NR: Really? How long of a period?
TR: About eight months. And I was never like that. I'm the person who went to every single call. I was up at 6 o'clock waiting on line. I don't know if you know what we go through to get an audition if we don't have an agent. When it's the summer stock season, you're up at 6 in the morning to wait on line outside, no matter what the temperature. You wait outside for two hours, then you wait for another two hours to get your appointment and then you try to go sing. I did all of those, and then I just went through a period where I was reevaluating and I thought "But I don't know what else I want to do." I knew I wanted to do this, and why wasn't it working?
NR: How long did it take before you got the job?
TR: Well, then there was the period after that audition ... It was probably four weeks total, and completely grueling. There was the call the next day after the first time I sang but then it was a week until the next audition but now I thought, "Let's be reasonable. I can't go through what I went through last week." When I went in that week, everybody was there. Frank (Wildhorn) was there. Pierre Cossette was there and Nan (Knighton). I could see Ron Melrose saying nice things about me in Frank's ear, and I could see Peter, literally just beaming at me like he was my favorite uncle. He was just "lovely papa" which is what I had wanted the whole time. Then I had to go back to the movement call, and I didn't choke like I usually do. I left there, thinking "This is it. I'm going to be on Broadway." I was crying, I wanted to see Chris. I just felt it, I knew it was true.
A week passed. I was trying to pretend that it was OK, but starting to lose hope. I went to my class with Craig Carnelia and someone who had been at the call back with me said, "Oh, my friend Alison heard on Friday." This was Monday night. It was Alison Lory. Alison heard on Friday that she got it. And that was it. I couldn't believe it, because I was so sure. I was destroyed, and I went and I worked for three more days at the restaurant. I was doing lunch on Thursday. This was as low as you can get. I had turned 30 the day before I found out that I didn't get it. Even though I was getting married in six months, it didn't matter. I was destroyed. I was doing the lunch shift and I had told everybody that I appreciated their support but I couldn't talk about it anymore. After I finished my lunch, I went to check our machine and Pimpernel had called. I was right by the dishwasher, covered with seafood, as depressed as I could get when I called them back. There's Ron Gubin on the phone and he said, "Where are you right now? Why is it so loud?" I said, "I'm at my restaurant. I just worked lunch." And he said, "Well, how'd you like to come work on Broadway?" So, it might be that I wasn't the first choice. I don't know. I don't care. I think they also knew they wanted Alison quickly because she was filling a specific part. I don't even know and I don't care. It was huge, and it really has changed my life.
NR: What did that feel like? Was it what you expected? How did it change your life?
TR: It was so thrilling, and you have to understand that I was getting married September 20th. My birthday was July 6th so I found out about getting the show on July 10th. We were in the middle of planning my wedding. I had just turned 30 and decided my life was over, when in fact it was just beginning. I was ecstatic. It was funny because I ran upstairs in the restaurant and told all my friends, "I got it." My manager handed me a bottle of really nice champagne and I went to Chris' office, just to walk in with the champagne, and he wasn't there. So, I sat upstairs with all of his co-workers for a half hour thinking "Where's Chris?" We called everyone we knew. It was just the greatest feeling. I think part of the joy of it is, it's such a gift to your family, and to all of the people who have supported you for so long, and to my mom, to be able to be at work and say, "You're going to Broadway!" and have everyone hear it, for her to brag about it. It's such a gift to have given to all of these people.
It almost annoyed me with strangers, because all of a sudden it legitimized me and all the work I had done that I was so proud of, had meant nothing really. All of a sudden you're going to be on Broadway, so if we were out celebrating, people would tell our waiter and the manager would come over and buy us a drink and say, "Oh, you're going to be on Broadway." I felt like saying, "Wait a minute, I've been doing great work and nobody cares." But, I was ecstatic, and it definitely elevated everything. It elevated the wedding, and it was so amazing, and the self confidence was incredible.