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Richmond-based actor takes on female role in musical about pageants

Male-identifying actors out-poise each other for the title of Miss Glamouresse

Portraying a character that is far removed from yourself is the challenge performing artists frequently face.

But a Richmond-based actor is taking it to another level with a role that is completely “the opposite” of who he is.

Nick Rose, 29, is performing as the character of “Miss Deep South,” one of six pageant contestants in the musical comedy Pageant: A Musical Comedy Beauty Contest.

The musical’s “female contestants” are all played by male-identifying actors and are trying to out-poise each other for the tiara and title of Miss Glamouresse in the show.

However, Rose believes even the most ridiculous characters are still human.

He describes his character as a woman with “boisterous confidence”, something that is the opposite of who he is in real life.

 “I thought, ‘well, (the character is) a handful, isn’t she?’” said Rose.

“She’s an amalgamation of myself, people I’ve known and people I thought I wanted to know.”

As different as his role is in this musical compared to his other performances, Rose told the Richmond News that his curiosity in exploring humanity is what makes him return to his job as an actor.

“What makes this character real? At the root of it all (the character is) doing what I think we are all doing: trying our best.”

Rose was inspired to become an actor after seeing the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats with his mom and from then he knew he wanted to pursue theatre.

“I hope (this musical) shows viewers that amidst moments of hardship and defeat, like competing in a beauty pageant, we can find moments of joy, light-heartedness and a sense of rooting for one another,” he says.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about winning, it’s about enjoying the process. And I have thoroughly enjoyed the pageant process.”

The musical can be streamed online on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. at

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