Starring on Broadway?
Me: Great. Alright, well the final question is simple. You’re sitting here in a place that was recently Patti Lupone’s dressing room, and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s dressing room...
Rob: I know... I know... And I learned Gene Kelly was here in “Pal Joey” in 1941.
Me: Oh wow...
Rob: Yah, that’s the one that really makes my heart flutter. The ghosts in here...
Me: So, do you feel like a Broadway star?
Rob: No, no! I feel like a Broadway fan who is terrified and excited to be here! I mean, I really do, I really do. I take issue with the word “star”. I think it just comes from a place of admiration from people seeing it, but for me to call myself a star, I think it would be losing any sense of... well, it makes me sick to my stomach. The idea of the “star dressing room” or the “star dresser”. No, that’s Sandy. She’s my dresser, not the star dresser. And it’s funny. They all tease me and say that I need to buck up and enjoy it. I’ll be sitting here with Sandy after I’ve gone out to meet someone after the show, and all of my make-up brushes are washed. And I’ll go, “Sandy did you wash my...” and she will say, “Yes, because I’m the star dresser. You’re the star, and I’m the star dresser.” And I have to go “stop it!” It’s... It’s well..
Me: A bit unreal?
Rob: Yes, unreal. And for me, it’s far more collaborative that anyone being a star. I feel like we are all busting our butts out there. Sandy, and Jerry on the spotlights- everyone is working just as hard. Everyone in this building- the collaborative nature of this building- I don’t think anyone deserves any higher titles than anyone. If they don’t show up, the show doesn’t happen.
Me: For sure.
Rob: So, it’s definitely surreal. My mom was saying to me, “You’ve got to walk under a sign that says ‘Rob McClure is brilliant’ to get into the building, and I just keep on thinking that I’m glad that night that person thought I was brilliant, but I’ve got five more shows this week. And they’re only going to think I’m brilliant if I’m really brilliant! So, all of that is great, and thrilling, and it means a lot to me.
Me: But, now you’ve got to live up to it.
Rob: That’s right. I’ve got to live up to it, and it’s about maintenance, and it’s about delivering. And that is somewhere where ego can’t come in. You just have to show up and do your job. Because, the star thing ain’t going to get you far enough if you’re not delivering the goods. Gotta bring it every night. That is what I tend to respond to far more than any sort of hoopla about it.
Me: Well, you’re incredibly humble and it’s great to see that.
Rob: Well, it’s too scary not to be! This show is too hard for me to think, “Oh, I’ve got it.” “I just have what it takes.” No! No! It’s terrifying and I bust my butt every night.
Me: And we all can see that.
Rob: Well, thanks. But like I said, it’s never out a place of complaint. It’s out of a place of reverence. I will never stop being a fan of Broadway.
Me: I get that entirely.
Rob: I tell people who wait out at the stage door, “Sorry, can you sign one more?” If see a show, and I like the people that are in it, I wait at the stage door for their autograph. We aren’t different people here. Last week I saw a show at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, and I waited at the stage door for autographs! We’re all in the same boat. We are all just in love with this art form, and most people who make a living doing this started out waiting at stage doors for autographs.
THANKS FOR READING!