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Backstage on Broadway Exclusive: Chicago’s Sharon Moore is bold, beautiful and blind

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Sex, murder, greed and corruption: it's a just another day on the job for the cast of Chicago.

For 12 years, Sharon Moore has done it all, covering six characters as what's called "the swing." Six different roles of a lifetime that were years in the making.

“When I was 3 my mom and dad, Barbara and Frank Moore, put me in dance class," Sharon said.

Sharon grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York and trained at the Estelle and Alfonso dance studio.

RELATED: Chicago's Sharon Moore Teaches Dance Moves

"I came into Manhattan in the early 80s," Sharon said. "My first audition was at Radio City, Disney Summer Magic

She got the job, but feared it could be her last.

“I was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration when I was like 24," Sharon explained. "I thought it was devastating at first, I thought I was going to lose my sight completely.”

Sharon is legally blind.

“I’m sitting here with you right now but I don’t see your face.”

“I’m sitting here with you right now but I don’t see your face.”

"[My castmates] know that if I’m not looking at them that I am looking at them, because I have to use my peripheral vision to see," Sharon said.

Being legally blind had never stopped Sharon. She has had roles in several on and off-Broadway shows like "Hello, Dolly" "Oh, Kay" and "Fosse."

Then she landed her spot in Chicago. First in 1997 on the show's National Tour then in 2002 she nabbed her role on the Broadway stage.

RELATED: Sharon Moore Explains Why Chicago Is So Special

“Walking through that door and you see Chicago, it’s a dream come true for me" Sharon said. "There’s nothing like it.”

A dream she gets to share with some amazing friends.

“All of a sudden I heard coming around the corner, that’s her announcement of if I bump into you it ain’t [sic] my fault," Melissa Rae Mahon, a Chicago performer, said. "So I heard that and I was like why does she always announce herself, then someone else told me, well she’s legally blind, she actually can’t see you and I was like what? I could not believe it.”

“Even with this limitation, she is doing everything full out and dancing her face off," Tonya Wathen, Chicago's dance captain, said. "She doesn’t hold back.”

RELATED: Chicago's "Mama" Describes Sharon Moore

“She makes fun of it, We joke about it, she jokes about it," Carol Woods, plays Matron "Mama" Morton, said. "I told her I was going to teach her how to drive, she said okay mama."

“You give them your all, from the time you run out, take your bow, lift those hands up together," Sharon said. "Be proud of that, because there’s so many people who aren’t able to do this anymore.”

"Go for your dream, whatever it is you want to do, you can do it. It can be done, I'm proof of that and I’m proud of it."

"Go for your dream, whatever it is you want to do, you can do it. It can be done, I'm proof of that and I’m proud of it."

And when I asked what she would say to someone trying to overcome his or her struggles, she had one simple message.

“Have no fear, everything is possible," Sharon said. "Go for your dream, whatever it is you want to do, you can do it. It can be done and I’m proof of that and I’m proud of it.

 

PRODUCED BY: KIM PESTALOZZI

1 Comment

  • John Doe

    Sharon Moore is a great inspiration. Someone in my life has this condition. I always admire people who do great things in spite of their life setbacks. I hate goes off to Sharon More.

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