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PODCAST

tits + teeth

Who Are We?

Jen and Kyla - two performing artists coming to you from Toronto + New York City. We have a blast of a time interviewing our peers in show biz, unveiling their secrets about balancing this crazy unconventional life, and debating issues in the arts. We play games and ask insightful questions, all while sipping on our guests favourite drink! (or chugging…chugging is a better description) Join us for lots of laughs, endless banter, and insight into the minds of some of North America's finest theatre workers, both on stage and off.

Cheers!!

 

Kyla Musselman

Kyla Musselman

Kyla is unbelieveably jazzed to be on this new adventure alongside Jen. Hailing from Stratford Ontario, she now lives with her partner on the east end of Toronto. Kyla is a musical theatre performer who attended Sheridan College's Musical Theatre Performance program and has had the privilege of working all across this beautiful country since graduating. Kyla is thrilled to be making her debut at the Stratford Festival for their 2020 season, and can be seen in Spamalot and Wendy And Peter Pan. Other favourite credits to date include Shout! (Magnus Theatre) Newsies (Drayton Entertainment) Mamma Mia!, All Shook Up (Globe Theatre) Legally Blonde, Jersey Boys (Stage West) Saturday Night Fever (North American Tour) Mary Poppins, Shrek, Beauty And The Beast (Neptune Theatre) Crazy For You (Capitol Theatre) and 3 seasons at the Charlottetown Festival. Kyla has a passion for bouldering, scotch, and grilled cheese sandwiches, has been told she's a pretty sassy lady, and is a professional ninja wanna-be. Share a drink with us, and remember, tits up, teeth out!

With a wink and a nod to the showgirls of musical theatre,

we welcome you to 

tits + teeth!

Jen Thiessen

Jen Thiessen

Jen was born and raised on the beaches of Sydney, Australia, and currently resides in New York City. Life has always been a wild adventure, with some of her favourite performance credits including the North American Tour of Saturday Night Fever, where she toured with her mate Kyla and dreamed of making a podcast! Other favourite credits include Elf The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Man Of La Mancha, The Little Mermaid, West Side Story, The Drowsy Chaperone, Rock Of Ages, Beauty And The Beast (Drayton Entertainment), Guys And Dolls (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), West Side Story (Rainbow Stage), Disney's Newsies (Assistant Choreographer/ Director, Forestburgh Playhouse), Mamma Mia, Crazy For You and Singin' In The Rain (Capitol Theatre), Masters Of Illusion Season 2 (CW Network). When Jen is not podcasting or performing in theatre shows, you may find her dancing samba or choreographing for Tropicana Queens, or she might have run off with A2D2 Circus! Wherever she is, you know she will have her tits up and teeth out!

Episodes

 
 

Episode #1 - Julie Tomaino

Welcome back to a brand new season of Tits and Teeth podcast. Jen and Ky are thrilled to be back with another stacked roster for this season. We are kicking things off with a true superwoman and gem of the industry, Julie Tomaino! Julie was a stunning performer and Radio City Rockette, and has since switched her focus to direction and choreography. She recently choreographed Idina Menzel in the movie Beaches,  and has worked alongside industry legend Tim Rice on his new musical, From Here To Eternity. Julie has worked at theatres all across North America including; Young Peoples Theatre (Pinocchio) Citadel Theatre (Once) Chemainus Theatre (Grease, Footloose) Magnus Theatre (We Will Rock You, Shout!) Finger Lakes MT Festival (On the Town, Cabaret). Julie’s next projects in 2020 include: The Marvellous Wonderettes (Chemainus Theatre) Kinky Boots (Arts Club) and Once (Thousand Islands Playhouse). Julie is a remarkable Director/Choreographer who continuously delivers beautiful story driven work, that every actor wants to perform. We hear Julie’s incredible story of recovery after a devastating stroke, what she does outside the business that brings her joy, and her goals for the future. We DARE you to get through this episode without shedding a tear. Follow Julie on Instagram @julietomaino. Visit her website at JulieTomaino.com

