Did you watch the re-airing of the Sound of Music this weekend? From our last post, hopefully you noticed some faces of color in the cast while you were tuning in. Luckily another one of these faces has been in contact with us to share her experience with the show! Keep reading for our interview with Nikki Renee Daniels (Broadway: Porgy and Bess, Anything Goes, Promises, Promises and more)!
1. Name: Nikki Renee Daniels
2. Role: Nun #18
3. What was your audition experience like? I auditioned six weeks after I had a baby. It was one of my first auditions postpartum, so I was really nervous. It went well, but I didn’t hear anything for a while after the audition so I thought it was dead. Then I got another job for the holidays, and the day after I heard that they wanted me to come to a callback. The callback was really fun, some of the best singers in New York were there. They could have had another fierce set of nuns from the people who weren’t cast! I ended up backing out of the other job to do this one, and I’m so glad it worked out!
4. Favorite thing about being on set/filming a musical? I love working on a TV project! It’s much more lucrative than working on Broadway, and they feed you. I loved not having to worry about bringing my lunch, and having my own trailer was the best! I haven’t done a lot of TV/film, so it was also nice to get to watch and learn a little more about how it works. I hope there is more TV and film work in my future!
5. Tell us a behind-the-scenes anecdote or secret that we didn’t catch while watching it on TV! There was a whole set of understudy children who rehearsed all of the time because of the limited hours on set for child actors. They were so wonderful, I was sad that they didn’t get to do the actual show!
6. What does it mean to you (if anything at all) to be an artist of color involved with this classic musical? I always love it when I’m color-blind cast in any project. It was great working with Audra again (we also worked together in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.) She’s paved the way for so many of us, especially sopranos. I’ve played Belle in Beauty and the Beast (three times!) and Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes (twice!) in my career. I can’t help but think that I was given those chances partially because of what she has done in the musical theater. Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, our Sound of Music producers, have always been big proponents of color-blind casting, and I’m grateful to them for pushing the envelope in this production.
Did you watch NBC’s re-airing of the Sound of Music? What did you think? Did you notice the performers of color involved? If so who and how did that make you feel? Leave a comment below!