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Lindsay Arnold

words | Daniel Larsen

Lindsay Arnold can be seen quite literally dancing with stars every Monday night on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.  For the gorgeous Utah native that began dancing at age four, this is a dream come true.  At eight years old, she found a partner and began dancing ballroom. Opportunity came knocking when So You Think You Can Dance was holding auditions in the nearby major city, Salt Lake and her mother encouraged her to compete. She was thrilled to have not only made it to the audition, but also to the live show! Lindsay made top 8 and while she was on tour, she got a call from the producers of Dancing With The Stars landing a spot on the show. The rest is history; Lindsay is now a recurring dancer on the show and participates on Dancing With The Stars Tour when the show isn’t filming.

This season, her tenth, Lindsay finds herself paired up with the amazing Jordan Fisher. She is blessed in that she gets to do what she loves - dance, every single day. So what is a day in the life of a professional dancer? It’s scheduled, jam-packed, and some might say crazy.

Having asked Lindsay to describe her favorite day during the season of Dancing With The Stars, Lindsay replied quickly, "That's easy-show day!" Show days-a Monday-start super early and just keep going.

 photo Brandon Showers

photo Brandon Showers

7:30 AM: Lindsay arrives at the studios early spending the first hour and a half in the makeuptrailer and then quickly moves next to the hair trailer.

10:00 AM: At this point, Lindsay is stage-ready even though she doesn't perform until 5! During this time, she and Jordan head to the stage to block out their dance.  The two of them dance with lighting, music and cameras so they get feel for the stage. It's time to put all the countless rehearsal hours to the test.

12:00 PM: Noshing...A quick but no doubt nutritious lunch is enjoyed.

1:30-3:30 PM: Now, it’s back to the stage for a crucial two-hour dress rehearsal. This rehearsal is full on; all the costumes, music, and lighting is just how it will be later on that night when the show is live. They even add in time for the commercial breaks and packages so the set designers can get the props on and off the stage seamlessly. It is also the first time the dancers will perform their dances in full costume.

3:45 PM: As one can imagine, they might need to revisit their glam team post dress rehearsal, so they go in for some touch ups and wait for the live show to start.

5:00-7:00 PM:  It's showtime!

The show begins and of course, Lindsay and Jordan leave it all on the dance floor. Once it’s over, they head to a press line for an hour. Jordan and Lindsay, who have had a connection from the beginning, head out to grub to end their night. They are the same age and thus have a lot in common. The two love spending time together and often hang out with each other’s families. She is very fond of his girlfriend and Jordan is friends with Lindsay’s husband, Sam. After dinner, it’s off to bed to start another long day of dance rehearsals for next week's show in the morning. It starts all over again.

So what is a perfect day for Lindsay Arnold? Naturally it involves dancing. It would start with a delicious breakfast made by her husband, Same. Then Lindsay would head to the gym with friends. Going with friends helps keep the talented dancer motivated. After a trip to the nail salon, Lindsay would then head to a show or event to dance. To cap it off, Lindsay would then head home to have dinner and cuddle on the couch with her husband Sam, and their labradoodle, Moose, who turned four this last Halloween. What are they watching in Lindsay’s perfect day? She loves binge-watching shows and is currently binging the second season of Stranger Things.

When Lindsay is done dominating the 25th season of Dancing With The Stars, she’ll begin on a Dancing With The Stars Tour. This next one specifically, will be extended-11 weeks long rather than the usual 8. She loves going on tour because it’s the only time she gets to see and engage with fans. Once that’s over, the star will begin another season of Dancing With The Stars and continue doing what she loves.

 photo Brandon Showers

photo Brandon Showers

 

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words | Daniel Larsen

photos | Angela Marklew

From sewing to singing, there’s not much Jordan Fisher can’t do. On an overcast day in Los Angeles, the Luca team was treated with a ray of light: Jordan Fisher. He arrived to his shoot in blue-lensed sunglasses and a bomber jacket, ready to demand the camera. Greeting everyone in the room with a soulful hug, it was immediately clear what kind of person he is. From his beginnings in a small town outside of Birmingham, Alabama, to Broadway, to the stage of Dancing with the Stars, Jordan remains the humble and genuine person his parents raised him to be. A perfect example is the close relationship he has with his groomer, Dusty Starks. As they chat about each other’s personal lives, Jordan loves hearing about what her seven-year-old son is up to! Hopping off the makeup chair ready to shoot, Jordan doesn’t just hug Dusty but embraces her warmly.

