On a Journey… with Sissy Bell!

April 21, 2017

Ever wonder what it’s like to be in a Broadway show? The multi-talented and incredibly sweet, Sissy Bell, from the new musical Anastasia, takes us behind the scenes and gives us an exclusive look into her day. Lets get started!

Hi, I’m Sissy Bell and I’m making my Broadway debut in the ensemble of Anastasia. Today is our first two show Wednesday! We are in previews, which means long days at the theatre and changes to the show daily. So staying healthy and well rested is our biggest priority right now!

9:00 am- Wake up! Notice how lovely slept-on pin curl hair looks (and some crusty eye makeup. Ooch) Time to shower.

9:15am- Getting my coffee and Kelly fix. I like to have time in the morning to just lounge and relax.

10:30- Gym! This doesn’t happen every day, but I’m being ambitious. I also find a short workout helps wake me up and wake my body up. I’m talking 15 minutes of cardio and some weight exercises. Nothing too strenuous because we have a long day ahead! Also, this is the first and only “gym selfie” I will ever take.

11:15- Late breakfast! Eggs are a must!

12:30- Arrive at the theatre. Often there is coffee still in my hand. We have a callboard where our sign in sheet is posted and any other pertinent information like notes, if anyone is out, shows changes and schedules. Then it’s time to face these…

12:40- Finally make it to the dressing room.
The women’s ensemble dressing room is on the 4th floor. That’s a lot of steps! Luckily, most of our changes are on the stage level so we only have to face the dreaded stairs before the show, at intermission and after.

1:00 Time to start make up, and hair prep. For this show, the ladies of the ensemble wear our microphone packs pinned in our pin curls under our wigs. It’s a little extra weight on our head, but with so many costume changes and lifts, it’s nice to not have cords or mic packs impeding us!

1:30- Onesie warm up! At half hour we start our PT exercises and warm up

1:40- Go visit the hair department and get my Romanov wig on. There is a wig schedule for the cast to ensure that we all don’t run down to the wig room at the same time. There are a lot of wigs (and facial hair for the men) that these lovely ladies have to take care of!

1:57ish- Places call! The Romanov sisters have a little on stage tradition we do nightly so I drop my water bottle off and head to the stage. Also, look at these beautiful costumes we get to wear!!!

2:00 -Curtain up!

3:20pm (ish)- Intermission! We’ve just left Russia and are out to start Act 2 in Paris! But first–grab a snack from our communal snack bin in the ladies room. We deserve it after the trek up the stairs. Snacking is a very important part of our show day.

3:35pm- Places for Act 2! Janet and I are warming up for our Charleston!

4:40pm- Done with show number one! Get out of costume, wigs and microphones so everyone can get ready to do it all again.

4:50pm- Eat some food and relax! It’s hard to do a show on a full stomach so we tend to eat an early dinner (or late lunch).

5:20pm- Physical therapy time! Every week Dionne from PhysioArts comes to the theatre and we have an opportunity to sign up for a short session. Rehearsals, tech and previews are full days and it’s so important to keep your body as strong as it can be. Today was a new PT experience for me. Dionne rotated one of my ribs that had moved out of place during a lift in rehearsal. She’s the best!!

5:40pm– Tonight I’m taking in the beautiful weather and enjoying the view from our fire escape. Meanwhile back in the dressing room, it’s naptime….

6:00pm – With the down time I have, it’s time to finish up sewing my next pair of pointe shoes for the show. Because of the material of the stage, most of us wear pointe shoes with rubber tips. It definitely takes a while to get used to!

7:00- Warm up take two. Often on two show days we need some pump-up jams to get us moving again! We also really like to do group workouts- usually Tracy Anderson arms or gymnast abs.

8:00pm- Show #2. And look! One of our immensely talented swings is on.

10:40pm- Curtain down!

10:50pm- We have some of the best fans (#Fanastasias) on all of Broadway! We walk out to this supportive crowd every night. Our cast has a lot of sharpies handy for autographs!

11:30pm- Get home and eat another little meal (are you seeing a trend here?) while icing.

12:30am- GOODNIGHT!

Thanks Sissy for sharing your incredible day with us. Be sure to check out Sissy and the rest of the incredible cast of Anastasia at the Broadhurst Theatre opening April 24th!

Talia Putrino
-Steps on Broadway Intern

Photos courtesy of Sissy Bell and Anastasia the Musical

On a Journey… with Sissy Bell!