45. Should I Let Competition Kill My Kindness? with Ali Ewoldt

Ali Ewoldt is one of Broadway's leading ladies, and was the first Asian woman to play Christine in The Phantom of The Opera on Broadway (and is a DELIGHT!).  In this episode, Ali talks about her journey of falling in love with performance and musical theater. We hear how she landed her career-defining roles and what it was like working with some of her idols.  As a Filipino, she found a home in the Asian-American theater community and highlights how the tight-knit group supports one another.  We also hear about when she was told she "was not Asian enough" for a role, and what she did when she faced this baseless criticism.  As our conversation wraps up, Ali sheds light on her 10-year-long journey to playing Christine, why single accomplishments will not make you feel fulfilled, and she also shares some of her tips for getting comfy seeing yourself on Zoom!  

Our email this week (51:53) is about how you can best use a lash and brow serum. You will also hear about some other products that will help strengthen those lashes and brows!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Ali's experience working with Rebecca Luker and what was surprising about the legend.
  • The story of how Ali's parents met; her mom is from the Philippines, and her dad is from the Midwest.
  • How Ali fell in love with performing.
  • Ali's big break in college, where she was scouted at a performance!
  • What it was like for Ali to work with actors she had watched growing up in her first big role.
  • The lesson Ali learned about the value of kindness in the competitive world of theater.
  • Being part of an Asian-American community that was outside of her family; Ali's experience.
  • The diversity within the Asian-American community and the support Ali found.
  • A full-circle moment when one of Ali's idols, Lea Salonga, came to watch her in Phantom of The Opera.
  • Ali's stories of being mixed-race in the theater world, where it was hard to categorize her.
  • The frustration Ali felt when told she "was not Asian enough" for a role.
  • Ali's experience of auditioning for the role of Christine in Phantom of The Opera.
  • The outpouring of support Ali received when the public found out she was playing Christine.
  • Struggles Ali has around her self-worth and how she works through them.
  • Some of Ali's top tips that make her feel more comfortable on Zoom.
  • What Ali would tell her 18-year-old self about appearance and body image.
  • Achievements that appear good from the outside come with their own challenges.

Call Outs from the Episode: 

Tweetables:

“We're all kind of apples and oranges and it only helps when we lift each other up and support each other.” — @aliewoldt [0:27:38]

“Because I am mixed, it's hard to throw me into a casting box. That's a thing that we love to do in musicals and theater, in acting and casting in general.” — @aliewoldt [0:32:48]

“We have an idea of what somebody who's Latino looks like, what somebody who's Asian looks like, and none of these things are monoliths.” — @aliewoldt [0:34:35]

“Comparing is silly. It imagines that we're all capable of looking the same way and achieving the same things and honestly, that would be terribly, terribly boring.” — @aliewoldt [0:48:15]

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