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Season 3

Episode #2 - Joel Cumber

Joel Cumber, (aka. the young gun of this seasons roster), is here to have some gin and tonics with Jen and Ky, lots of laughs, and be ‘the voice of a generation!’ Joel’s career is just beginning and we expect big things from him throughout it. We can’t wait to watch him flourish. Some of his credits to date include; The Adventures of Pinocchio (Young Peoples Theatre) Every Silver Lining (Next Stage Festival) Kelly vs. Kelly, In Real Life (Musical Stage Co. workshops) My Fair Lady, The Little Mermaid (Capital Theatre). Joel is an incredible asset to the Canadian musical theatre scene, he’s wonderfully funny, and a recent graduate of the Musical Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College. We chat with Joel about where his love of musical theatre comes from, what excitement comes from being in on the ground floor of a brand new musical, and the challenges and thrills our younger coworkers are facing coming out of theatre school. Follow Joel on Instagram @coeljumber

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Episode #3 - Dan Gold

Dan is a stunning dancer, teacher, and choreographer who works hard to give back to his community and inspire acceptance. A faculty member of Steps on Broadway and a regular guest teacher at Broadway Dance Centre, he recently had a successful Off-Broadway choreography debut with Good Morning New York (The Players Theatre) and also choreographed the regional premiere of The Bodyguard (White Plains Performing Arts Centre) starring LaToya London of American Idol. Other choreography credits include Young Frankenstein (Phoenix Productions) and The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (Liberty University). Some of Dan’s theatre performance credits include National Tours of Miss Saigon + Beaty And The Beast, Loch Ness: A New Musical (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), Young Frankenstein (North Shore Music Theatre) and My Fair Lady (Lyric Opera Of Chicago). We chat with this beautiful human about his journey as a choreographer, where he draws inspiration from, and the events he co-ordinates across NYC, particularly his ‘Night Of Life’ events, which raise money to benefit ‘The Trevor Project’, a foundation aimed at saving LGBTQ youth lives. Follow Dan on Instagram @djpgold. Visit his website at Daniel-Gold.com

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Episode #4 - Ray Hogg

Ray Hogg is a force in Canadian theatre! We are so lucky at Tits + Teeth to be able to speak with the many talented & inspirational leaders across North America, and today is no exception with this director, choreographer, actor and educator! Ray is currently the Artistic Liaison in Toronto for Neptune Theatre, and recently was appointed Artistic Consultant at The Musical Stage Company. He is a former Artistic Director of Rainbow Stage and has directed and choreographed at theatres across Canada, from The Shaw Festival to The Arts Club. Some of Ray’s performance credits include the German company of Cats; My One and Only, Oklahoma!, South Pacific (Stratford Festival) Sweet Charity, Spelling Bee, Elf The Musical (Drayton Entertainment) and West Side Story (Vancouver Opera). Ray completely PAMPERED your girls for this interview. He provided a stellar charcuterie board, and champagne glasses for our Perrier, all between his two shows that day! We chatted with Ray over this luxurious spread, about knowing our worth, having longevity in this business, and fostering the love of theatre in our youngsters. Follow Ray on Instagram @rayhogg. Visit his website at RayHogg.com

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Episode #5 - Bruce Dow

Get out your kitten heels folks, because the legendary Bruce Dow is our guest on Tits and Teeth Podcast this week! Bruce has had a wide and illustrious career and it just keeps growing! His broadway credits include Diana: A True Musical and Jesus Christ Superstar, where he played King Herod. Some favourite Canadian credits include A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (Mirvish Prod. and Stratford Festival) Les Miserables (Mirvish Prod) Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, The Tempest, Into The Woods, Man of La Mancha, Comedy of Errors (Stratford Festival) and Alice Through The Looking Glass (Charlottetown Festival). Bruce is also known for creating intimate and personal cabaret performances and is a member of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs. It was truly an honour to share a glass of wine with Bruce Dow and hear his kind, generous and intelligent perspective about this crazy business! We chat with Bruce about his years at The Stratford Festival, breaking out of that body image box, and the new musical he is currently working on, called Diana: A True Musical Story, which begins previews on Broadway TODAY! Follow Bruce on Instagram @dowbruce. Visit his website at BruceDow.com

