Artist Q&A with Nick Cordileone of The Lion King

ArtistQ&A Broadway
Nick Cordileone will return with the cast of Disney’s The Lion King in the role of Timon. Having been with the company since 2010, and at the Fox Cities P.A.C. during the show’s last visit in 2013, Cordileone took a few minutes to tell us why he is excited to be back in Appleton, why he loves The Lion King and more in this Artist Q&A!
Tell us how you first got involved in The Lion King.
I was actually helping the casting director for LK as a reader. I would read all of the parts opposite folks who were auditioning. Early on, he asked if I would want to be considered. I thought, "of course I do!" but had never imagined it becoming a reality.
How long have you been on tour?
I joined Lion King in the summer of 2010.
How do you keep it fresh for every performance?
I think having a puppet nearly my size that needs to be kept animated demands concentration. And I always try to remember that this is the first time it is happening. Timon and Pumbaa meet Simba for the first time, every night.
We found a few articles where you reference your daughter on tour with you. Does she still tour with you? If so, what’s your favorite part about having her along?
 She does! We actually celebrated her birthday at a Timber Rattlers game the last time we were here. My favorite part is having her experience the country first hand. Her library of adventures is jam packed!
Timon is such a fun character to watch! What do you love most about the character?
 I love how in the moment he is. He has almost no short term memory. Probably helps him stay Matata-free. That, and I love where he and Pumbaa are introduced dramatically. They are right on time for some comedic relief.

What is the most difficult part of portraying him on stage?
It is very physical so creating a performance that is repeatable and safe takes mindfulness. We perform 52 weeks a year, so those of us that carry extra costumes, masks, or puppets have to be extra careful to stay healthy and balanced. But, I love that it is multifaceted. The scene work, the vocal expression and agility required, the ridiculously expressive puppet...all fun challenges.
You were with The Lion King the last time it stopped in Appleton in 2013. Is there anything you are looking forward to doing/eating/seeing again?
I am anxious to see if Woodman’s is a big as I remember it. 
Finish the sentence…
I can’t travel without my…Miniature Schnauzer Guthrie
The first thing I do in a new city is… find a local coffee roaster.
The song stuck in my head after the show is…He Lives in You
If I could switch roles with any cast member it would be…the Rhino...just an absolutely beautiful puppet.
When they told us we were going to Appleton, my first thought was…I wonder if we can curl again.
Here’s your chance to say something to the audience – I would love audiences to know…
What a collaboration Lion King is every night. The cast, orchestra, crew and, most importantly, the audience. We all come together on a unique night and share this story. It is such a special thing to be a part of. I never take it for granted.
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