Interview – Brandon Lambert
You did an awesome job in Plaid Tidings! Tell us how you got the role?
I auditioned for the role in July. I actually auditioned with Jinx’s big solo from Forever Plaid, “Cry,” and with the Four Seasons’ “Walk Like A Man.” I got a callback for the next day. At the callbacks we were asked to get into groups of four and sing the opening number of Plaid Tidings. It was probably one of the best times I’ve had at callbacks. Everyone was so talented, I’m still kind of in shock that I got the part!
The CLO is an awesome company! How’s your experience been working with them, and especially your director, who’s done such amazing things?
Guy Stroman is a fantastic director. He was always very focused, very precise in what he wanted the show to be. It was cool being directed by someone who originated the role (of Frankie). He knows Plaid inside and out, which really helped us Plaid newbies understand the show/characters in the short rehearsal period. And yes, CLO is an awesome company. When attending Point Park I would always see their shows and think “God, I’d love to work there someday.”
Plaid Tidings is a very cute show but it’s vocally demanding! Your Besame Mucho, Kiss of Fire song is like running a three-minute mile! So first question, how are you keeping the energy up?
On our off-days I work at Starbucks. How do I keep the energy up? Coffee!
Second part to the question: You sing so beautifully. Your range is phenomenal! What’s your routine for exercising your voice and yet making sure you don’t blow it out? Like I said, the show, for how cute and family-friendly it is, seems like it’d be very vocally taxing!
Thank you! It is a vocally taxing show, for sure. I have to be sure I get enough sleep, and warm-up properly before each show. I’m also lucky in that I never lose my voice.
Okay, let’s switch gears and talk about the holidays! You live in New York but you’re here until the show ends. Any special plans to celebrate in the city?
Well, I’m originally from Ohio, so I’ll be spending Christmas at my childhood home. This show got me really excited to spend the holidays with friends and family. I think that’s why it resonates with the audience so much; it brings you back to memories of your own Christmas celebrations, and makes you excited to share future Christmas’ with those you love (or Hanukah, Ramadan, Kwanza…)
Is there a holiday tradition you or your family has that you really love?
FONDUE! I have a huge family (two brothers, five step brothers, two step sisters), and on Christmas Eve we all gather for fondue. My favorite is the cheese fondue my Mom makes served with French bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Oh, and I always play Christmas songs with my Step-Mom. She plays the melody on flute and I accompany her on piano. Good memories. Can’t wait to re-live them this year!
Speaking of family…you and the other Plaids seem to have genuine chemistry up there on stage. Tell me how it’s been working with such amazing actors like Quinn and Billy and Eric.
Billy, Quinn and Eric are three of the funniest actors I’ve ever worked with. Sometimes they make it hard for me to keep a straight face on stage! It’s also cool how well we get along offstage. I love spending time with the Plaids whether it’s at the CLO or out on the town.
There are so many amazing songs you guys sing in this production! Any favorites?
“Besame Mucho” is so much fun to sing, and I love the audience’s reaction to a certain part… My real favorite though is the “Christmas Song.” Singing in four-part harmony with such amazing guys is… it’s like flying. Each individual part is beautiful, but when they rise together they create a sound entirely new.
Okay, last question and I can’t ever leave an interview without asking for some advice! So….what is the best piece of advice you can give to an actor or singer who’s trying to make it in the arts? If you could give a quick tip, what would it be?
Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“The question isn’t whose going to let me; it’s whose going to stop me.”
You, the actor, the painter, the poet, the composer, the writer, have the power to make your vision come true. Now go and get it, and don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way.