Jordan credits his parents with who he is today. Adopted by his maternal grandparents at birth, Jordan felt comfortable sharing his story for the first time this year while on Dancing with the Stars – simply feeling like it was the perfect platform to discuss it. He calls his parents the two most selfless, loving, caring and beautiful people he's ever known. Hoping that his story will touch others, he wanted people to know that parents are the ones who love and raise you.

In addition to his beautiful soul, music is part of Jordan's core. Constantly singing and harmonizing along with the music playing during the shoot, Jordan shares, "I grew up loving Prince and Michael Jackson, but I was also listening to Justin Timberlake, Whitney, Mariah and Tyrese.” Jordan has been writing, playing and creating music from a young age. Beginning with the success of his debut eponymous EP, Jordan Fisher is ready for more. We are loving his new release, “Mess”, co-written by Jordan, Dewain Whitmore, Patrick “J-Que” Smight and Mike Sabath, which showcases a smooth R&B feel. Once singing backup for industry giants, Mariah and Celine Dion, Jordan opened for Alicia Keyes at last year’s Apple Music Festival and is now planning an upcoming tour.

When Jordan was busy finishing his album, he got the call to join the cast of the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash, Hamilton. Jordan, who has been described by the great Lin-Manuel Miranda as “super-talented”, saw a lifelong dream of performing on Broadway come true when he took on dual roles in the musical. Of Jordan's brilliant set of tattoos, he explains his favorite, which is a reminder of his Broadway accomplishments: “My Alexander Hamilton. It was a dream come true for me when I had the chance to play John Laurens/Philip Hamilton on Broadway.” The star has a beautiful portrait of Alexander Hamilton on top of his left forearm to commemorate his time as a cast member on the Broadway performance.

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Fortunate enough to meet a few of his alter egos on set, we were in awe (not to mention laughing hysterically) as he channeled each new personality, displaying his incredible acting ability. It’s no wonder he has so many fans and his career is growing steadily. The star is appreciative that he has had to work for where he is now, and it doesn’t look like he has intentions of slowing down any time soon. From Teen Beach Movie, Teen Beach Movie 2, Liv and Maddie, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Teen Wolf, Hamilton, and to his breakout performance in Grease Live!, Jordan is a triple threat.  He also wowed us in his duet with Lin-Manuel on “You’re Welcome” from Disney’s Moana. Jordan has to say of Lin: “Lin-Manuel has influenced me by challenging me to use my brain in every capacity. He is one of the smartest creators I have ever been blessed to know and work with.”

Among these many other things, Jordan Fisher is also well-traveled. He has traveled for charity, pleasure and for work. Modeled by his parents since childhood, Jordan shares, "I am fortunate and I want to give back to others." His charitable endeavors led him to Africa where he got down and dirty building a school for a community in need. More exotic destinations include Ecuador and a two-week trip to The Amazon. Of these and all the other places he’s been, Hawaii is his favorite, “I love Hawaii. It is my happy place.” Often traveling for work, Jordan shares that when he finds himself in a new city, he enjoys going to a local sports bar to watch a game and try a local cocktail or specialty. He believes this a great way to get to know a place – do what the locals do! On any given Friday night in town, however, it’s likely that you won’t find Jordan Fisher partying or at the club. His ideal Friday night would be having his friends over for cocktails, watching sports, and playing games. (Don’t forget my invite, Jordan!) Very disciplined, he’ll end the gathering to hit the hay so he can rest before the next day, which will surely be an eventful one.

