The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Behind The Curtain: The Cast of Les Mis


Do you hear the people sing? Listen to what the cast of Les Misérables has to say about their roles.
B&G: What are you looking forward to most throughout this entire process?
Brandon L.: I am really looking forward to the moment the curtains rise on opening night and feel the energy from the audience. If you are a performer you will know exactly what I’m saying.
B&G: Describe your role.
Hae Kyeung K.: Fantine is a quintessential mother who sacrifices her life to save her daughter, Cosette.
B&G: How are you managing stress and balancing school work and Les Misérables practice?
Brandon L.: Balancing school work and Les Misérables practice is a huge undertaking. I don’t have a lot of time on a day-to-day basis. I’ve been trying to manage stress by making sure I give myself at least an hour of relaxation every day.
B&G: What has been most difficult for you?
Duanduan H.: The most difficult thing that I’ve encountered in the musical is the difficulty of the music. The music was written for Broadway professionals, not high schoolers. Since May, I’ve had to force myself to sing at least 1 hour a day to strengthen my vocal chords and shift my vocal range upwards in order to sing the high notes for my character, Javert.
B&G: You cut your hair for your role. What motivated you to do this?
Hae Kyeung K.: The main reason I cut my hair was because it reinforces the miserable circumstances that Fantine experiences in a more realistic and impactful manner. Sure, I could have left my hair uncut and wear a short wig instead. However, the audience would have been thinking: “Oh, that’s just a short wig that she put on”; they could possibly miss out on the magnitude of Fantine’s melancholy life and how much she is willing to sacrifice for her daughter.
B&G: Is there a message to Les Misérables?
Duanduan H.: The most important message in Les Misérables is the power to do the unselfish thing. The play is going to be a roller coaster ride of emotions, it’s going to be music to your ears (literally) for 2 and a half hours.
B&G: What are some things you did that helped you get into your role?
Hae Kyeung K.: The 18th century in France and the growth of the Industrial Revolution was extremely laborious for the working class, so I imagine myself living in poverty and being paid daily that is only enough to keep myself alive through a single day.

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