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Multi-talented performer Haley Ostir does it all
In just a few short years, performer Haley Ostir's action packed career has established her as one of the most reliable, versatile forces in the New York theater world.

A true triple-threat artist, the Canadian-born Ostir is unsurpassed as a singer, actor and dancer, a fact underscored by her current project?working as rehearsal swing covering all three female roles in the ongoing 'Jersey Boys' Tour company. 

Rehearsal swing is a particularly demanding position?essentially as a pre-production understudy in overdrive?as Ostir explained:

"A swing learns multiple roles and tracks, so when someone can't perform, for whatever reason, the swing goes in," she said. "So, instead of learning one part, I am currently learning the 3 female tracks, Lorraine, Mary and Francine. This means my work doesn't finish in rehearsal, it continues throughout my  night, and we rehearse 6 days a week for eight or nine hours. It's a lot of drilling [with] the different harmonies, dance moves and blocking."

This is no mere repertory regurgitation?it's helmed by the original creative team who made the original show a smash hit, and Ostir's audition tapes had to be personally approved by Frankie Valli and the surviving Four Seasons members.

The award winning jukebox musical, based on the dynamic life and career of Valli and the Four Seasons, has taken on a life of its own and while Ostir isn't going out with the current Norwegian Cruise Lines production, her invaluable behind the scenes contributions guarantee a perfected final product.

While most performers find contending with a single role a full time job, the high-energy Ostir didn't hesitate to take on this daunting theatrical trifecta.

"Essentially, I need to be prepared with all roles perfected ASAP," Ostir said. "On the second day of rehearsal, I actually was asked to 'swing on'?they needed me to jump in for one of the parts. That usually doesn't happen right away, but it set the standard that I had to really know my stuff?and fast."

The path which led Ostir to such a challenging assignment reads like a classic tale from old school theater lore. As a child in her native Winnipeg, Ostir always aspired to a performers' life (she began training in drama and dance at the flabbergastingly early age of 5) and her parents were unstintingly supportive. 

Barely out of her teens, Ostir did a year long stint at Maine State Music Theatre, playing alongside acclaimed Broadways stars and working with top directors and performing five shows ('Grand Night for Singing,' 'Evita,' 'Mamma Mia,' 'Aladdin,' and 'Fiddler On The Roof') to capacity  crowds nightly.

Along the way, Ostir earned numerous awards and recognitions (the Ken Peters Memorial Trophy for Most Memorable Performance, the 'Be Discovered $1,000 Scholarship Award Broadway Bound New York City Intensive,' multiple first place trophies at the annual Canadian National Dance Championship competitions and numerous other competitive juried scholarships).

Enrolled in the prestigious Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, she began aggressively perfecting her craft, graduating with a BFA in Musical Theater and almost immediately found herself working full time on New York's stages.

 

Ostir's characteristic, hard-charging style is a 24/7 phenomenon.

 

"Even outside of rehearsal I practice any chance I have," she said. "So, whether that be going for a walk and singing my harmonies quietly outside, practicing while I'm putting my makeup on in the morning or just finding some moments throughout the day to fit some extra time in, I take advantage of every opportuntiy that presents itself." 

 

Her organizational skills and comprehensive grasp of three very different characters epitomize the ambitious performer's winning professional style.

 

"I had to learn all the female sides," she said. "This was fun and unique because each character is so different and outside of my comfort zone. It made me fall in love with acting again."

 

The logistics alone are complex:  "It's a lot of highlighters and sticky notes. I have a different color highlighter for each character. I have a sticky note for on stage blocking, a different color for off stage blocking, as well as additional colors for any questions I have and any notes given by the director."

 

Her spectrum-spanning creative scope and boundless capacity to successfully portray three distinctive characters demonstrates Ostir's impressive skill set, a deep trove of both technical skill and artistic instinct which qualify her as an invaluable asset to any assignment she undertakes.

 

And that's not all?as a skilled choreographer and dance teacher, Ostir also actively seeks to not only give back but enhance the idiom's future through her tireless work as an educator.

 

For now, Ostir really has her hands full.

 

"I am essentially on call for the next 6 months and.on file for their next 'Jersey Boys' cast," she said. "My dream would be to end up on the 'Jersey Boys' Tour. I'm hoping since I've now learned all the female tracks that could potentially become a reality." 

 

"It's like my favorite Walt Disney quote: 'If you can dream it, you can do it.'"

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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