The BIV Podcast Project

by Steve French

 Members of BIV (l to r:  Derrick Baskin ,  Laura Dean ,  Marva Hicks  and  Virginia Woodruff ) with my son, Oscar.

Members of BIV (l to r: Derrick Baskin, Laura Dean, Marva Hicks and Virginia Woodruff) with my son, Oscar.

When I joined BIV a little over a year ago, I was overwhelmed by how quickly the members of this amazing group made me feel like family. That's really what BIV is - sure, we're a choir...sure, we're individual performers...but when we get together, we are a FAMILY. I was so honored to be in this family, I wanted to find some way to give back.

I'd been interested in hosting a podcast, maybe talking to fellow actors about their lives in the Theatre, but I couldn't find the right focus. Then, this past Spring I had a couple of important lunches. First with Eliseo Roman and then Michael McElroy. They were both so supportive of the idea and immediately offered to be interviewed, whatever the show might be. Afterwards I realized that BIV was my focus. I wanted to hear the stories this family had to tell. I wanted to learn which paths they took that eventually led them to the choir.

Being a new member I didn't realize that although many have been in the choir for years, our time together each week can be short and not everyone knows each other. Celisse Henderson, leading rehearsal one day, made a comment that with so many new people in the choir we should make an effort to reach out and introduce ourselves. So in that vein, this podcast is my effort to introduce myself to the choir, and get to know everyone I'm blessed to sing with.

Our second episode of the podcast is up now, with our incredible Soprano section leader (and current Fantine in Les Miz!) Montego Glover. I've been an admirer of hers for years, and it was a thrill for me just to be in the same room for rehearsals! I had such a fun time sitting down for an hour and learning about her life.

We met between her performances of IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU and recorded in the tiny (but acoustically excellent) "Drum Room" at the beautiful Michiko Studios. Perfect for a drum practice session, but maybe not optimal for an interview. (We grab whatever space we can find!) Montego couldn't have been more kind about our cramped quarters, and she had me filling the room with laughter in short order.

I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. Please stay tuned for many more interviews with our family!