EDEN ESPINOSA

EDEN ESPINOSA

She grew up in Southern California, but Eden Espinosa always wanted to move to New York City. Once she did, she never looked back. Since bursting onto the scene as Idina Menzel's understudy in the Original Broadway Cast of WICKED, Eden has established herself as one of the most powerful and versatile voices on Broadway. She originated the title role of BROOKLYN, and her dynamic performance as Maureen in RENT was captured forever on film when the show closed its run on Broadway. 

In this episode of the BIV Podcast, Eden discusses Mariah Carey's influence as a singer, earning her stripes at theme parks, and why she's always striving to perfect her craft. We'll find out what it's like to sing one of the most famous songs in modern Musical Theatre history, and why Social Media can make the lives of performers so difficult.

RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY

RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY

Although she is a 2016 TONY-nominee for her dazzling performance as Angelica Schuyler in HAMILTON, BIV Soprano Renée Elise Goldsberry nearly passed on the opportunity to audition for the show's original workshop. Firmly believing she was not what they would be looking for, she took the audition anyway and landed the role of a lifetime.

In this episode of The BIV Podcast (recorded backstage at the Richard Rodgers Theater in September of 2015), we'll learn about Goldsberry's comfortable (if transient) upbringing in a liberal, intellectual household. She'll tell us how her mother was entirely responsible for her admission to Carnegie Mellon, why she considers Billy Porter and Ty Taylor "Prophets", and how her improbable casting as a dark-skinned Nellie Forbush in a high-school production of SOUTH PACIFIC changed forever the way she looked at the world around her.

Goldsberry also discusses what she's learned from working in so many areas of the entertainment business (Theatre, Television, Film, Songwriting, Producing), and reveals the true genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda, which has nothing to do with his ability to craft a musical.

Follow Renée on Twitter: @reneeelisegolds

CHRIS ZELNO

CHRIS ZELNO

As the Tenor Section Leader for fifteen (of his twenty) years in BIV, it's Chris Zelno's job to get the men of the choir the materials and information they need each and every week. But they aren't the only people in his life he helps keep on track. 

In this episode of the BIV Podcast, Chris tells us about his work as a Sober Companion and his own journey of recovery. We'll learn what it was like to be cast in his first Broadway show shortly after graduating college (the infamous STARMITES), and how it affected the course of his young life to have that show close so soon after opening.

Chris and host Steve French also discuss the musicals of the late Seventies that inspired him to pursue a career in the Theatre, and how BIV came along at just the right time. He'll also do a little singing for you.

Chris' story will inspire you to pick yourself up when you've been knocked down - and find your true voice.

www.bivoices.org

ANGELA ROBINSON

ANGELA ROBINSON

Though today she is known to television audiences as "Ice Queen" Veronica Harrington on Tyler Perry's THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS (currently in its fifth season on The OWN Network), Angela Robinson has had a long and impressive career on Broadway (Original Cast of THE COLOR PURPLE, WONDERFUL TOWN, BELLS ARE RINGING and PLAY ON!), in Regional Theatre, and as a twenty-year veteran of BIV.

Although Angela was raised in a supportive and loving household in Jacksonville, Florida, her family always hoped she would find a "real" career outside of the Arts.  She studied sociology in college, but Angela eventually moved to New York City and pursued her true passion for acting. She has since made it a part of her life's work to become a motivational speaker, helping artists find the courage to follow their own dreams.

You can find much more information about Angela on her website: www.arobinsonartist.com, and follow her on Twitter: @angelarobschild

BIV's website: www.bivoices.org

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

Happy New Year! Our guest for Episode 5 is none other than Tony-nominee Norm Lewis, who, in addition to his incredible career (ELEVEN Broadway shows), was also among the first members of what eventually became Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Norm made history as the first black actor to play the title role in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway. He was PORGY to Audra McDonald's BESS, Javert for the 25th Anniversary concert of LES MISÉRABLES, and television audiences know him as Sen. Edison Davis on SCANDAL.

Norm and host Steve French discuss the indirect path Norm took to Broadway stardom, why Sandi Patty is partly responsible for his incredible vocal range, and how those early days singing with Michael McElroy helped shape him as a performer. Along the way we'll hear about Norm's stints in Advertising, Real Estate, and working as a singing runway model.

Follow Norm on Twitter: @normlewis777

Learn more about BIV by visiting our website: www.broadwayinspirationalvoices.org

BRADLEY DEAN

BRADLEY DEAN

Happy Holidays from the BIV Podcast! Our guest this month is Bradley Dean.  A BIV member for more than a decade and veteran of nine Broadway shows (including MAN OF LA MANCHA, SPAMALOT, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and THE LAST SHIP), Bradley is a sterling-voiced tenor who, when he's not onstage, also runs a very busy vocal studio. 

Bradley and host Steve French discuss his upbringing in Pottsville, Pennsylvania guided by a tireless single mother, how Barry Manilow played a crucial role in his becoming a songwriter, and what he learned from ten years working in Regional Theatre before his first Broadway audition. Bradley also explains why BIV plays such an important part in his life as an actor.

Learn more about this multi-talented artist at www.bradleydean.org

ELISEO ROMAN

ELISEO ROMAN

This month we talk to Eliseo Roman, a 14-year BIV veteran currently appearing on Broadway in ON YOUR FEET.

Eliseo's inspiring story is a lesson for anyone who thinks they can't start over. Before he was an established Broadway pro, Eliseo had a successful career as a banker, and he made the brave choice to leave it behind to pursue his passion for performing. Eliseo speaks openly about his lengthy experience auditioning for the original Broadway production of RENT, working with Lin-Manuel Miranda on IN THE HEIGHTS, and how playing the tambourine as a boy in the Spanish Pentacostal Church eventually got him downstage center on a Broadway stage.

MONTEGO GLOVER

MONTEGO GLOVER

TONY-nominee Montego Glover is a ten-year veteran of BIV, currently starring as Fantine in the Broadway revival of LES MISÉRABLES. Her other Broadway credits include THE COLOR PURPLE, MEMPHIS, and IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU. She also maintains a busy concert schedule across the country, and is no stranger to TV, Film and Voice-Overs. Montego and host Steve French talk about her grounded Southern upbringing which has helped her maintain a balance in the often hectic world of show business, the importance of the early education she received at a Paideia school in Tennessee, and why she wanted to wait before moving to NYC after college. Montego also discusses her journey with MEMPHIS - from reading the workshop script for the first time, to being onstage for the closing Broadway performance six years later. 

MICHAEL MCELROY

MICHAEL MCELROY

For our inaugural episode we interview the founder of Broadway Inspirational Voices, Michael McElroy. Michael and host Steve French talk about Michael's musical upbringing in a Baptist family in Shaker Heights, Ohio, his career as a Broadway actor in shows such as THE WHO'S TOMMY, MISS SAIGON, RENT, and his Tony-nominated performance as Jim in BIG RIVER, and we'll also learn about the creation of BIV during the height of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.