Andy Taylor Reveals 10 Things Fans May Not Know About Once
August 5th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Original cast member Andy Taylor has been playing the role of the lovable Bank Manager and serving as music captain since the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Once began performance at Broadway’s Jacobs Theatre. So who better to dish with us and reveal 10 things about the show and the company that even Once fans might not know?
1. David Patrick Kelly is a black belt.
2. Ben Hope kills time during shows tooling leather in his dressing room, making belts and cool stuff. Ben and Jessie Fisher have walkie-talkies in the Jacobs Theatre so they can talk to one another without schlepping up the several flights of stairs. Bess our stage manager makes them turn them off before the show so their signals don't get mixed up with the sound department.
3. Jillian Zygo, who is our child wrangler, and her husband Mike (Emcee) just had their first child on 8/2/14, a beautiful little bugger named Maizy Ayla Zygo.
4. Our director, John Tiffany, is actually a fine guitarist himself.
5. We get asked if we learned to play our instruments to be cast in Once: All of us had played music for years before we auditioned. I studied cello at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and have played at Carnegie Hall, but my mandolin playing has certainly improved since joining Once. Doing the preshow of old Irish and Czech folk tunes allows us to try new things musically and everyone who comes through here leaves a better player.
6. Paul Whitty can go years without seeing his face below his eye sockets.
7. Once is almost impossible to cast without Canadians.
8. Once has inspired many of our stage hands and backstage staff to pick up the guitar or ukulele, using our relationship with the Martin Guitar people to pick out beautiful instruments. Many of us have made the trip to the Martin factory in Pennsylvania, and been given royal treatment by the amazing folks there. Chris Martin IV took some of the cast through their instrument museum, and they were allowed to hold and play the actual guitars used by Hank Williams, Eric Clapton, and Kurt Cobain.
9. Mike Zygo made a prescient move years ago. When Once started, he bought an inexpensive guitar/ukulele hybrid instrument—a guitalele I think he calls it. We have been very fortunate to have met so many amazing people after the show. From Liza to Bono, the president of Ireland to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Zygo has had each of our distinguished guests sign his uke. When Maizy Zygo has to go to college then Zygo will put it on eBay. (Not sure about the last bit).
10. Don Noble hosts Explorers Club in Ben's dressing room occasionally, and we travel round the world without leaving home, tasting the world's fine liquors. Very civilized.
Now that you know a bit more about the whole gang, see them in action in Once at Broadway's Jacobs Theatre.