Salisha is a literal burst of sunshine, as you can see in the photo above. From the second she sat down with me, she was beaming from ear to ear telling me the stories of peculiar events that led her to Broadway (keep reading for some old fashioned New York City magic). When asked about fitness and health, she summed it up with, “I have to be able to do my job” and that was that. No more, no less. We talked more extensively about grounding after being on tour for so long and the fact that she needs her own youtube channel… and believe me I’ll be following up and sharing when the Salisha Show is live. 🙂 Stay tuned but until then, here’s Salisha’s Fit for Broadway story.
note from Salisha: Hey, I’m Salisha! I’m currently in Beautiful the Carole King Musical! I love watching Broadway shows, Miss America, and the Super Bowl. I’m a former Miss California, I used to work at Disneyland as a vocalist, and before transferring to the BWAY company of Beautiful, I was playing Diana Ross in the World Premier of Trevor the Musical!
Q: Can we start from the beginning… What’s been your journey to Broadway?
A: For my 8th grade field trip, we came out to New York City and saw Wicked! Ever since then, I knew I wanted to be on Broadway. I graduated college out in California and was working at Disneyland. I did a show in the Bay Area that gave me my Equity Card, I got an agent, and I saved my money. I was actually dating someone at the time and was saving for our wedding. He ended up dumping me and that wedding fund became my Opportunity Fund. I went out to NYC for a month, just to get away. I didn’t tell anybody except my friend who I quietly gave all my shifts to at Disney. While in New York, I met a homeless man when I was waiting for the train. He looked at me and he said, “I don’t know who you are, but you need to move here and you need to do it now.” That same day I called up Disney and put in my notice. I booked a round trip ticket and sold everything I owned and was back in New York for good within all of two weeks. The same week I moved back, I heard about Beautiful. By the grace of God, I got an audition two days later, got a final callback that night. And in a mere 6 days got the call that I’d booked the First National Tour of Beautiful the Carole King Musical. I hit the road for almost two years. And after leaving the tour, I worked on a new show with the same director/choreographer from Beautiful out in Chicago. And during that time I got a call asking if I’d like to go into Beautiful on Broadway. I said yes!
Q: How have health and fitness been a part of your journey as a performer?
A: First of all, I’m surrounded by some of the most gorgeous humans on the planet! People in this business are conscious about what they are putting in their bodies and how they look! So being around that all the time makes me interested too! Staying for gives me confidence on and off the stage and eating right ensures that I have can use all my excess energy to full potential when I hit that stage.
Q: Top 3 tips for maintaining energy for your show.
- Getting as much sleep as I possibly can.
- Staying very hydrated.
- Not eating the heaviest meal right before curtain! Beef weighs me down and puts me in a coma!
Q: Any other holistic practices to stay #BalancedOnBroadway?
A: I stay alert in regards to the energies around me. I’m such an empath, and when I’m around someone who has a really low energy or is in a bad mood, it affects me right away. Sometimes I’ll play music or simply find another room that feels light!
Q: Top 5 products, companies or brands that are shaping your lifestyle right now.
A: Sephora, Orangetheory Fitness, Zara, Bed Bath & Beyond, My diffuser with essential oils from Muji (its the bomb!)
Q: Fill in the blanks…
A: The best part of working on Broadway is…. Walking out on that stage every night and just having fun! The stakes feel so much higher but people are just more relaxed here it seems. Crazy!
The most challenging part of working on Broadway is… People who have been here the longest like to play games to keep it fresh. Girl I’m over here trying to keep up! LOL
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: In school we called her Gaudra McDonald. She’s from my hometown of Fresno, California. And she’s MADE it! I want to originate roles like she did and continues to do.
Q: Can we play Tour vs. New York and identify 3 things that are incredibly different, good or bad about being planted in NYC now…
- On Tour, it’s like we are being paid to see the country. Felt like vacation to me. Oh and then we have to stop by work for 3 hours. And then back to sight seeing.
- Everyone is just freakishly relaxed here in NY. And my body feels so much better not boarding a plane every week.
- In New York, it’s nice to date someone and not have to lead with, “So I’m here for three more days..”
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who have their sights set on Broadway?
A: Aim to be the hardest working person in the room. And be KIND. Your work ethic and your attitude are almost more important than how much talent you have.
Q: BROADWAY INSPIRES ME TO BE _____________________.
A: FREE!!! I love New York because it almost feels like if you want to fit in, you gotta stand out! And that inspires me to be the most sparkly version of myself and live my best life!
#BraveMonth bonus question
Q: Your definition of BRAVE.
A: Listening to your heart (ie. the Holy Spirit, the Universe, God, your Intuition, etc) and going in the direction of your desires instead of taking the safe, logical route.
Photos & Interview by Jane Jourdan.