It's every theater major’s dream to be cast in a nationally touring production straight out of college, and for Chelsea Turbin, a recent graduate from The Boston Conservatory, that dream came true.
Turbin landed a spot in the ensemble cast of Green Day’s “American Idiot” her senior year. “American Idiot” is a musical adapted from the Green Day album. The play centers around three discontented young men and their desire to break free of suburbia.
The show began its tour in the United Kingdom, and, by its completion, it will have visited six different countries. The production is set to come to Jacksonville, an hour away from Turbin’s hometown of Ormond Beach.
Folio Weekly spoke to Chelsea Turbin by phone about her experience on tour with “American Idiot.”
Folio Weekly: Did you always know that performing is what you wanted to do?
Chelsea Turbin: As a kid I was always singing. I would be running around making my parents watch the “Chelsea Show” or singing on little cardboard box stages that I made. Around first grade my mom put me in Children’s Musical Theater in Ormond Beach, and I ended up staying there for eight years. It was kind of where I lived; it’s where I made most of my friends.
F.W.: Tell us about getting the part in “American Idiot.”
C.T.: It was unreal. I had auditioned for this show once before. I had just turned 18, and I was going to a casting call for “Bye Bye Birdy.” So, I did the audition and Jim Carnahan, from Carnahan Casting tells me “You’re not quite right for the part, but I’m also doing a casting for this Green Day show, so we’ll call you.” At that point I’m like "Yeah, OK, sure you’ll call me," but they did! So I went, but I ended up being way too young and inexperienced. I get there and there are just these amazing women, and guys with guitars. … but some years later it ended up falling into my lap again. Senior year at The Boston Conservatory we have these workshops and the first workshop ended up being an actual audition. Someone from Carnahan Casting came in and we all sang and auditioned. I got a call back from that, and then another call back to New York, and then another call back. It was absolutely unreal.
F.W.: What’s your favorite part being on the road and being on tour?
C.T.: Luckily, everyone in our cast gets along freakishly well. From the workshop we knew that we all clicked. We all mesh very well; whoever cast us like pretty much cast my family. And it’s just awesome how much of the country I get to see, and how many theaters I get to perform in. The tour life is pretty awesome. I mean living out of a suitcase leaves much to be desired. [Laughs.] But yeah, definitely traveling and being with this cast is pretty great.
F.W.: The show is adapted from the Green Day album “American Idiot.” Were you a fan of Green Day before this?
C.T.: I knew the hits. I was a little too young to grow up with Green Day first time around. I definitely remember the Green Day album coming out. I loved the song “American Idiot,” and by that point I knew the song “Basket Case” and “Brain Stew.” So I knew the hits, but I was never a huge fan until the show. The show has definitely made me a fan or Green Day — they’re so amazing. Now that I’ve been in this and know all the music to it, and the lyrics are just incredible. So, yeah I can say I’m a pretty big fan now.
F.W.: Do you have a favorite part out of the show or a favorite scene?
C.T.: “LetterBomb” is the all-girl number, and it’s just a great time every night to just kick ass! Another favorite is “Whatsername.” It’s a number at the very end. It’s a really emotional part. I got a chance to see our show from the audience one night when I was out, and that part just kind of hit me really hard.
F.W.: You’re from Ormond Beach, which is about an hour from Jacksonville, are you going to have friends and family come to see the show?
C.T.: Oh my God, I cannot even tell you how excited I am. My mom pretty much told me “So, Jacksonville is going to be nothing but Ormond Beach to Daytona Beach people.” I am so excited, I have a lot of friends and family who are going to come up and see the show in Jacksonville. Every once in a while we’ll end up in someone’s home city, but even though we’re not hitting up the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona, this will pretty much be my home stop. I’m so excited to bring the show home.