Ching had just graduated from Juilliard in 2016 with a fine arts bachelor's degree in dance...
Posted on February 14, 2017 by Julie Funasaki Yuen
Daniel Ching '10 is not afraid of hard work. The Mid-Pacific School of the Arts graduate landed a role as an ensemble cast member in the touring production of the smash-hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" after enduring a four-month audition process following an open call for cast members. Ching had just graduated from Juilliard in 2016 with a fine arts bachelor's degree in dance, and was freelancing as a dancer and choreographer when he heard about the "Hamilton" touring production audition. He recently spoke with Hawaii Public Radio's Chris Vandercook and discussed his busy practice schedule as the cast prepares for the opening date of the touring production that begins in San Francisco on March 10.
"It's pretty hectic, I would say, in a really good way," said Ching. "We're in our second week of rehearsals here in New York so yeah, I rehearse 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, six days a week, Monday through Saturday." He continued on to speak about his role in the ensemble.
"I'm Charles Lee so I sort of have this one song where I'm rapping and singing and I have a battle with Hamilton for a split second in the first act."
In addition to the exciting dance sequences, the ensemble sings and raps in characteristic "Hamilton" fashion. When asked about how he prepared for singing in the production by KSSK's Julia Norton Dennis, Ching replied, "I basically just tried to get as many singing lessons, you know, as I possibly could. At least with 'Hamilton,' I mean, the entire ensemble is singing a lot. It's actually mostly singing. Obviously, still a lot of dancing but it's probably one of the most singing-heavy shows for an ensemble," said Ching.
Ching is no stranger to a demanding rehearsal schedule and the busy life of a performer. While at The Juilliard School, he danced professionally with the Brian Brooks Moving Company and was awarded the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography. He has taught contemporary, hip hop and improvisational dance across Canada, the U.S. mainland and home in Hawaii.
Ching went on to talk about how his training in the Mid-Pacific School of the Arts helped him grow and develop as a performer.
"(Mid-Pacific) was definitely such a phenomenal place to just sort of provide a foundation for a passion in the arts, you know, and know that you can survive, and not just survive actually, but really thrive," he said.
Mid-Pacific Head Dance Teacher Paul Maley remembers Ching as one of the school's shining stars.
"Daniel was a very dynamic and versatile performer at the Mid-Pacific School of the Arts (MPSA)," said Maley. "In particular I recall a very memorable performance when the dance program traveled to the National High School Dance Festival at the New World School of the Arts in Miami Florida. Beyond his natural affinities for dance, Daniel was very conscious to use his intellect to propel him forward in his dance experience. The dance faculty was thrilled when Daniel shared his 'Hamilton' casting news with us."
The touring company of "Hamilton" travels to Los Angeles after a five-month run in San Francisco, followed by stops in San Diego and Arizona.