My Broadway Dream: an interview with my nephew Austin

This post was sponsored by Invisalign®. My nephew and mom are receiving complimentary Invisalign treatment as they share their Invisalign journey.

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As I mentioned last week, I got the chance to visit my nephew Austin in his first play at NYU, and I also got to catch up with him about his Invisalign process, since he'd had his first appointment:

"My first appointment was actually way cooler than I expected. Dr. Salzer mapped the inside of my mouth for my first sets of Invisalign aligners. The technology is called iTero. All I had to do was open my mouth and watch television for 15 minutes and this machine took digital images of my mouth and then it added them all together. In the end, there was a 3D image of the inside of my mouth.

The doctor noticed the overcrowding in my teeth right away, but she feels confident that Invisalign can help. My bottom teeth are so crowded that two teeth are behind the others, but this process will get everything aligned."

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As you can see, Austin has some significant correction needed. Invisalign is just as effective in treating complex teeth issues as it is with minor, more cosmetic problems -- no wires and brackets needed . . . which is perfect since he is a musical theater major and needs to be free from anything that would alter his chances at landing parts. Advancements to Invisalign's technology continue to increase the complexity of issues that can be treated, including bite issues and overcrowding like Austin has. I asked him how Invisalign fits in with his theater aspirations.

"I think Invisalign will definitely affect my chances of being cast in theater productions. Part of the package of being a performer is having the "Broadway Body." It is something that all aspiring actors work toward. Having a great smile with straight teeth is just something that might put me into a casting pool above someone else competing for the same role. Metal braces would actually be any adult actors nightmare, since roles do not include braces. Having metal braces would inhibit my ability to get cast in most, if not all, roles. With Invisalign aligners being nearly invisible and removable, it is my only choice to straighten my teeth without a negative impact on my career goals.”

I asked Austin to share about how he got bit by the theater bug in the first place, and wasn't totally surprised by his answer because it's such a clear memory for me, too:

"My interests in musical theater started when my Aunt Kristen gave me the soundtrack to "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" when I was in elementary school. From then on I always enjoyed being in and watching musical theater. The first show I ever saw was Lion King in the sixth grade. That was another boost in my interest. Adult Simba became my  very first dream role and it remains one of my dream roles now. Once I started High School, my freshman year they did "Little Shop of Horrors" and I got the lead role of Seymour. That really solidified my choice to pursue theater. My interest had come full circle, the first show I ever heard the soundtrack to became the first show that I had a lead role in…I like to think that was not a coincidence. After that year, I had a lead role in the musical and play every year until I graduated."

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I think Austin was around the same age my kids are now when we listened to the Little Shop soundtrack in its entirety in my car, with me stopping the tape between each song to explain the plot. Makes me wanna listen to it with my own kids!

It was so much fun getting to see Austin do his thing, and getting to meet his friends and classmates. Austin shared a bit about his first experience in an NYU show:

"My experience of being in my first musical at NYU was amazing! I learned so much about what it is like to be in a professional rehearsal setting. I was really able to feel what it's like to build an ensemble with the cast. Knowing that I had a whole cast of 35 people who were just as dedicated and passionate about the arts as me really made this experience something different than any other show I have done. I am so proud of the work our cast has done and I cannot wait to do more shows at NYU in the next two years."

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Austin's next step will be to get his aligners put on! I will be keeping you updated on the process, along with some before-and-after photos. And his next step in theater…well, we'll just have to wait and see!  You can follow Austin on twitter as @mybroadwaydream.


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