Lisa Condit recently spoke with Sam Scalamoni, director of Broadway’s ELF The Musical. Read on for highlights from their interview, or listen to the full interview below!
Lisa: ELF The Musical is a perfect way to launch into the holidays!
Sam: It is! It really gets you into the holiday spirit. Singing and dancing and all the great parts of the movie that you know: Buddy running around the revolving door, pouring syrup all over spaghetti… all the things you remember from the movie wrapped up in a big Broadway musical. It’s a lot of fun for the whole family.
Lisa: How did you get started in this wacky business? Any advice?
Sam: My advice is to take advantage of every opportunity. I started out as an actor. I loved performing. I was in a couple of Broadway shows. While I was doing that, I started to look at things from the point of view of the director. I love putting the whole package together. I get to collaborate with the designers, the musicians and the actors. You learn from everything, and no matter what the experience, you take away good stuff from it.
Lisa: From a director’s perspective, what do you look for when putting together a show or a Broadway tour? What’s the magic ingredient?
Sam: Communication and listening. I really try to be very clear when I’m communicating with everybody about what I’m seeing and what I’m feeling. I encourage questions and communication. But also, I try to listen to what the actors are feeling, what they are sensing, what the musicians are wanting to hear. I think being a good listener and being a good communicator really help bring together a great show.
Lisa: This applies to everybody, no matter what industry you’re in.
Sam: Absolutely! We all collaborate, no matter what we do in our business lives, and being a good collaborator makes you better at what you do and creates a better result, whether you’re putting together a house, or putting on a Broadway show.
Lisa: Back to ELF for a minute. Are there any scenes that are your favorite?
Sam: That’s like asking me which is my favorite child! I love them all, but I think I love the moment when Buddy starts to realize that Christmas is more than Santa and giving presents, and what the spirit of Christmas is really about. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but its nice to have a message at the end. I hope the audience really hears and really feels it and takes that away with them for their holiday season.
Sam: It’s a wonderful way to spend time with your family at the holidays.