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Jordan’s schedule is hectic – especially while he was competing on Dancing With The Stars. At the time of the interview, Jordan explained, “Right now, I am rehearsing 4 to 5 hours a day, plus writing new music and making time to hang with friends, family and my dog, which is a priority for me.” He actually told us that Dancing with the Stars was more tiresome than when he was on Broadway in the cast of Hamilton. How could that be? Jordan explained that when he was in Hamilton it was the same thing every night. He would have busy days full of events and filming but when he got to the stage, he was performing a routine he had down pat – every note, every motion was engrained in him. He found performing relaxing even, as it was something very consistent during that time of his career. On Dancing with the Stars however, he had a new dance each week. After killing it one week, he started immediately learning an entirely new dance so that he could kill it again the next. Luckily, Jordan and his partner, Lindsay Arnold, became extremely close friends. They have a lot in common and are close in age, which helps. Jordan says of his partner, “We became friends instantly. She created a fun, safe rehearsal environment. She is a creative choreographer and I just love her. She is very authentic and genuine and she deserves to win this year! Plus, we are both goofy and silly together.” Their success in the competition is likely a side effect of their amazing chemistry.

If someone can be more than a triple threat, that someone is Jordan Fisher. Lucky for us, he plans on sticking around to give the people what they want: “Next year will be busy with new projects on screen, new music and a tour. Can’t wait to share the news with you all as things unfold.” If his new music is anything like his most recent, we’re in for a treat.

 

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Stephanie Klemons | inside hamilton - The musical 

words |  Bailey Grant

As kids, we could’ve sworn we had the whole world in our hands. We could dream as big as our minds would take us, and we could be whatever we wanted. Well, sometimes our childhood dreams change. We grow up, and we either find a new dream to chase or steer to a new, perhaps even a more realistic path. But for one talented Broadway performer, she held tight to her childhood dream and now is part of 2016’s Best Musical, Hamilton.

Stephanie Klemons started dancing at the age of two and hasn’t seemed to stop since. From a young age, she knew she wanted to become a professional dancer and was determined to make it to Broadway. Today, Stephanie has gone above and beyond.

For the past ten years, the dancer has been dance captain, associated choreographer, swing and understudy for Broadway shows Hamilton, In The Heights, Bring it On, and If/Then. All of which were nominated for Best Musical, with Hamilton claiming the award only months ago.

Before working in Hamilton, Stephanie thought once she was done with Bring It On, she would focus more on performing. Little did she know that would quickly change.

 Headshot by Dirty Sugar

Headshot by Dirty Sugar

While at lunch one day in Atlanta with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andy Blankenbuehler and Alex Lacamoire, the masterminds behind Hamilton, Stephanie heard the song “My Shot” from the award-winning show and knew she had to be a part of it. “When I understood what was going to be created, I couldn’t not be a part of Hamilton,” she said. “So I chose to be a swing, which gave me the opportunity to perform in the show from time to time and choreograph with Andy.”

Taking on this new job wasn’t easy. While helping Andy put the choreography together, Stephanie was also performing eight times a week in If/Then as an understudy for two roles along with being the dance captain. Stephanie was doing “double duty” which she described as, “No day off, no time to sleep.”

She spent a lot of her time exhausted on the train from her home in Long Island to where she and Andy were choreographing in Harlem. “I started to get loopy, and things that wouldn't normally stress me out felt like the biggest, most insurmountable problems. I’ve had a few moments in my life where I’m like, well, I lived through that. That was one of them.”

Stephanie was born in Manhattan and grew up in Brooklyn and New Jersey. When she was young, she saw Cats on Broadway, which she claimed to be the Broadway “bug” that bit her. But it wasn’t until she was nine years old when she saw Will Rogers Follies that got her saying, “I can do that!"

Stephanie has never let anyone tear her down from that dream. She went to school for Genetics and Microbiology Research in addition to Modern Dance. During her junior year, when her Broadway dream was right around the corner, people started asking her what she really wanted to do with her life. She was shocked. “I haven’t changed my answer my whole life people!”

She knew it would be difficult, but being a hard-worker has never been a problem for the Broadway dancer. Since her first Broadway show, Stephanie shared with us that she has become a smarter performer. When she was younger, she tried hitting everything hard all the time, but she learned as she grew up, how to pace herself.

Kids may have the world at their hands, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose it when we grow up. “Work harder than everyone around you,” Stephanie advises Broadway dreamers. “Be really good at your job, and people will ask you to work for them again and again.”

 

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Kay Trinidad

words |  Brooke Romney

For every little girl who has belted out show tunes to an audience of adoring stuffed animals, starring on Broadway seems like the end to a perfect fairytale. In reality, Kay Trinidad is living that fantastical story, and while parts of it are just as magical as many imagine, being a Broadway star also involves a lot of grit, hustle, and heartache. However, as with most things in life, the intensity of the work makes the rewards so much sweeter... 

