Many people dream of performing on Broadway, but few actually get a chance. Of those few is El Dorado’s Daxton Bloomquist.
“I am very blessed to have booked a Broadway show early in my career, but it was my time and I definitely was in the right place at the right time,” Bloomquist said.
Bloomquist, 26, attended El Dorado High School and graduated in 2006. After high school he attended Wichita State and earned his BFA in theater in 2010.
He had success performing with the Music Theatre of Wichita and Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, but soon after, Bloomquist took a big leap and moved to New York City.
Bloomquist’s first year in New York was spent auditioning, but he couldn’t get any work as an actor.
“My first year was tough,” he recalled. “I look back and realize now how much I have grown as a person and how great that year actually was for me. I learned a lot about myself.”
Bloomquist is a believer in enjoying what you do for a living, and in his first year in New York he went through several jobs.
“I started at Starbucks, did temp work, catered … and finally landed a caregiver job for a family with a 6-year-old son,” he said. “While I was this child’s caregiver I was finally content. I am still very close with the family.”
Still, Bloomquist never gave up on his dream. After a year of auditioning, Bloomquist finally got an offer with Disney Cruise Line. He was cast as Hercules in the Disney Fantasy Show. While working on the cruise, Bloomquist said he would work as many as 70 hours a week.
After returning to New York in September 2011, Bloomquist got another offer. He was cast in the ensemble of “Hello Dolly” at the Ford Theatre by one of the choreographers that he met during the Disney cruise.
In 2012 he was cast in his biggest role yet as a swing in the Tony Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon.” As a swing, his job is to cover for other members of the ensemble if someone can’t perform.
Bloomquist said he was elated when he found out he’d be on Broadway.
“It was pretty surreal, and it’s difficult to describe, but I was and still am very happy. I still can’t believe that I’m a part of this amazing show,” he said.
“The Book of Mormon” is a religious satire musical by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It is one of the most successful shows on Broadway in recent memory. The show has made up to $1.5 million in one week, according to the New York Times. The musical features crude humor and a great message.
“As offensive as the show can come off, and all jokes aside, the show has a wonderful message,” he said. “I think that’s one of the many reasons why it’s so successful.”
Even with all of his early success, Bloomquist still has doubts.
“It’s a tough business, there are highs and lows and realizing that’s okay is the best thing I can do,” he said. “The doubts help me re-evaluate what I am doing and why I am doing it.”
Throughout his journey, Bloomquist’s family has been supportive of his dream.
“Neither of my parents knew much about Broadway or the musical theater business, but they let me try everything,” Bloomquist said. “My dad is a basketball coach, so I was very involved in sports growing up, probably more so than musical theater, but they knew I was going to do what I loved, and they never judged me for it. They just smiled and told me to have fun, be nice, work hard and that they loved me.”
Bloomquist also has advice for kids in Wichita who have dreams of being on Broadway: “First and foremost, you have to love the profession. That is the most important.”
“In a career field where your image matters it can be frustrating,” Bloomquist said, “but not giving up on yourself, working hard, and being genuinely nice is very important. I think those are three components that really make a person stand out, especially in a very competitive business.
“I also think being well-rounded really helps. It makes the business side of theater much easier. So having different hobbies, playing sport and getting yourself out there can only help you succeed. Don’t give up, work hard and be nice.”
Bloomquist is on break in El Dorado visiting his family. He will return to Broadway in February.