After close to six weeks of working the Tony Awards circuit, nominees can see an end in sight.
At the Tony Honors party Monday night, one of the last major events before the awards show itself, nominated actors spoke to the stamina, focus and scheduling needed to get through the grueling number of awards shows and press events leading up to the Tony Awards, in addition to performing in their shows.
Thus far, Andrew Garfield, nominated for his role in “Angels in America,” has made it through the awards season by largely trying to put it out of mind.
“For me it’s a psychological training to just keep doing the work, keep my attention on doing the play every day and rest and kind of try to forget any of this means anything,” Garfield said.
Anthony Boyle, starring in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” Broadway’s other two-part production this season, has been employing a similar tactic of “self-preservation,” including learning when to take vocal rest — a strategy a few nominees were employing the week leading up to the awards show.
As “Mean Girls” nominee Ashley Park noted, performing in the relative calm of a Broadway show can be the one chance nominees have to relax.
Overall, the ability of the nominees to stay fit and healthy has been one of the biggest differentiators Renée Fleming has noticed during her time on Broadway.
“I’m incredibly impressed because as an opera singer, we’re kind of the hothouse flowers of singing, because without a microphone we really need those days off in between, but everybody here works so hard all the time,” said Fleming, nominated for her role in “Carousel.”
For Ariana DeBose, a first-time Tony nominee for her role in “Summer,” the biggest lesson this season has been in learning how to pace herself through all of the events, while contending with the honor of being a nominee.
“If I can learn a little bit about time management, and enjoy being a Tony nominee, then I will have succeeded in this year’s awards season,” DeBose said.
Time management also plays into getting ready for the events, as fellow first-time nominee, Lindsay Mendez, nominated for her role in “Carousel,” has learned.
“I have a stylist for this season, because I couldn’t find the time. You need so many outfits,” Mendez said. “I did not know any of that before this.”
Of course, the awards season does bring its perks.
For Ar’iel Stachel, nominated for his role in “The Band’s Visit,” that comes in the form of being around actors he has long admired.
“I’m standing next to Joshua Henry, who I spoke to as a 17-year-old high school senior, trying to decide what college to go to, so it’s surreal,” Stachel said. “It’s been a whirlwind to be around people who are idols to me.”
And beyond the honor of being nominated himself, for Gavin Lee, the Tony Awards show itself presents somewhat of a full-circle moment for his showtune-loving character in “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
“Squidward’s dream a) he’s been nominated for a Tony Award and b) he’s going to perform at Radio City,” Lee said.
After Sunday night’s event, many of the nominees were looking forward to a chance to actually celebrate their nominations and then take a well-deserved vacation. Or, in some cases, simply catch up on sleep.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of this month, but I am looking forward to a giant nap,” DeBose said.