Beyond the Stage Door with King David Jones
This week’s Beyond the Stage Door is with King David Jones! King’s a swing and sons of liberty cover in Hamilton’s phillip company currently touring. He covers 5 roles in the show: Man 5, Man 6, Lafayette/Jefferson, Laurens/Phillip/, and Mulligan/Madison. His brain space is ridiculous and i’m just an all around fan.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned working on a cruise ship?
On Carnival Cruise Lines every performer sings with in-ear monitors, which allowed us to hear our own personal mix of vocals and instrumentation during the live performance. That was really cool!
What was your hamilton audition experience like?
First I sent them an email with my headshot and resumé. From there they sent me an audition appointment for a preliminary stage in the audition process. After the success of my preliminary audition, they emailed asking for a video reel with material for Aaron Burr, George Washington, and Lafayette/Jefferson. After the video submission, I was emailed an appointment for a work session with the associate director and associate music director for the parts of Lafayette/Jefferson and Mulligan/Madison. Then After that work session, I was invited to the final callback week with Tommy Kail and Alex Lacamoire for the parts of Lafayette/Jefferson, Mulligan/Madison, and Laurens/Philip. A month after the final callback week, I received the phone call that I’d book the show as a Swing US Lafayette/Jefferson, Mulligan/Madison, and Laurens/Philip.
What was your reaction when you got the call to be a male swing in Hamilton?
I was surprised/relieved/excited all at the same time! Surprised because I had no clue during the audition process that I was being considered for the Swing position. I was under the impression that one of the three parts would be mine and they were just trying to figure out which one; little did I know huh? Relieved because I didn’t have to wait for an answer any more and fortunately it was the answer I wanted to hear! Lastly, Excited simply because I’d just booked Hamilton!
What’s the process of learning all your roles and is there a difference when learning leads VS. Ensemble?
Each role is typically rehearsed for 6 weeks. I had more time to rehearse some parts more than others considering when I was needed to go on for them. Theres definitely a difference in learning a principal vs. an ensemble member as their purpose in the show differs. The only thing that sometimes line up are the vocal parts.
How do you separate the tracks in your head especially vocally?
The best way to separate them is to truly treat them as the individual parts they are. Ex: If I’m on for Lafayette/Jefferson I sing the bottom vocal parts and I start the show coming out of wing 1 stage left. If I’m on for Laurens/Philip I sing the top vocal parts and I start the show coming out of wing 2 stage right.
What’s your favorite wig in the show?
My favorite wig is the curly fro I wear Act 2 as Thomas Jefferson!
How do you maintain 8 shows a week on tour?
I love to workout so that helps tremendously. My favorites are Yoga, Lifting Weights, and Sprints!
What’s your vocal health routine?
I give myself a physical and vocal warm up before the show. I also sip my favorite tea (Throat Coat) with pure honey and a melted honey Ricola cough drop every show! My catch phrase if I’m ever thrown into the show last minute is “Can I get some hot water?” Haha
Would you ever step into a role full time and if so which one?
I would definitely step into a role full time and I’d love for the that role to be Lafayette/Jefferson!
What’s one thing Hamilton has taught you as a performer?
Hamilton has taught me how to be the most versatile actor. The principals I play have split characters, therefore requiring me to have a full character development for all 6 individual characters.
You can follow King and his journey on instagram here.
King is also doing an instagram takeover at @mwmivspeaks on September 23rd! if you’re reading this after then and still want to catch his takeover it’s in the story highlights.