Wade Dooley is yet another rising performer/writer to keep your eye on! As a performer, some of his favorite credits include: "The Radio City Christmas Spectacular" (Tour); "Scott Alan’s Monday Night New Voices" (NYC), "Forever Plaid," and "Over the Pub" (Saint Michael’s Playhouse) along with regional productions of "Grease," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "CATS," and "Crazy for You." Also, Wade is the creator and book writer of a new musical, "Sunset City," with lyrics by Brett Teresa and music by Bobby Cronin. Wade is a graduate of Bradley University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration and proud member of Actors’ Equity.
Now Wade has taken his writing and performing talents to web to create his hilarious Broadway-themed web series "PZAZZ 101," directed by Isaac Klein. Just wrapping up it's second season, "PZAZZ 101" is centered around "Mary Shennanbargger," a former performer turned teacher, who helps Broadway’s best and brightest find their footing on the Great White Way. She knows everything there is to know about entertainment and she’s ready to share the wealth. Pull up a chair, grab a Werther’s and get ready to say "Wow!"
For more on Wade be sure to visit http://www.thewadedooley.com
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer/writer? I have always been performing. I was huge in the family room and the backyard. I like to make people smile, and I love to make people laugh. But, Raul Esparza in the revival of "Company" truly sealed the deal for me. I moved to New York the following summer. I knew I wouldn't be happy doing anything else.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Kristin Chenoweth, Elaine Stritch, Chita Rivera....just to name a few.
3. What made you want to create and star in PZAZZ 101? How did you come up with the character of "Mary Shennanbargger"? I grew up watching SNL, MAD TV, Tracy Ullman's "Tracy Take On," etc. I love characters, and I love seeing one person become different people. "Mary" is one of my different people. I was doing a production of CATS about six years ago. While applying makeup, I would start talking in this voice. It slowly became "Mary," a retired performer turned coach that was mad that she hadn't been asked to choreograph the show. I worked on her bit by bit over the years along with other characters, and she always seemed to stick out. Fast forward two years later. I moved to NYC, and I started piecing together a stage show for "Mary." I ended up doing the show at the DC Fringe Festival and with Prospect Theater Company here in the city. Then, I met Isaac Klein, my now director, and we came up with the idea to create the web series "Pzazz 101." We joined the online craze, and we have been trying to spread "Mary's" words of WOW ever since. In the end, we hope that a following for the character and series will help the stage show to get a run in the city or maybe "Mary" could take to the small screen!
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after watching the series? First, I hope people laugh. Second, I hope people recall their time in "class," and they can reminisce a bit. Third, some of "Mary's" lessons actually work.
5. How did you decide which theatre stars you wanted to have on the show? I invited performers that I really enjoy watching onstage. We put offers out to a bunch of different people, and we ended up with a great, fun group. Every person was up for anything, and that's what was so great about it.
6. What do you enjoy most about writing a web series as opposed to a theatrical show? Well, we don't write the web series, and I do have to write for the stage. Our "Pzazz 101" episodes are improvised. We agree on a premise and then we film for an hour to produce a 5-8 minute video. I love the spontaneity of improvisation. If we had scripted it, it would have been funny, but not as funny as it is because it is truly in the moment.
7. What can you tell us about your upcoming collaboration with Bobby Cronin and Brett Teresa on "Sunset City"? What have you enjoyed most about working with these two talented guys? Well, "Sunset City" will be a very funny musical with a lot of heart. It's about a failing retirement home in Central Illinois (my stomping grounds) and the residents that live there. People aren't writing shows for older actors. Why? I'd much rather hear a 75 year-old tell a story or sing a song compared to a 15 year-old. It's the years of experience and the history that make it more interesting.
First and foremost, they are very fun, and we have a good time. Most of all, I enjoy our spirited debates that never end with someone winning and someone losing. We have debate, the work is better for it, and in the end, we're still friends.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer/writer? I have learned that preparation for me is everything. I used to be the guy that laughed about warming up. I have come to realize how wrong I was. Whether performing a song or a scene, I can only be fully present if I have done the preparation. I'm more confident, uninhibited, and "in" my body.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "It's not about you." Whenever I'm upset about an audition, it softens the blow when you realize, most of the time, it's not about you. It's about the costume size or my body type or my height. You can't change those things. Well, you can't change most of those things.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? To be honest, I don't really dream while I sleep. But, when I do, it's usually very odd and scary i.e. trees growing out of my hands, being chased, falling, etc. I should probably talk to someone about that.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? I love going to the movies, roaming around the city, and window shopping for things I can't afford...yet.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Mark Fisher Fitness! It's not a gym, it's a clubhouse. Fun, friendly, and I feel the burn every single time.
13. Boxers or Briefs? Some things need to remain a surprise.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I think I would choose the power to teleport different places instantly. I don't LOVE riding the train.