PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: "The Dream I Dreamed!" Natalie Charle Ellis of Les Miz Shares Pics and Reflections on Her First Tony Awards Experience

By Natalie Charle Ellis
12 Jun 2014

Natalie Charle Ellis
Natalie Charle Ellis

Natalie Charle Ellis, who is making her Broadway debut in Les MisÚrables, performed at her first Tony Awards June 8. She shares these snapshots and reflects on the unforgettable experience.

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Those 24 hours were an emotional roller coaster. Sunday I performed on the Tony Awards. Even typing it now, I can’t believe it. I performed on the fricken Tonys!!

I remember being a little girl sitting on the couch with all of my theatre geek friends in our pjs, my mom would make us pizza rolls and soda, and we were glued to the television. I made a promise that this was going to be me one day. And this week - it was me.

The day was crazy. Getting up early and running to dress rehearsals, going back and forth on the bus, doing a matinee, being exhausted, being held backstage at Radio City because it was so packed with other casts, crew, presenters, Hugh Jackman... Yes, when I saw him I screamed, "Wolverine!"  I know... I'm ashamed.



It was exciting and hectic and there were so many distractions (Clint Eastwood just standing there, Orlando Bloom brushing by me), but then I heard our music. The magic notes we like to call them.  Ramin started singing and my eyes welled up immediately. Then, when I walked onto that stage, my heart started pounding and tears started streaming down my face.

That dream that I made as a little girl came true. The number ended, and when the lights came up, I saw about 6,000 people in that audience screaming for us. I looked around and saw my amazing cast, who I love so much, and they were all crying as well. That’s not something that everyone gets to live.

What happened next was actually my favorite part. After we were done, they moved us quickly offstage so they could bring in the next performance. So, all of us, crying and laughing like fools, started down the hallway and when we entered the staircase to head toward the bus, there was the cast of Rocky waiting... and they started cheering as soon as we entered!

They screamed and gave us high fives and hugs and fist pumps. That made me actually ugly-girl cry because it was so touching. I realized how amazing this community is. It is loving and supportive and special.

We all go through so much to get where we are. So much rejection and disappointment comes with this job. And it’s infuriating. But the love and support we have for each other is the core of this business and that’s what makes it all worth while. That’s why we keep doing what we love to do.

Sunday was a celebration of a beautiful community of art and love and dreams. Dreams come true. It takes a lot of work, and passion and determination...but every bump in the road is worth it...and this is only the beginning.

Something that chokes me up, is there were 7 million people watching...and I know that some little girl, who was sitting on the couch with her mom after play practice, just saw us on the Tonys and a dream was born in her. How amazing is it, to show that there are no limitations or boundaries.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the 2013/2014 season. It was a beautiful year of theatre and I am proud to be a very small part of something so giant. I had no idea I could make it here, and now I can’t wait to see where my journey takes me next.



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Me and mister Ramin Karimloo. He rocks!
Photo by Natalie Charle Ellis