I spoke to Ryan Bondy about playing the role of Elder Price in all three companies of The Book of Mormon. I’m so excited to see his comedic performance next week at the Wharton Center.
Cindy Kangas: Let’s start by chatting about growing up. Did you have a passion for music and theatre then?
Ryan Bondy: As a child I was really into baseball. I started in music by playing guitar and singing with my dad. Then, when I was older, I had a band.
Kangas: Who were some of your performing arts idols/heroes growing up?
Bondy: I always looked up to my dad. Musically, I was drawn to the Foo Fighters and Bare Naked Ladies.
Kangas: Can you take me through your audition process? Were you able to showcase a sense of humor during your audition?
Bondy: The show really allows people to be funny. They were looking for a sense of humor, for sure. I created a tape in Toronto and was called to New York to audition in person.
Kangas: How did you create your interpretation of the mannerisms and stylings of your character?
Bondy: Our directors encourage us to bring a sense of ourselves to the role. They want us to keep it fresh, because we preform every night.
Kangas: How do you stay energized for the show? Any pre or post show rituals?
Bondy: As a group we get together for a chant. Aside from that, it’s up to me to know when I need to eat or nap. Performing in eight or more shows a week can get tiring, but the audience really gets us energized.
Kangas: How long did it take to learn all the songs and choreography?
Bondy: I tend to pick things up quickly. I studied as an understudy and with the soundtrack. Learning it was easy because the writers made it with a great flow. It’s easy to stay in the moment with the lines.
Kangas: What are some of the lessons the audience takes away from the story?
Bondy: There are a few main themes in the show. First, everyone should do one thing, love one another. The show makes light of the absurdities we see in organized religions. We all can keep faith, through religions written so long ago. It’s also a great story about buddies and friendship. You never know who your next great friend will be.
Kangas: You’ve been with the show for a couple years now. Let’s look ahead. What is in the future for you? More Broadway? Television?
Bondy: At the end of our tour I’m moving to New York City. I think my experience in The Book of Mormon will open many doors for me there.
Tickets are available online: http://www.whartoncenter.com/events/detail/the-book-of-mormon
The Book of Mormon website: http://bookofmormonbroadway.com/second-national-tour