Lessons of the Week! Samantha Barks, Ewan McGregor & More

first_imgLook, we know you’re getting your stuffed animal guests all arranged for your Tony nomination breakfast party on April 28, but it’s time to take a break for…the Lessons of the Week! We’ve learned all kinds of crazy stuff over the last seven days, from Douglas Sills’ food fantasies to Jarrod Spector’s desire for a cleft chin of his very own. Well, what are you waiting for? Find out below!Samantha Barks Is Befriending a GnomeWest End star Samantha Barks has been hanging around NYC this week, seeing shows, exploring and practicing her French. It can only mean one thing: no, the Les Miz star isn’t reprising the role of Eponine on Broadway. But she is playing another French dreamer, Amelie, in a workshop of the new musical. Oui, oui, Sam, we approve!Tam Mutu Disappointed His DadIf you ask us, the Doctor Zhivago star, who just made his Broadway debut, is living the dream. But if you ask his late father, Mutu has completely missed his true calling of becoming a hairdresser. Yo Tam’s Dad, we all have lots of hopes and dreams. Jarrod Spector, for example, wishes he had Tam’s chin dimple. We can’t always get what we want.Matthew Morrison Acts with His Mouth FullHow does Finding Neverland star Matthew Morrison keep his voice so smooth and silky? He took us to his extra-steamy, chandelier-filled dressing room (seriously, what is going on in there?) to find out. Apparently he shoves pastilles in his cheeks to keep his mouth moist during the show. First three rows, watch out for flying pastille particles.There’s an Ingenious Rhyme For ‘Penis’Something Rotten! lyricists Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick have managed to create one of the most hilarious rhymes in musical theater history: They rhymed “penis” with “genius”! Sure, it’s not an exact match, but opening night red carpet guests—especially Perez Hilton—were wildly impressed. Wow, guys! Now write a song about oranges, elbows, hyphenates, spatulas and condoms.Madonna Pissed Off Alexander HamiltonThe Material Girl was in hot water with founding father Lin-Manuel Miranda this week when he caught her texting throughout his musical Hamilton—he later called the Grammy winner out on Twitter with the hashtag “#noselfieforyou.” Madge responded by taking her own selfie and texting it to Lin while she watched Fun Home.Douglas Sills Wants to Eat the AudienceStarring in a Broadway show must make you work up an appetite, because Living on Love’s Douglas Sills had desserts on the brain when we interviewed him on opening night. “The audience was meringue,” he told us. Meringue? Like, lemon meringue? Great, now we’re starving. Thanks a lot, Doug. Where’s a peanut butter cup care package when you need one?Neil Patrick Harris Is a Vlog ThiefTony winner Neil Patrick Harris is stepping out of the spotlight to play supportive (and a little bit jealous) partner to his real-life husband, It Shoulda Been You star David Burtka…until he hijacked Broadway.com vlogger Sierra Boggess’ video camera and turned it into The NPH Show. Neil, you are more than welcome to drop by Broadway.com HQ anytime and #LiveatFive with us.Relax, It’s Only a SmackdownEvery week on The Broadway.com Show, we pit stars and shows against each other just for fun, like Matt Bomer vs. Cheyenne Jackson, SpongeBob vs. Hee Haw and the velociraptor impressions of Sutton Foster vs. Rob McClure, just to name a few. But when we asked if you’re more excited about Laura Benanti or Anna Kendrick’s new book, we got hate tweets for “pitting these women against each other.” Guys, we love everyone in the Cinderella sisterhood! Calm down, little birds.Brian D’Arcy James Terrified Takeout GuysBefore Something Rotten! star Brian D’Arcy James hated Shakespeare, he starred in Broadway’s Shrek, wearing a giant green head that he couldn’t take off between shows. He successfully freaked out his daughter and any delivery guy that came to the stage door. Broadway definitely needs a green people support group.Ewan McGregor Is Highly FlammableWow. As if Stanley Tucci, Emma Watson, Ian McKellen, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson and Audra McDonald weren’t exciting enough, Ewan “my gift is my song” McGregor has signed on to play Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast live-action movie. But um, how is this going to work, exactly? Will he shrink to actual candelabra size? Will his hands really catch on fire? Will he finally let us try this elusive gray stuff we keep hearing about? Ewan, we have so many questions! View Commentslast_img read more

