A triple threat of the stage and screen, Hayley Podschun keeps rewinding the clock on her proverbial “fifteen minutes of fame” with credits that include everything from Broadway (Hello, Dolly; Something Rotten; Chaplin; Anything Goes; Pal Joey; Sunday in the Park with George; Hairspray; and The Sound of Music), Off-Broadway (Cheek to Cheek; I Married an Angel; Freckleface Strawberry), national tours (Wicked; Hairspray), and regional theater (among them, The Music Man at the Kennedy Center and Catch Me If You Can at Arena Stage, for which she received a Helen Hayes Award nomination), to TV and film (NBC’s The Blacklist; FX’s Fleishman Is in Trouble; Hairspray for New Line Cinema) and hosting, producing, and writing (The Broadway Bachelorette and Broadway Style Guide on YouTube). And there’s no end in sight for this ever-active multi-hyphenate super-talent, who’s been performing since childhood, making her professional debut at eight and Broadway at ten.
Currently appearing Off-Broadway in Vanities – The Musical at The York Theatre (where she was last in the company of Cheek to Cheek), the NYC-based Kansas native is also an original member of the new musical act The Girl Band Project, which made its debut at 54 Below in January. Both feature female-centric themes and camaraderie that make for the perfect entertainment and a fitting interview subject for Women’s History Month.
Hayley generously made time in her extremely busy schedule during rehearsal and preview week to offer spontaneous answers to rapid-fire questions about the shows, her background, and her favorites, so fans can get to know her a little more personally.
- What’s the best thing about Women’s History Month?
Hayley: Well, actually, it should be every day, not just one month! I think women are the best, so it’s great that it recognizes what we’ve become and what we will be in the future.
- Do you have a favorite girl group?
I’m a big Britney Spears fan so could I have a group of five Britneys? And Spice Girls are amazing.
- Which song do you most enjoy performing with The Girl Band Project?
I love our opening number; it’s a combo of everything and our choreographer Katie LaDuca gave us such great movements for it.
- Is there a band or song you haven’t yet covered but would like to do in future shows?
Yes, I have a whole list! I’d like to do “Little Mix” and I think “Lady Marmalade” would really get the crowd going.
- What do you find most relatable about your character in Vanities?
We both have a lot of energy. Joanne’s views are more close-minded than mine, but we’re both unapologetically ourselves.
- What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Bubbly, bright, and happy!
- What came first for you, singing or dancing?
Dancing probably came first, but they both came together from an early age.
- What’s your first creative memory?
I used to watch Cinderella and all the Disney movies, and I had costumes for all of them; everything was always costume related. As Cinderella, I had an apron with pockets that I filled with little toy stuffed mice, and I would recreate the scenes. For the scene where she was feeding the ducks, I got my mother to give me some frozen corn, then I threw it all over the floor!
- Who or what has been the biggest inspiration in your career?
Honestly, Britney Spears. Her shows, her music, her costumes, her energy – it all still sticks with me to this day. I will always be a supporter and her #1 fan!
- Which character you’ve portrayed has been your all-time favorite?
This is the hardest question because they’re all so different. Peter Pan was a dream for me, I felt like a kid again and I got to fly! And I loved being Glinda in Wicked.
- Is there one show or role you’d most like to play in the future?
Yes, I have two, and one of them I will be playing later this summer; I can’t say what it is because the press release hasn’t gone out yet, but it will soon, so check my social media. And I’d also love to play Roxie in Chicago.
- What do you do for fun when you have some time off?
I just love to hang out with my friends. We go to restaurants and pop-up experiences in New York, watch the Chiefs football games, and spend time together.
- What do you love most about New York?
You can walk everywhere! That’s a lot of my physical activity, in addition to exercising at the gym.
- What three emotions do you feel when you’re on stage performing?
Ooooh, that’s a good one; nobody ever asked me that before. Nervous. Excited. And grounded.
- What’s the greatest thing about fame?
If you’re a HUGE celebrity, you get all kinds of things for free and you don’t have to audition. That’s not me! At my level it’s nice that people know me and know my work – it can stand for you and they can appreciate and support you. But I’d also really like to get some free stuff!
Thanks, Hayley, for sharing a fast, fun, and lively fifteen minutes with us! I look forward to seeing you in Vanities and in future concerts of The Girl Band Project.
Vanities – The Musical plays through April 22, 2023, at The York Theatre Company, performing at the Theatre at St. Jean’s, 150 East 76th Street, NYC. For tickets (priced at $60-95, plus fees), call (212) 935-5820, or go online. Masks are required at all times.