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Episode #6 - Michael De Rose

The elegant, hard working, ultra talented Michael De Rose is our special guest this week on Tits and Teeth, and let’s just say, there are no thorns on this rose! Michael was recently recognized by NOW Magazine as one of the Top Ten performers in Toronto theatre and comedy, and we couldn't agree more! Micheal's epic vocals have had him touring across North America in Godspell and Saturday Night Fever, and he also received a Betty Mitchell Nomination for his role as Lonny in Rock Of Ages (Stage West). Other credits include Reprint (Musical Stage Co.) Freaky Friday (Theatre Aquarius), Juke Box Hero (Annerin Theatricals), and Return To Grace (RGA Productions), just to name a few! You may also recognize him from his starring role in Ross Petty Panto's Lil’ Red Robin Hood and The Wizard Of Oz, or even in the recent Toronto production of Grease, where he appeared as Teen Angel. We chat with Mr. De Rose about these recent acknowledgements he’s received, his recurring role as Sugar Bum in the Ross Petty Panto, and his tenacious work ethic! Follow Michael on Instagram @michaelderose

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Episode #7 - Kimberly-Ann Truong

Kimberly-Ann Truong, a glorious fashionista, is in our midst today. Kimmy is truly a fearless actor who is never afraid of making bold choices. She will star in this season of The Stratford Festival of Canada as Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. Some of her incredible credits to date include Miss Saigon (Broadway) The Rocky Horror Show as Columbia, A Little Night Music as Fredrika, A Chorus Line, The Music Man, Peter And Wendy (Stratford Festival) Into the Woods (TIFT) Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (Drayton Entertainment) Mamma Mia!, Anne Of Green Gables, and the premiere of Kronborg: The Hamlet Rock Musical (Charlottetown Festival). While being super classy ladies and sipping on some box wine, we chat with Kimmy about why she NEVER counts herself out! We also learn all about her time on broadway with Miss Saigon and why good food is a mantra for a good life! Follow Kimmy on Instagram @trukimmy

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Episode #8 - Corona Matata

Hi friends. Is COVID-19 making you feel stressed, anxious, unsure of what tomorrow is going to bring? Well guess what! You are not alone because here at Tits and Teeth we feel THE EXACT SAME WAY! We have decided to do a bit of a different episode today, and why not? We are living in very ‘different’ times. Today you will hear from the lovely Ryan G Hinds, 2nd Vice President of Canadian Actors Equity, who has provided us with a synopsis of the March 17 CAEA meeting, along with other specifics you should know of coming from our union. Jen and Ky also have a conversation with the well spoken and elegant Anthony MacPherson. We discuss questions we still have going forward, coming together as a community, and we open up about our thoughts and feelings we’re experiencing during this time of uncertainty. We are also here to make you smile, so we will round off the episode with a fun story from the gem that is George Krissa. Come hang with us, grab a drink, and let’s all get through this together!

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Episode #9 - Lauren Ritchie

As we are all slowly adjusting to this socially distant world, it occurred to us that we needed to take a minute to look after our mental health. The stress and anxiety that is coming with these rapidly changing times can be overwhelming, so today on the pod we reconnect with past Tits and Teeth alum (and creator of The Dance Podcast) Lauren Ritchie to chat about our mental health and mindset during COVID-19. She helps us uncover tools, including using our breath and adjusting our habits to keep us connected to our goals, to come out resilient, grateful and perhaps more connected to our best selves on the other side. These practises are transferable throughout our careers and lives too... aka, there's a lot to take away this week! Lauren is a mental skills trainer, dance educator, writer and unshakable optimist dedicated to helping dancers and performers become their best, and boy did she help us today! From her MEd in Coaching Studies, to a BA in Professional Communications, to multiple yoga certifications and an accredited Art and Science Coaching Certification, Lauren is incredibly knowledgable and well spoken, and we are so grateful she was able to speak with us again. You'll also hear from one of our industry's strong and mindful leaders, Stephanie Graham, with a message to us all, as well as an original song from the beautiful Jordan Bell to make you smile. Follow Lauren on Instagram @lauren_m_ritchie. Visit her website at WithLauren.ca

