Celebrity Guest Faculty Member Shonica Gooden Talks Hamilton, Tarzan, CATS and More!

1. What was the first Broadway show you ever saw?
The first Broadway show I saw was Tarzan! I remember thinking it was so cool that their stage was plush and bouncy.

2. Is there a show or performer that inspired you to be on Broadway?
Debbie Allen is definitely one of my many Broadway inspirations. Passion, talent, and fearlessness all wrapped up into one beautiful being. I am also inspired by the fact that she is a true triple threat and she doesn’t define herself as just being a performer. Seeing as how she has directed and produced on some of television’s most popular shows, while at the same time running a prestigious dance school, Debbie Allen has proven that she is limitless. I strive to be limitless in my life and career, giving love and light to the many goals, aspirations, and gifts that God has placed inside of me.

3. All-Time favorite Broadway show?
Honestly, I like many different shows for many different reasons, I’m not sure if I I can just choose one particular all-time fave. Broadway is awesome!

4. What’s your go-to Broadway song to belt in the shower or car?
Whenever I’m outside of the theatre, unless rehearsing for an audition or show, I try to sing and listen to other styles of music which helps me stay in touch with culture and reality. I’m typically belting some Gospel song or R&B/soul situation, or some Tori Kelly (have you heard her in the movie SING #goAwwwffff)!

5. What are three things you need in a dressing room?
Three things that are major necessities in my dressing room are my caboodle, EmergenC, and Arnica Gel

6. What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job is that I get to be a vessel of inspiration and joy. With so much going on in the world today, it is truly a blessing to find an escape through art

7. What advice do you have for people aspiring to work on Broadway?
My really good friend Claire Camp shared a quote with me and my CATS family that said, “Nothing to prove, only to share”. This saying has become my daily mantra as I continue on the journey of my career. So with that being said, my advice to young artist aspiring to be on Broadway is to remember that whenever you walk into a space, whether it be to audition or rehearse or perform on a stage, simply remember that you are all positively sharing energy, passion, your gifts, and a moment in time with others. I find that by looking at it from that perspective you are able to remove ego and nerves, and just lead with passion and gratefulness for the opportunity.

8. Have you been to BroadwayCon before?
I have actually never attended BroadwayCon in the past but I am super hype about being a part of the festivities this year!

9. What are you most excited about for BroadwayCon 2018?
For BroadwayCon 2018, I am most excited about meeting all of the wonderful theatre lovers and sharing with other passionate individuals. I cannot wait to share my story while at the same time being inspired by stories and wisdom nuggets from the other artist on the Dance Panel.


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