A Q&A with Robyn Hurder
Nov 1, 2023
Recently, we asked A Beautiful Noise fans to submit questions they had for Robyn Hurder. After reviewing hundreds of questions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter/X, and sending them to Robyn to review and answer, we are thrilled to share her responses to 10 questions.
Mary: If you couldn’t do what you are doing now, fabulously I might add, what would you do?
Robyn Hurder: Mary, your question was, ‘if you couldn’t do what you are doing now, what would you do?’ I ask myself this question all the time—performing artists get asked this all the time—because it is a very specific and tricky career we have chosen. For sure, I would be in the culinary arts. If some of you follow me you know I love to cook and mix a cocktail on the side. I’m fascinated with mixology. I’m fascinated with anything culinary. I would go to school; I would go to Europe. This is if I didn’t have the life I had right now with a husband and a child and live in New York. But, I would definitely get my degree. I would study, I would travel all over the world and learn about all different types of cuisine. I don’t know what I would do with it. I don’t really wanna be on the line. I don’t wanna own a restaurant. Maybe a private chef, but I don’t know. I love to cook. I love creating; it is still creating art. So, yeah, that’s what I would do.
Janet: Robyn, loved your performance as Marcia. Great job! Not counting shows you’ve been in, what are your 5 favorite musicals?
Robyn Hurder: Hello, Janet! Your question was, ‘what are my 5 favorite shows, not including the ones I’ve been in?’ I’m sorry, I have to cheat just a little bit. My number one favorite show, in all the land, is Chicago, and I was in it, but I mean come on. It’s my home, it’s my identity, it’s how I speak. It’s just a perfect show. So Chicago, Annie. I will kill to play Hannigan in 15 years but I love the score, I love the show so much, every single song makes me weep. I love Follies; I was in that one too with Marc Jacoby. He was Ben and he was perfect and I tell him that all the time. Follies is such a brilliant show. I was a little part in it; I was ensemble. I love Follies. I love Damn Yankees. Damn Yankees was my first Broadway show. I’ve told this story a million times: I saw Bebe Neuwirth come up out of the ground, I turned to my mom and said ‘Mom, I have to do that when I grow up; that’s what I want to do.’ Last one: I love Crazy for You. I fell in love with Susan Stroman with that show. Her choreography was brilliant. And I just have to say it, Cats. It was my favorite. It’s not my favorite now, but that’s what made me want to do this, so I’ve gotta give a shoutout to the old Andrew Lloyd Webber Cats. Was that 5? I think that was 5.
Jason: Would you ever want to branch out and act in film/TV?
Robyn Hurder: Jason, your question was, ‘would you ever want to branch out and act in film/TV?’ You should have a conversation with my agents. I’m a weird one. Right now I don’t really have that fire, that spark, that urge to hop on the screen. Now, if someone said, ‘Hey Robyn, you want this, like, starring role in this sitcom where you get to do all the things?’ I’d be like, ‘yeah, for sure,’ but it’s not where I’m putting my energy right now necessarily. I love live theater to the heart and soul and core of the art. I love being on one side and the other side are 1500 people I don’t know and a black wall and the energy that I feel from the audience. That is a drug to me and I have a hard time giving it up. So, I’m here, just still working at trying to be a Broadway star 8 times a week. I live for it, literally live for it. But, again, if someone wants to give me a role on TV, I’ll take it.
Alex: If a musical was going to be made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Robyn Hurder: Alex, your question made me laugh ’cause I couldn’t really figure out the answer until it just came to me. ‘If there was a musical made about your life, who would you want to play you?’ Me. I mean, I would be so honored. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but if it’s not me, then I’d have to go behind the casting table. They just need to be a real, good, warm, heart-of-gold, pure soul. They need to be a good human. And, you know, sing and dance and be an idiot and not give any beeps.
Sam: Do you have a special pre-show routine?
Robyn Hurder: Sam, you asked ‘Do I have any pre-show rituals?’ This is one: *drinks Celsius*. Sponsor us, Celsius. Just kidding. I do; I have one that I love tremendously. If you’ve seen the show, I don’t come on for the first 30 minutes, but when they call ‘places’ I go up to the deck. I’m in my dressing room right now and my dressing room is in the corner basement, like, I’m in the basement in the corner, and everybody else is over there, up in a tower. So I am, like, all alone here. It’s really fun because I get to play with the crew and I see all the crew and stage management and all of that. That’s great, but I don’t really interact with a lot of people, except for Neil (then). So, I go upstairs and I say hi to Shirine and Marc in the chairs and I talk to them for a bit. Then when all of the Noise comes out, I go around and I give them all squeezes and I scream at them to have a great show. And then I finish it off with Will or Nick and give them a squeeze just to have that human connection. That’s really important to me. Just look at people as them—they’re human—before we play make-pretend. So, that’s my one pre-show, and I warm up and all that boring stuff, but human connection is my biggest pre-show ‘rich.’
