Posted April 14, 2015
AEA’s GYPSY ROBE®
Life Imitates Art at ‘American in Paris’ for Lifelong Francophile and Chorus Dancer Jennie Ford
A Historic 60-Year Backstage Tradition on Broadway
When Jennie Ford plotted a family move abroad to live in France, little did she know her dream would become a professional reality after booking An American in Paris – the new Broadway musical adaptation of the Academy award-winning film, which received its world premiere last December in Paris at the famous Théâtre du Châtelet.
“To be honored with the Gypsy Robe is the ultimate acknowledgement for a chorus actor. It was such a pleasant surprise to have the robe passed on by Charlie Sutton (Kinky Boots), a fellow chorus member and robe recipient. The entire ceremony is a great display of the generosity and spirit of the “gypsies.” I have also spent a great deal of my professional career advocating for the rights, advancement and protections of chorus performers. I even wrote a book, “Be the Best Swing on Broadway” to raise awareness of the important role the chorus plays in a musical production. This was an amazing moment and it means so much to me.” - Jennie Ford
photo: Walter McBride
||An American in Paris
||The Palace Theatre
||April 12, 2015
||Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada
||The Music Man (2000)
||“I studied ballet, tap and jazz most of my young life at Jacquie’s Dance Academy in my hometown (led by Jacquie Huck). As students, we performed in competitions and recitals while taking classes five days a week. After high school, I immediately began auditioning.”
|Year Joined AEA
||1998 (“I was Canadian Equity before I joined AEA.”)
|How I Got My Equity Card
||“I first earned my CAEA card doing the opera Carmen. (Opera is part of Canadian Equity.) Then, I earned my AEA card when I joined the first national tour of Ragtime.”
|Broadway Chorus Credits
||“I am a Francophile and always dreamt of living in France one day. I even received a grant from Career Transition for Dancers to go back to French school in the U.S. while I was living in Los Angeles. My husband and I were also planning on taking our 4-year-old daughter to live abroad for one year before she started kindergarten. When I learned that Christopher Wheeldon (whom I worked with on Sweet Smell of Success in 2002) was at the helm of An American in Paris, and the show was receiving its world premiere in Paris, I knew I had to book the audition! The rest is history. We moved to Paris for work and then lived in the South of France for almost four months. This show and career experience is an example of everything I’ve ever wanted in life converging at one, beautiful moment.”
Moments from the Gypsy Robe® Ceremony
Jennie Ford with Max von Essen, Brandon Uranowitz and cast during the Broadway Opening Night Gypsy Robe Ceremony honoring Jennie Ford from 'An American in Paris' at The Palace Theatre on April 12, 2015 in New York City.
Photo by Walter McBride
The ensemble company during the Broadway Opening Night Gypsy Robe Ceremony honoring Jennie Ford from 'An American in Paris' at The Palace Theatre on April 12, 2015 in New York City.
Photo by Walter McBride
View the full gallery of photos here!
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