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Musical theater star reveals incredible booming ‘pandemic pivot’

After making his Broadway debut in 2015 playing the title character, Jerry Mulligan, in the Tony Award-winning musical An American in ParisRobbie Fairchild has seen his career go from strength to strength.

After his New York run, the American star reprized the role for the show’s London season in 2017, and now he’s wowing audiences in Sydney as part of the show’s Australian tour.

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Apart from being an accomplished dancer, singer, theater actor and also starring on the big screen, Fairchild has also seen his side hustle as a florist grow into a thriving business.

Fairchild sat down with The morning show where he began by explaining how he continues to be motivated to give it his all playing such a physically demanding role night after night.

Fairchild stars in the Australian production of An American in Paris alongside British theater star Leanne Cope. Credit: The morning show

“When you hear the orchestra playing Gershwin’s concerto at the start of the show, it transports you to another world and you’re there to tell the story,” he said.

“There’s something about hearing this music over and over and over again, you’d think I’d get sick of hearing it (but) it propels me through the show every night.”

Fairchild also spoke about his time working on the film version of the musical. Catswhere he found himself working alongside acting royalty.

“It was an amazing opportunity to work with amazing people and I had never been in a movie before. It was a big deal, there were big heavy hitters on screen with us,” he said. -he declares.

“I was right next to Dame Judi Dench for every scene because I played the next cat to become leader of the pack, Munkustrap, and so I was next to her for every scene.

“Between takes, she would teach me Shakespeare sonnets, we would play word games, and we became really good friends.”

Fairchild shooting a scene from Cats with legendary British actress Dame Judi Dench.
Fairchild shooting a scene from Cats with legendary British actress Dame Judi Dench. Credit: The morning show

The theater star went on to explain how he was inspired by the tragic events surrounding the COVID outbreak in his hometown of New York to start a side business as a florist during the lockdown.

“In fact, since Cats there was a woman who messaged me on Instagram and she said, ‘I just went to see Cats to the movies with my daughter’ and she just decided to take a dance class for the first time and she’s wanted it for so long,” he said.

“(She said) ‘I wanted to thank you, you inspired her to dance, so I work as a flower distributor in Holland and I see on your Instagram that you like arranging flowers, so I want to send you some peonies and roses to say thank you’ and it was so sweet.

“They arrived and what was I going to do with 200 flowers? So I made them for the healthcare workers…it was when there were refrigerated trucks on the streets of New York – it was a dark time.

Fairchild's role in the Cats film project inadvertently led to her secondary career as a successful florist.
Fairchild’s role in the Cats film project inadvertently led to her secondary career as a successful florist. Credit: The morning show

“What I didn’t realize was how similar flower arranging was to performing. You walk into a studio and you create something and then you take it to a recipient.

“At this point, I was hungry for anything, to do something. To have that feeling of playing in a different avenue, which is what you’re allowed to do in New York. It took off like wildfire.

An American in Paris is currently showing at the Theater Royal Sydney, click here for ticket details.

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