Sarah: If you could go back in time and see any Broadway show or concert, what would it be?
Robyn Hurder: Sarah, love your question. ‘If I could go back in time and see any Broadway show, what would I see?’ Hands down, the original Chicago in 1975 with Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon. There’s only a few clips that you can see online and when I watch them I cry. It hurts that I wasn’t alive, like, I wasn’t there to see it. Hands down, I would be in the front row watching them, crying, screaming. The OGs. The OGs.
Katie: What is your favorite outfit that you wear in A Beautiful Noise?
Robyn Hurder: Katie, your question (I’m looking at my costumes right now) ‘What is my favorite costume that I wear in A Beautiful Noise?’ That’s a hard one. I really do have a special place in my heart for all the costumes I wear. I had a lot of say in what I wore. I think I have to say the opening. My top, bitter end one, with that funk fall, autumn, big collar, and those jeans. I don’t know what brand they are but they fit real nice and I love them and they may come home with me.
Annie: Robyn, what’s your favorite part of your dressing room? #Barcia
Robyn Hurder: Annie, you asked ‘What is my favorite part of my dressing room?’ Barcia. Check it. Well, that’s one. I was very lucky; I got Will Swenson—I don’t know if you’ve heard of him—as my Secret Santa last year and he gave me that. So, I do love that a lot and I cherish it. My favorite part, honestly, is the vibe. There’s lots of cute things around. I love my pink and gold motif, but it’s the people that come into this room. When I throw a barcia, it’s like everyone comes together. It’s the one time I feel like—and I’ve done this with all kinds of all of my shows that I’ve been in—I love bringing everyone together because we get so separated in our departments: Cast, band, crew, hair, wardrobe. I just put up a sign (it says ‘Barcia’) and I make a bunch of stuff and people come down for a drink and you get to talk to people you don’t normally get to talk to every day when we’re just in the run of a show. The next day people are just, like, ‘That was really nice,’ and that’s what I’m here for.
Eileen: Hi Robyn, I love your performance in “Forever In Blue Jeans!” What’s your favorite line or lyric from A Beautiful Noise?
Robyn Hurder: Eileen, your question was, ‘What is your favorite line or lyric from the show?’ It has always been my favorite line. It’s small but mighty in my heart. Jay says, ‘Aren’t we supposed to be living?’ and in the scene she is trying to, like, celebrate the moment and celebrate the day. Neil is being a little grump until she and Ellie kind of turn him around. ‘Aren’t we supposed to be living?’ is kind of what I wake up with every day. I’ve always been like that, like we’ve got to celebrate today because this might be all that we have. Also, I like this one too: I don’t know if you can see it, ‘Feed the happy wolf.’ We got a choice, people, every day. We can choose what we wanna do, and I choose to be happy and celebrate and party hard, work harder.
Sammy: Hi Robyn!! It’s my dream to be on Broadway! What advice would you give to an aspiring Broadway actor/dancer?
Robyn Hurder: Sammy, you wanna be on Broadway and what advice do I have to give an aspiring actress? I get this question—it’s the most common question. It’s hard. It’s really hard to answer, but easy to answer, because I could just keep talking about it and keep talking about it because there’s so many ways to answer this. First and foremost, the most important thing is: be kind. Be a good human. Be nice. Treat everybody the way you would want to be treated. I think that’s the number one key. Second of all, really, it sounds so basic, but really you have to believe in yourself. And when things get tough—and they will get tough—like, you are going to be rejected. A lot. I have heard the word ‘no’ and been so burned in this business. It can take you down, but, if you remember what you have is special, because there’s only one you, and you truly believe in yourself and remember why you want this, you can break through those ‘nos.’ Then, the minute you get the ‘yes,’ that’s the drug. That’s the sparkle. That is what flows through my veins; it just keeps me going because those ‘yeses’ are the most magical. Yeah, I could go on and on. You have to be a hard worker. Never mark. Don’t ever mark. I’m serious; I don’t mark, and people notice. That’s the easy stuff, but really just believe in yourself, be a hard worker, and honestly never give up, because the ‘yes’ is right around the corner.