Up Your Game

Clyde Voce makes history as the first black actor to play the role of Willy Wonka on the Broadway tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He describes the different duties of understudies and swings and shares his wisdom about health, wellness, and finances while maintaining a life as a working actor at the highest level.

What’s inside: 

  • 1:25 Monday lecture: AEA production contracts, pay rates, and non-union tours.
  • 5:42 What have you been up to lately? 
  • 6:06 What’s a typical day look like working in New York City?
  • 7:08 Do you have an agent or manager? 
  • 8:35 What do you mean when you say you don’t need a job right now? 
  • 10:03 What have been some of your “survival jobs?”
  • 11:44 How did you grow up? Were you surrounded by artists? 
  • 20:32 How different is your lifestyle now?
  • 22:00 What are the physical demands of the job? 
  • 24:23  Did you have a backup plan? Did your parents want one for you?
  • 27:38 Promo: Clyde performing next in Till: a New Musical and Kinky Boots 
  • 28:22 Do you have to make a career choice in college?
  • 29:10 What’s a big risk that you had to take and how did you prepare for it? 
  • 33:22 What are the biggest rewards that you gained that would be unbelievable to your younger self? 
  • 33:35 How did you make history? 
  • 35:35 How do you get a reputation for having a strong work ethic?
  • 36:17 What’s the difference between “swings” and “understudies” and how does work ethic play a role in each? 
  • 40:13 Do you think that you’ve “made it?”
  • 44:30 How does physical health and wellness fit into how you prepare?
  • 50:42 See it to be it. Who inspired you?
  • 54:18 Clyde’s recommendations.

Mentioned in this Episode:



Key Quotes:

  • “I’m doing quite well–*laughs* I’m doing quite alright. I paid off all my student loans, I’m completely done with all that stuff.”
  • “It’s so foreign to me that money now just sits in my bank account and doesn’t go anywhere–it’s so crazy…so, everybody, you can do it. It can be done.”
  • “The purpose of touring…is to save that money so you don’t have to get that survival job that you don’t want to do.”
  • “People are paying a lot of money to see these shows, who am I to give them a subpar performance?…You can’t be like you’re in high school or college anymore.”
  • “If you don’t go for it, you’re gonna always have that regret of ‘well, what if…'” 
  • “You can always go back to school. You can always find something else to do. It’s possible to do all these things.”
  • “It was either I went to NY and went for it or I stayed at home… It taught me so much about myself. It allowed me to grow in ways I didn’t think I could find at home.”
  • “I don’t know if I would have gotten that [Willy Wonka understudy]  without gaining the work ethic that I had from moving to NY and having to bust my butt all the way to this point.”
  • “I refuse to be the person that goes out on stage and has no idea what’s going on.”
  • “I never want to swing a show ever again, however I think that everybody in this industry should do it at least one time. I really do.”
  • “I’m not necessarily, like, a household name…but even in order to become that, that’s something that is out of people’s control- you don’t get to decide that.”
  • “To say that I haven’t made it yet, to me would diminish all the things I have done before that, and I don’t see it that way.”
  • “You will know when you’ve made it when money doesn’t matter.”
  • “Come in as the best version to you…when you walk into the room.”
  • “This is a really hard industry to be in, with the amount of rejection… I don’t even like to use that word ‘rejection,’ it’s just like, ‘it’s just not you today.'”
  • “I think every actor should have a therapist, I really do…it can be a very lonely industry.”
  • “It’s super important to be well-rounded, because those are the people, I’ve found, who actually do the best.”
  • “Life is not long for everyone, go do something, please.”
  • “I can still up my game.” 

Connect with Clyde! 

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DYBP graphic design  © 2020 by Laura Gernon

DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith 

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2 thoughts on “Up Your Game”

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