After overcoming an injury and the thought of leaving school, Tia Thevenin is ready to reach new heights

first_img Published on January 25, 2017 at 11:57 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Tia Thevenin should have been taking in the beaches and enjoying the time with her family at their Jamaica vacation home. Instead, the summer getaway was filled with confusion, heated discussion and tears.The bubbly Syracuse track and field hurdler was several months removed from a difficult first year at her new school. She had torn the muscle connecting her gluteus maximus to her hamstring and couldn’t walk or sit or play, so she redshirted. She just wanted to leave.“I’m alone at Syracuse, not many people understand,” Thevenin remembered. “I’m away from my family, and I don’t like that. I’m hurt, and I don’t think I’m going to get better … (There was) a lot of self doubt.”About two weeks ago, Thevenin ran the 60-meter hurdles in 8.32 seconds, breaking a school record set 17 years earlier by Veronica Tearney, then Dyer. Tearney is now a director of strength and conditioning and close friend of one of Thevenin’s mentors, Roxanne Woodley.Had Thevenin left school and returned home to Canada, the record run would have never happened. Rehabbing the torn muscle physically was long and drawn out, but the mental toll presented the most difficult obstacle. Now that she’s fully healed, Thevenin’s poised to take Syracuse, and herself, to new heights.“This year’s been really good to me, training-wise, competing,” Thevenin said. “That era is over.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs a high school freshman, she attended an informal track practice before the season to see which group she’d fit in with best. Coaches didn’t see a great fit and assigned her to the hurdling group that Woodley volunteer coached for.Woodley had no words the first time she saw Thevenin run because she looked like a “cat in water.” Thevenin didn’t compete her freshman year because she needed more training. By the following school year, she understood the hurdling techniques, like knowing her lead leg and when to take off.“Selfishly, being a former hurdler, I wanted to hold onto her,” Woodley said. “I didn’t want to send her over there (to other units of the track team) because this is my little secret right here.”To this day Thevenin doesn’t know why she started and continued as a hurdler, given her good flat speed. But she won her first race and by the end of senior year, she made the Canadian World team. Then, she and Danielle Delgado became the only two hurdlers for Syracuse.Ally Moreo | Photo EditorWarming up pre-meet in the spring of her freshman year, she tore her muscle. Tape-marked lines usually tell runners where to go, but hers weren’t lined up correctly. She ran out of an exchange zone during a relay practice and felt a pain in her leg.The rehab dragged to prevent injury aggravation. The lack of clear improvements frustrated Thevenin. After fully healing physically, Thevenin still didn’t trust her leg to hold up under the stress.“I think she ended on a real bad note that year,” Syracuse track-and-field assistant coach Dave Hegland said. “And she puts pressure on herself, she has really high expectations and it’s natural to doubt yourself in the process when you’re young like that.”While injured, Thevenin called Woodley and expressed her concern. Was Syracuse the right choice? Would she run at a high level again? Could she even enjoy it?Around that time, Woodley said, Thevenin wanted to go home.“She was emotionally, mentally burnt out,” Woodley said.Woodley stressed that leaving now wouldn’t be the right choice. Part of the issue, the former coach thought, was Thevenin clinging on to things from back home and not fully immersing herself at SU. Injuries prevented Woodley from running in college. She didn’t want Thevenin passing up an opportunity that she knew was perfect for her.Thevenin’s parents weren’t keen on the idea of their daughter leaving Syracuse, either. They both agreed that for a number of reasons, some unrelated to her running career, Thevenin needed to stay.Patricia Thevenin, Tia’s mother, said her daughter didn’t really know how to handle the struggles and setbacks popping up at SU.“She was so used to doing well, so used to being one of the best,” Patricia said. “… I told her, you have to prepare yourself for disappointment.”After talking with those closest to her, Thevenin decided to stay. She credits her parents with not imposing their decision and allowing her to figure things out for herself. She competed her sophomore year and won a few meets early on in the season.But she still doubted herself. She had visualized in rehab the process of running. She sometimes overthought the situation and anxiety prevented her from running naturally. Her real breakthrough came over the summer, at Olympic trials.“I remember we were on the warm up track, my coach and I, and I was doing hurdle starts and I just felt good,” Thevenin said, emphasizing the last word. “Then I said, ‘After this race is over and done with … I’m going to work this summer to make sure that I always feel like I’m ready to go.’”Thevenin finished 12th. She felt upset and wanted to do better, but remained hopeful because all the runners who finished ahead of her had more experience than she did.Now her short-term goal is to win the NCAA championships, though she keeps the 2020 Olympics in the back of her mind. The goals are so affixed in her head that she’s sometimes forgotten to celebrate her accomplishments along the way. While everyone, including Woodley and Tearney, congratulated Thevenin after breaking the school record, she was unsatisfied and annoyed she hadn’t run at a national standard.When Thevenin ran in her freshman year of high school, she needed to believe in the path she was on, even though she had no idea why coaches picked hurdling. Four years later, Thevenin drew again on her ability to keep the faith.“In my whole being I thought, ‘No, I can’t do this. I can’t come back.’ And …” Thevenin said, her voice trailing off and a smile creeping across her face. “I did.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more