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Episode #10 - David Connolly

Today on the pod we have a forward thinking chat with the super compassionate, always passionate, David Connolly, who reminds us to choose glitter and don't be bitter! David Connolly is the Associate Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, where he has helmed over thirty productions.  David’s career has been vast and diverse: he was a cast member in the Broadway revival of Shenandoah and from there became a company member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. As a director/choreographer her has worked on The Doodlebops and more recently, The Moblees, both for CBC Kids.  His theatre credits include the Chicago production of The First Wives Club in addition to work at theatres across Canada: Theatre Under The Stars, Stage West, Neptune Theatre and of course, Drayton Entertainment. In our discussion with David we talk about his new initiative that began in response to social distancing, Matinee to Z. Having been the only below knee double amputee performer to ever perform on Broadway, he is a huge advocate for people with disabilities, which we discuss. David encourages us to broaden our thinking beyond any labels, and gets us excited about our 'new normal' going forward. Follow David on Instagram @davidwconnolly. Visit his website at DavidWConnolly.com 

For a transcript of today's episode Click Here

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Episode #11 - Lisa Stevens

It’s crazy times out there right now friends, so why not take a break from the madness and hear a word from our incredible guest this week who is always working way past 9 to 5! International woman, Lisa Stevens is here to chat with Jen and Ky and take some of those blues away. Lisa is a director/ choreographer who has taken her talents and tenacity across Canada, to the West End, Australia, and back to Broadway. Lisa’s performance career includes West End productions of Chicago and Bombay Dreams. As a director/ choreographer her credits include National Tours of High School Musical in the US, UK, and Australia, The Little Prince (Theatre Calgary) Mamma Mia! (Rainbow Stage) Spamalot, Mary Poppins, and West Side Story (Drayton Entertainment) and the recent Toronto production of Grease. You may also recognize Lisa from her appearance on Encore for  Disney+. We chat with Lisa about her journey choreographing Dolly Parton’s musical adaptation of 9 to 5, how to make yourself essential, and forging your own path. There is so much to learn from this boss woman! Follow Lisa on Instagram @lisa_l_stevens. Visit her website at LisaStevens.biz

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Episode #12 - Q+A with Amy Wright + Stephanie Graham

This week, Jen + Ky were thrilled to host a Live Q+A on YouTube with two of our industry's elites, Amy Wright and Stephanie Graham. We had a blast and answered questions about injury, choreography, and auditioning for both film+tv and musical theatre. We wanted to make sure this valuable content got to you so we needed to put it in PODCAST VERSION! Amy Wright is the Casting Director, Choreographer and a Producer of the global hit series The Next Step (Family Channel). Most recently Amy has choreographed dancers for Private Eyes (Global), Anne With An E (Netflix) Killjoys (Crave) American Gods (Amazon Prime) and Dare Me (NBC pilot). Stephanie Graham is one of our countries most sought after Directors and Choreographers. Stephanie won the 2015 Dora Award for Outstanding Choreography for her work on The Wild Party (Musical Stage Company). She is also a twice nominated Merritt Award choreographer for Cinderella and The Addams Family (Neptune Theatre). Other Director credits for Steph include Chicago, Beauty And The Beast, Mamma Mia (Globe Theatre) Anne Of Green Gables (Thousand Islands Playhouse) and The Last Five Years (YRG Productions) 

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Episode #13 - Kimberley Rampersad

