Making your broadway debut is *so fetch* — but what if you made a new debut every time you stepped on the stage? That’s exactly what Mean Girls ensemble swing, Patrick Garr (@mrpatrickg), experiences when he goes in to work, swinging 7 TRACKS. Patrick is a Kentucky-native, NYC transplant who booked the b-way, just less than two years after moving to the city! We sat down for a chat to get the sweet deets on MG.
It’s always so exciting to make your broadway debut, but tell us — what was your path like to Mean Girls?
In college, I booked one non-eq gig for five months during the summer, then got my equity card at The Muny the next summer. I graduated early after getting my card, then moved to NYC to start taking dance classes and begin auditioning. From audition season, I booked Broadway Dance Lab. At that point, I was also judging and teaching at conventions. After about a year of grinding, I booked the Muny again for Jerome Robbins Broadway, then immediately hit the stage for Mean Girls shortly after.
What was the audition process like?
The audition process for Mean Girls was more like an audition process for a new show coming to broadway soon — Prom! I actually was seen for a developmental lab for Prom, and was called back many times for that show. It wasn’t long before I was called in for Mean Girls, which has the same casting team. From there, we auditioned on a Friday and the next Monday, before receiving my call that I booked the show just a week later.
What it’s like being a swing? Give us a quick day in the life of joining a cast + swinging.
Swinging is a totally different process than learning a show. When I was doing Jerome Robbins at The Muny, we learned the entire show in 14 days. Going from that process to MG was a lot different. In MG, I started learning one track, but I would receive notes on all the different tracks I was covering, as well. Like a “this is what you do for this track, but just take note that this other track takes this path and does this choreo.” It’s definitely a feat to keep all those notes straight! The homework for swinging doesn’t stop once you make your debut — I would go home and create tracking sheets for each track, complete with cues and choreo. My cast is great; everyone is super sweet on stage and knows the life of a swing is tedious. Performers know the nature of being a swing, My supportive cast typically throws me some control cues on stage so I’m not completely lost when going in for a new track!
What’s the choreography like?
The choreography is SO FUN. The show is written so well and it’s truly a party on stage.
Any advice for dancers pursuing their broadway dreams?
No matter how many setbacks you have, just keep going. When people say you never know why you don’t book a job, truly believe that “no” will lead you to the job you’re meant to be in.