Alumna Caroline Eiseman Shines as Lead Role in National Tour of ‘Hairspray’

Caroline on stage as Tracy Turnblad
College of Music & Performing Arts

Alumna Caroline Eiseman Shines as Lead Role in National Tour of ‘Hairspray’

July 1, 2024 | by Haley Charlton

Musical theatre graduatecan’t stop the beat!”

Caroline wearing hat that says TracyA 2022 graduate of Belmont's musical theatre program, Caroline Eiseman recently wrapped up her role as Tracy Turnblad in the national tour of "Hairspray." Eiseman credits her Belmont education for preparing her not just as a performer, but as a well-rounded professional ready for the demands of a touring production.  

"More so than anything, what Belmont gave me that sets it apart from some other schools are the tools to be a human," Eiseman reflected. "We are telling human stories on stage about real-life humans, and Belmont creates good humans that are easy to work with, fun to work with and smart in the room." 

Eiseman's journey to the national tour began shortly after graduation. While working summer stock theater in Colorado, she made a commitment to do one thing every day to improve as a performer. She submitted an audition for "Hairspray," securing a callback in New York City. With support from her family and sheer determination, Eiseman navigated a whirlwind 24 hours - performing a show in Colorado, flying to New York, auditioning and returning for rehearsal the next morning.  

Caroline getting ready to play Tracy

Her efforts paid off, landing her a position as Tracy's standby for the tour's second year. When the opportunity arose to take on the lead role full-time, Eiseman proactively expressed her interest and was offered the starring role for the tour's third year. 

The emphasis on storytelling at Belmont directly influenced Eiseman's approach to playing Tracy. "I honestly have to tap back into the fact that she's human," she explained. "Remembering that she is a human... makes her not only relatable but also makes it a lot more fun for me to play her every night." 

Life on tour was both challenging and rewarding for Eiseman. Performing seven shows a week while traveling the country required careful management of her health, voice and energy. However, the experience allowed her to reconnect with family and friends across the nation, sharing her talent and the show with loved ones in various cities. 

For current and prospective Belmont students, Eiseman offered this advice: "Trust your gut. Don't take no for an answer. You are uniquely you, and nobody else can be you. When you bring your best version of yourself to a room, you will give your best product." 

As she looks to the future, Eiseman plans to move to New York City to pursue new opportunities, carrying with her the lessons and experiences gained from Belmont and the “Hairspray” tour.  

 A Soft Place to Land

Caroline at BelmontReferencing a song from the musical “Waitress,” Eiseman describes Belmont as “A Soft Place to Land.”   

"I really do think that's what Belmont, and specifically my musical theatre program, gave me - a place where I could learn the hard way and then fall back on people who loved me and said, 'Alright, it's time to get back up and try again,'" Eiseman elaborated.

"That's what a lot of this industry and being a working actor is - trying, failing and doing it again. I really needed that from a school, and Belmont gave me that."