Fellow human beings! The Queen, Kimberley Rampersad, is here! Her incredible words will soon be flowing through your ear buds, inspiring you to HOLD YOUR SPACE! Kimberley is a glowing force in this industry, who was recently appointed as the new Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival. Kimberley proudly hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and has been an asset to theatres all across Canada. Kimberley has been a performer at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, has directed The Colour Purple (Neptune Theatre, Citadel/MRTC) Man And Superman, O’Flaherty V.C. (Shaw Festival), and choreographed Matilda (RMTC/Citadel/Arts Club) Bittergirl (RMTC) and Seussical (Young Peoples Theatre). We chat with Kimberley about how she ‘schedules her balance’, the stories she wants to tell as a director, and a little bit about Gypsy, scheduled to play at the Shaw Festival, which she is both directing and choreographing. We also got to have a beautiful catch up with Kimberley, because we had recorded her interview ‘pre-pandemic’. We needed to hear how Kim is continuing to inspire and lead while staying safely in her home, and in true Kim Rampersad fashion, she hit us with some incredible advice for this moment in time. What we’re saying is…she does it all, and she does it all at the highest level. Follow Kim on Instagram @msrampersad    

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Episode #14 - Karla Garcia

Karla is a New York based performer and choreographer who has spent the last 4 years as a swing in Hamilton on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in Hot Feet, and has been on the National Tours of Wicked and The Addams Family. Other Broadway credits for Karla include Hamilton: An American Musical, GiGi and West Side Story. Karla is a regular faculty member at Broadway Dance Center, was a top 7 female finalist on So You Think You Can Dance (Season 5), and in 2011 was named to UNIpro Magazine’s ‘Top 30 Filipinos Under 30”. She is also an award winning choreographer for her work on In The Heights (VA Repertory). Karla Garcia has a style and groove all her own. We get to chat with Karla about choreographing the brand new musical, ‘Other World', which was set to make its world premiere at Bucks County Playhouse right before COVID sent us into isolation. We talk about how her sense of rhythm and musicality influences her choreography, and we hear some stories about her time with Hamilton. She will turn your head when she dances and shows off her incredible choreography. Not to mention she’s incredibly kind, generous, and funny! We can’t wait for you to get to know her! Follow Karla on Instagram @karlapunogarcia. Visit her website at KarlaGarciaDance.com

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Episode #15 - Richard J. Hinds

Richard J Hinds is a man that we've have had on our ‘hopefully one day’ list to interview ever since the beginning of Tits and Teeth. It is not ideal how our schedules have finally lined up, but WE WILL TAKE IT! Ricky Hinds is a brilliant director/ choreographer based out of New York and is the Associate Choreographer on the latest revival of Company, which is set to open once Broadway is lit up again. He often spends his time travelling the world, as he is also the Associate Choreographer on every production of Come From Away! Ricky challenges us to always put ourselves out there, and encourages us to be positive influences in our community, especially now. Ricky’s career is inspirational, and we can’t wait to see where he’ll go next! His other Broadway credits include Newsies! (Assoc. Director), Jekyll And Hyde (Assoc. Dir/Choreo) and Here Lies Love (Off Broadway, West End Assoc. Dir/Chore). Some of Ricky’s personal Director/Choreographer credits include Holiday Inn, Guys And Dolls (Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival) How To Succeed In Business… Evita (Flat Rock Playhouse) and Encore for Disney+ . Follow Ricky on Instagram @richardjhinds. Visit his website at RichardJHinds.com

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Episode #16 - James Maxfield

Today on the pod Kyla is being outnumbered by Aussies! Australian based choreographer, performer, and absolute legend, James Maxfield is with us today on Tits and Teeth! James has an incredible musical theatre and performance resume, and is currently the Creative Producer on The Voice Australia! James is a self proclaimed musical theatre nerd like us all, and his hard work and dedication to the craft is apparent with his extensive resume. Some of his credits to date include; The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman, the Australian productions of Miss Saigon & Wicked, Sweet Charity (The Production Company)  A Chorus Line (TML Ent.) and My Fair Lady (Opera Australia). He has also danced on the Ke$ha Japan Promo Tour, with Taylor Swift (Aria Awards) X Factor Aus, Australia’s Got Talent, and Australian Idol. We chat with James about his journey from theatre to tv, hear a Hugh Jackman story (yes, please), and learn all about what being a Creative Producer on The Voice entails. Follow James on Instagram @jimmymaxy

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