A day in the life of an up and coming Broadway star


NEW YORK –Rosharra Francis is living the dream. As a Broadway cast member in “Beautiful: The Carol King Musical,” she entertains some of the most unsympathetic, demanding yet appreciative audiences eight times a week.

Somehow between those eight shows a week and random early rehearsals that occur, Francis also manages to have some “me time.”

“Right after the show I take the train to come home, unwind, make some tea, watch TV and that’s about it,” said the St. Pete native.

The next day she uses her free time in the morning and early afternoon to take care of “life matters.” If she still has any time left, it goes toward sharpening her artistic abilities for the show.

“Today I have rehearsals at 3:30 p.m.,” said the ingénue.

Francis said the early rehearsal last Saturday was for bringing on board new cast members as well as to tweak certain areas of performance for the show. She constantly works on improving her performance.

“To warm up I do vocal exercises and then stretching.”

According to Francis, the cast arrives 30 minutes before each performance. Within that timeframe, performers put on makeup, wigs and costumes and get ready to start the show.

The constant demands on performers can be taxing emotionally, physically and spiritually.

“It’s hard because you have to learn what works for you to maintain your voice and body.”

Cast members are provided physical therapy that they can sign up for on two show days or sometimes in between two shows. However, Francis feels the most important thing is to know how to take care of yourself.

Her advice to any performer is to monitor their diet, hydrate and drink a lot of water, pace themselves throughout the week and to not stay up too late.

“Although the show is only two-and-a-half to three hours, it’s a demanding schedule.”

And even though Francis is not on the road with the show, the hustle and bustle of New York City and with the transportation situation “it’s still a small feat!”

However, accomplishing one feat after another is what Francis is all about. Last week the young starlet released her first music video to her EP “I’m The Girl” that featured two fellow Gibbs High School Pinellas County Center for the Arts alumni. Miss Shanelle choreographed the dance routines that Laquelle Mills performed with Francis and other dancers.

Francis delivers a classy, smooth and sensuous performance with the New York City skyline as her backdrop.

To reach Allen Buchanan, email abuchanan@theweeklychallenger.com

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