A backstage look at the cast
of 'West Side Story'
By Julie Garcia
April 20, 2006 | A hallway of dressing rooms,
a chock-full cast of more than 40 people, loud
up-beat music, bright vanity lights, make-up everywhere,
and the scent of hairspray filling the air-backstage
is the place to be if your about to perform in
West Side Story.
So many emotions are tossed about right before
a performance: nervousness, excitement, fear .
. . that's why most members of the cast have a
routine they go through before the show to prepare.
The majority of the actors usually go through
a physical and vocal warm-up so they can do their
best to shine on-stage.
Some cast members stop eating at least four
hours before a show. Others pray for a successful
Many try to forget all of their everyday problems
so they can focus on the intentions and personality
of the character they are playing.
"I have a mantra of whatever I want each time
I go onstage," Chris Martin, a.k.a. Bernardo,
THAT GIRL IN THE MIRROR THERE? Jessica
gets ready backstage to play Anita. / Photo
by Julie Garcia
Martin usually runs around to keep his energy high.
He said he likes it quiet right before he goes out to
perform. Martin said oftentimes he gets cranky because
of the noise going on backstage.
"It takes a lot of focus to go out there and bang
it out every night," he said.
While many of the actors try to shake their anxiety
before a show, some have a simpler thought process.
When Richie Call, Tony, was asked what runs through
his mind before he enters the stage he said the main
thing he usually worries about is if his fly is undone
Although actors may worry about how they'll be on-stage,
most can't get enough of the thrill from being in the
"One of my favorite sounds in the whole world is sitting
just off-stage before a show starts, before the houselights
dim . . . " Call said. He said there's a chit-chatter
about daily life from the audience and a certain busy
"There's this really excited buzz, I just love to
sit there and think, 'Oooh! We're about to go out!'"
Call said. Jessica Hyde, who plays Anita, said she likes
everything about being on-stage.
"You're able to let go of all of your problems and
release. There's nothing like being on-stage," she said.
LAST-MINUTE DETAILS BACKSTAGE
/ Photos by Julie Garcia