 
 "The star of this show is Kay Trinidad as Tuptim. Kay has the most glorious vocals that Florida has heard in years. Her love interest JP Moraga as Lun Tha has a difficult role to sing with Trinidad's stunning voice, but because JP Moraga has chiseled stunning good looks the chemistry is magical."  - www.examiner.com 

"The star of this show is Kay Trinidad as Tuptim. Kay has the most glorious vocals that Florida has heard in years. Her love interest JP Moraga as Lun Tha has a difficult role to sing with Trinidad's stunning voice, but because JP Moraga has chiseled stunning good looks the chemistry is magical."

- www.examiner.com 

 

A day in the life of a Broadway Performer in New York City:

8:00-8:30: Wake up. I eat breakfast and usually take my dogs for a walk before the craziness of the day begins.

8:30-9:30: Exercise. It’s important, in my line of work, to be in great physical shape.

9:30-10:30: Get ready. Having the right look is crucial in the performing arts, so I’ve gotten really good at hair and make-up.

10:30-12:30: Rehearse. I use a rented space in the city to go over lines, choreography, and music for upcoming auditions.

12:30-2:00: Audition. Auditions can be really tough. More often than not you won’t get the part, so you have to have thick skin.

2:00-6:30: Job #2. Most performers have a second job. I was a restaurant server for quite awhile and am now a social media consultant. Since shows can come and go, it’s important to have some form of steady income that can work around your performance and audition schedule.

6:30-7:00: Commute. I feel lucky to only have a 30-minute commute. Living right in the city is incredibly expensive, so commuting is part of a performer’s life.

 Sometimes you need to just put your feet up.

Sometimes you need to just put your feet up.

7:00-7:30: Costumes/hair/make-up. For most shows, I get into my own costumes and do my own hair and make-up. I’ve gotten really fast at being performance ready, so I don’t put in more time than I’m getting paid for.

7:30-8:00: Stretch and warm-up. Many of the parts I play require singing and dancing, so I like to make sure I’m really warm and prepped before the show starts.

8:00: Curtain up! There’s nothing quite as exciting as the start of a great show.

8:00-10:30: Showtime. Watching an entire show come together is exhilarating. I feel so blessed to be able to make a living doing what I love.

10:30-11:30: Dinner. Performers keep very odd hours and we’re always starving after a show, so we love going out to eat to celebrate. I’ve been so lucky to have great chemistry with my castmates; we all feel like family.

11:30: Home. I check in on my dogs and my second job, then wind down after an exhausting day.

12:30: Bedtime. After a full day’s work, I can’t wait to hit the sack, then wake up and do it all over again!

Kay Trinidad

So, you still think you want to be on Broadway? Kay offers her best advice for aspiring actresses:

  • Study everyone around you in everyday life. The real world is often your best teacher when it comes to playing a part or getting into character.
  • Train in voice, musical theater, musical instruments, and all aspects of dance including ballet, tap and hip hop
  • Audition for everything! Experience is your best teacher. Even if you don’t get the part, every audition is incredibly valuable.
  • Develop persistence, perseverance, and a thick skin. Being internally motivated is a must.
  • Become a jet-setter. If you want a life onstage, chances are you will have to travel to achieve it. You may earn a role in a traveling cast where you will move from city to city.
  • Have a support group. In this industry doubt can creep in so easily. You are constantly being judged and compared, so find family members and friends who love you unconditionally and who are willing to stand by your side while you pursue your dreams!
 NEW YORK, NY: Meryl Streep, George Clooney and Tom Hanks onstage with SeriousFun campers at the SeriousFun Children's Network 2015 New York Gala: An Evening Of SeriousFun Celebrating the Legacy Of Paul Newman at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on March 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SeriousFun Children's Network)

NEW YORK, NY: Meryl Streep, George Clooney and Tom Hanks onstage with SeriousFun campers at the SeriousFun Children's Network 2015 New York Gala: An Evening Of SeriousFun Celebrating the Legacy Of Paul Newman at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on March 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SeriousFun Children's Network)

 

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