I was also taking math, language arts, science, psychology, and history. I’m a firm believer that complete people make complete artists, so I recommend learning as much as you can about the world! Elon also has a world-class study abroad program. My semester in London was brilliantly eye-opening and transformative. I highly recommend traveling, if possible!
Elon doesn’t do a traditional window display. Instead, the class decides and invites individual casting directors and agents to the school, to work with the students and audition in private. I thought this was amazing, because I moved to New York feeling like I had a relationship with some of the best casting directors. It was also good practice for the “real world”. That’s how I got an agent right out of school.
Ginna Claire Mason — The Obvious Path
In college, I used to get really nervous getting up and performing in front of people. I remember that I had to sing in front of my entire department and I felt anxious about it. I wanted to control my nerves and asked my math teacher to get me up and sing for my class. I thought, hey, if I can do it for them, I can do it for my department. Silly, I know. But there is something to be said for befriending our nerves.
I did summer stock at the Flat Rock Playhouse (with Kat!), and we had weekly “Midnight Studios.” On Friday of each week, if there were still open spaces to perform, I was forced to sign up! Having that experience of getting up in front of my peers and true professionals was so valuable!
I still feel nervous about big auditions, and I find the best way to combat that is to be overly prepared. Practice makes permanent, right? So I always work things out on my own AND with my husband, friends, and co-workers. Depending on the audition, I can also hire a trainer. If there is new music involved, I always check it out in my singing lessons. Then I just go there, be myself and HAVE FUN with her!
You haven’t stopped working since you graduated (which is AMAZING), but your road to leading “Wicked” every night included some understudying and a lot of time out of town. Did you ever feel like you wouldn’t get to where you are? Can you talk about the paradox of being fortunately employed (in a business with so much unemployment), but still fighting for more?
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No matter what I was doing, I never lost sight of my Wicked dream. I always thought it was just a matter of time. And went!
I loved doing Flashdance right out of school. I learned a lot about the business and the union. Some of the more experienced actors definitely took me under their wings, for which I am very grateful. I learned about the discipline required to do 8 shows a week and how to tour! (Pack light, be flexible, and explore as much as you can!) This was also my first attempt at figuring out what long distance marriage is like, something we would have to keep practicing for the next five years!
Newsies was my next job. This concert honestly taught me a little bit of humility because I went from being a director to being in the ensemble. It was fun to be a part of the process and launch of a first national tour. I gained many precious brothers and sisters from this experience.
Duck Commander Musical was a wonderful surprise. The director of Newsies helped propel me into playing the lead in another project he was also directing. It was very creatively satisfying to help originate a new role within a new production! To this day, DCM’s music is some of my favorite material I’ve ever sung! I loved being able to live and perform in Las Vegas. The show was short-lived, a reminder that all jobs are temporary!
Wicked Broadway Cast Update Aug 2019
My next job was the understudy for Glinda in Wicked on Broadway. This position required a lot of preparation and patience. Sometimes I wouldn’t go on for months, then suddenly I’d be asked to step in to direct a massive show. My 16 months as a surrogate were both exciting and terrifying. I will always be grateful to have made my Broadway debut in the role of my dreams.
I auditioned again and got the chance to take on the role of Glinda on tour! I toured with the “Munchkinland” production for 20 glorious months. Doing the part 8 times a week revealed to me what I needed to do to support myself: get plenty of sleep.
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