PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Kinky Boots' Ellyn Marie Marsh

By Matthew Blank
26 Nov 2013



What are some of your most memorable roles as a kid or teenager and how old were you? I was a pretty stellar Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Ernest.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: I don’t remember a time where that wasn't my answer for "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I think my parents thought it was a phase. A long, long phase.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where) Carnitas salad at Chipotle
Favorite liquid refreshment: Supa Dupa at Juice Generation
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: We have a girls' floor at the theater, so we usually have our doors open chatting about our days. I'm usually the LAST person downstairs, and we have a group "Oi! Oi! Oi! Shoes!" (act 2 it's boots) with all hands in. Tradition since Chicago.
Most challenging role you have ever played: A swing in Priscilla. That show was a beast, lots of numbers and harmonies. Two words a swing fears.
Craziest audition story: Okay. Four days before my wedding, I'm going in for a production of Hair. I tell Rachel Hoffman I'm a little stressed and out of it (last minute wedding details, family starts flying into town-mayhem) and she assures me it will be fine.

The room totally has a sense of humor about it; in fact, the piano player played "Not Getting Married" from Company as my entrance music. It was hilarious.

I get ready to sing my go-to song "Think" which I've sung 876 times and I go, "what you want...baby I got it..........” Seriously? I start singing "Respect." I have NEVER sung that song in public, let alone an audition. I died laughing. So did they. I didn't get the part.

What has been the biggest challenge about this project? Just balancing motherhood and a show schedule.
Most fulfilling or fun aspect about the project: Taking it from workshop to Broadway. Though I've been in three original companies, this is the first time I took it from the workshop phase. And that's been amazingly special. And of course working with Broadway's dream team.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: This is hilarious. And it JUST happened. At the top of the show, I take 13 pairs of shoes off a conveyer belt and place them on a shoe rack. Okay. So one day. Said shoe rack? Not there.

But that conveyer belt was flying. So I start grabbing them trying to manage. 13 pairs of shoes... that's TWENTY SIX shoes. Imagine "I Love Lucy" with men's shoes. I was trying to stop them with my body, all the while actually crying with tears of laughter.



But the awesome thing is? I have a rock solid company that I can always turn to in times of need. Oh no wait, they were all pissing themselves laughing. Finally I chuck a handful to Andy Kelso then run stage left and load them off with Rich, our props master. It was not only my funniest moment, it was the world’s. The world’s funniest moment on stage.
Worst job you ever had: I worked for Be Our Guest restaurant group. Anyone who works or has worked there gets it. Oy!
If you could trade roles with anyone in the cast for a week, who would it be? Oh, Billy for sure! What a journey he gets to go on. And the costumes! I'd love to do that. In all honesty I could probably only handle a week.
Any upcoming or side projects you can talk about? I generally post everything on my twitter: @ellynmarsh if you want to have a follow.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Elle in Legally Blonde - and I'm not delusional, I know I will NEVER play it. It's cool. Don't worry about me. I'm okay. A girl can dream.
Leading man role you'd like a shot at: Usnavi in In the Heights, no question.
Something about you that surprises people: I'm super sensitive. And a homebody.
Something you are incredibly proud of: My family and I found a way to put me through private collage even though we couldn't afford it. I worked several jobs all the time because I wanted it that bad. I loved my time at Emerson and wouldn't trade it for the world. All the hard work paid off!
Career you would want if not a performer: A nurse. I've many a time thought about leaving the Broadway for nursing school.
Three things you can't live without: Excluding my family right? cause.... obviously. My phone. That's it really. My phone. Ask anyone who knows me well.
"I'll never understand why…" … people don't do what I say all the time.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Work. Sleep. Study. Don't put naked pictures of yourself on the internet. EVERYONE will Google you.