Devon Hadsell made her Broadway debut heading back to High School in Tina Fey’s incredible new musical MeanGirls. She took some time out of her busy schedule to chat to me about her roles in the show (that’s 8 shows a week in the ensemble as Caitlyn Caussin plus understudying for Gretchen, Karen, Ms. Norbury and Cady and Regina’s moms, FYI!). Devon gave me a look into her own life back in High School, MeanGirls auditions…and karaoke faves!
When did you first know that you wanted to get into Musical Theatre?
My mom put me in my first musical at age 5 at our community theatre in Napa, California. I played Gretel in TheSoundOfMusic, and ever since then I’ve never wanted to stop performing!
What was the first show you saw on Broadway? Mine was Mean Girls!! But the first ever show I saw was The Lion King on the West-End in London when I was 10!
Wow! I love that your first Broadway show was MeanGirls! I don’t exactly remember my first Broadway show, but I know my first one was my junior year of college when I came to New York for my first time ever and assisted our senior’s showcase. I think it was Once, which is a story I had loved before it had even become a musical!
Please could you tell me about your career so far?
After I graduated college, I worked for multiple regional theatres in California. About a year later, I booked the tour of TheLittleMermaid which I did for a year and which made me Equity. I was able to save a lot from that tour and a few months after it ended, I decided to make the move to New York! I moved here on Nov. 1st, 2016 and the audition for MeanGirls was Jan. 3rd, 2017. The rest is history!
How was high school for you?
High school was an interesting time for me. My school was very “clique-y” like Mean Girls, but I was a straight-A student and a total choir nerd. I was choir president my senior year. I also did ballet every day after school so I never had a ton of time to hang out with my friends after class got out. I loved how busy I was though. I was never invited to a single party in high school, but I didn’t even care. I had my close group of friends and loved doing my extracurricular activities.
Please could you tell me a little bit about the audition process for Mean Girls?
The audition process for Mean Girls was crazy! I went to the open dance call when I initially auditioned (around 400 girls showed up) and they took 25 girls into a room at once, had us stand in a line and one-by-one step forward, say our name, do a leg hold, and then step back in line. After that, they had us do a dance combo. I then had 4 callbacks which spanned over the next few weeks where I had to sing and read lines until the final callback where Tina Fey and the whole creative team came in and watched us dance and sing! It was insane!
What does a typical day in rehearsals look like?
When we were learning the show, we had rehearsals from 10am-6pm every single day except for Sundays. Since I’m in the ensemble, it mainly consisted of dancing the entire day with a few music rehearsals here and there. Nowadays, we only have rehearsals for the understudies about once every couple weeks or if someone new is joining the show.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I have a corner backstage where I do my warm-up which always gets me focused and ready for the show. My rituals actually happen DURING the show with other castmates like a wink with another cast member, or holding hands with multiple people and having a moment where we look into each other eyes before entering the stage together. I love those moments.
How did you feel during your principle debut?
It was AMAZING!!! I was low-key scared right before I went on, but I had rehearsed so much that once I was on the stage and doing it, it felt so exhilarating! My mom, brother, and sister happened to be in town visiting that week so they got to see me make my principle debut as well! It was a night I will never forget.
If Mean Girls came to London’s West-End, would you consider coming over to the UK?
YES! 100%!!! I just visited London for the first time this past December and I would live there in heartbeat! Sign me up!
What would be your dream role?
In Mean Girls, I would love to play Cady one day. For other shows, I would love to play Clara in Light in the Piazza, Girl in Once, and Glinda in Wicked!
Describe Caitlyn Caussin in three words.
Preppy. Weird. Wanna-be.
Go-to karaoke hit?
“Someone to Watch Over Me” by George and Ira Gershwin.
Favourite member of the plastics?
Karen. She’s so funny, lovable, and sweet!
Sexy Halloween or scary Halloween?
SEXY Halloween for sure!
Favourite song from Mean Girls?
I seriously love them ALL!
Finally, do you have any advice for young people striving towards their goals?
Be kind to others and don’t let other people steal your joy. Always work hard and never stop learning and studying your craft. Also, being over-prepared is NEVER a bad thing.
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