It’s hard doing an interview with someone who’s part of two huge properties that you absolutely love! We’ve got a brand new episode of Collider Ladies Night coming your way soon with Umbrella Academy’s Emma Raver-Lampman and, of course, there is a ton of Season 2 talk in it, but I’m also someone who just watched Hamilton for the first time. As any long-time fan of the show can probably guess, now I’m obsessed with it and absolutely had to dig into Raver-Lampman’s experience working on it.
It didn’t take long for the show to become a certified hit on Broadway, but when the opportunity to audition for the original Broadway cast first came Raver-Lampman’s way, she actually almost didn’t even take it:
“To be completely honest, I almost didn’t audition because on paper it sounded ridiculous. [Laughs] I was like, ‘A contemporary musical involving pop, R&B, hip hop and rap music about the founding fathers of our country and the beginnings of our financial system?’ I just was like, ‘Who would see that?’ And I think we all felt that way!”
Despite that early skepticism, Raver-Lampman rolled with it because it felt like the right time for an opportunity that afforded her the luxury of settling down:
“I had just come back from being on tour with Wicked and I think this was a moment for me where I was like, ‘Well, here’s an opportunity for a thing that’s going to Broadway and I can sit down and start laying some roots.’ And so that was really appealing to me, but also, as much as I didn’t understand it, I was also really intrigued by it because obviously it’s Lin-[Manuel Miranda] and Tommy [Kail] and Andy [Blankenbuehler] and it’s the whole In the Heights crew and their work is amazing and speaks for itself. And so obviously the opportunity to work with that group was really enticing.”
Hamilton began its run at The Public Theater with one sold out show after the next. For the move to Broadway, they were adding four ensemble tracks and Raver-Lampman was going in to audition for one of those tracks. The thing is though, it had to be a mighty swift audition process because they only had a couple of weeks before beginning rehearsals.
“It was quick because I was sent the material by my agents and I think I had 24 hours and in 24 hours I had to learn ‘Helpless’, ‘Satisfied’, ‘Say No To This’, and ‘Burn.’ And in 24 hours I had to learn how to rap, I had to memorize all this music that I’d never heard before and I think the best part about it – and I think it is in a Dropbox somewhere on some computer that I have – but there was no recordings. There wasn’t the album. I was literally having to look at this stuff and figure out; I’d never learned music like that before. And so they also sent along MP3s of Lin playing and singing the songs and it is some of the best content there is. [He], like he always is, is just so committed, singing full out, the emotion is there and it’s just like Lin singing ‘Burn.’ [Laughs] It’s just so good! And I can’t find them and I really wish I could. They probably pulled them because they just were like, ‘These can never get out.’”
Looking back, Raver-Lampman admitted she doesn’t quite know how she managed to cram all of that information in time, but she does think it has something to do with what makes the show so special. “There’s just something everyone can connect to [in] it.” She added, “As hard as it was, I couldn’t help but continue to just devour it.”
Looking for more from Raver-Lampman on her experience working on Hamilton? We’ll have another clip from the conversation coming your way soon and then just wait until we open the floodgates on the Umbrella Academy portion of the conversation. You can expect to see that happen as we near the July 31st debut of Season 2!