"What I Was Born to Do": Bring It On Boasts a Record 32 Broadway Debuts; Meet the Newbies

By Michael Gioia
14 Aug 2012

Shonica Gooden

Although Shonica Gooden, 23, has always been a dancer, she takes on her first musical with Bring It On. Her biggest challenge, she said, was maintaining proper vocal health. "Over the tour I was diagnosed with nodes. This made touring challenging. Throughout the tour, I had Skype lessons with a vocal coach and he helped my voice get healthier. Coming into Broadway I feared not being able to maintain a healthy voice with the rigorous work schedule, but so far so good!"

Ensemble member Gooden, who comes from Atlanta, GA, said that it was "senior year of college when I decided that I wanted to explore the musical theatre world. I always knew that I could sing, and I always enjoyed seeing my theatre friends perform, so I figured why not give it a try? Now I'm in love with it, and I see a lot of Broadway performances in my future."

Keith Gross

"My career goal was actually in business," said Orlando-native Keith Gross, 24, who's been cheerleading for 12 years (a competitive all-star team in high school and the national championship team at the University of Central Florida). "I was working as a financial analyst for the Walt Disney World company when I received an email from Bring It On asking if I was interested in auditioning."

About his journey to Broadway, Gross said, "I think leaving my family and my girlfriend behind to come and do the show was the biggest challenge for me." Gross, a swing in the new musical added, "This is a dream come true for me — a dream that I actually had given up on in high school. I didn't think I was good enough, so I quit dance and theatre and stuck to cheerleading. Who would've thought that the two worlds would combine like this?"