• Broadway Beat

Check Out This Stunning Quick Change! Struggling Actor Becomes Starbucks Barista Just Like That

by Brendan Leonard. @brennylen.

NEW YORK, NY - The most impressive quick change on Broadway isn’t happening in a theater, but rather at the Starbucks on 43rd Street and Broadway.


On a daily basis, the staff of the popular coffee chain transform struggling actors into full-time baristas in the blink of an eye - can you say “theatre magic”?!?


“I had just taken class at Broadway Dance Center, so I was wearing sweats and my jazz boots. I only took a few steps in, and almost immediately started swapping my clothes for a black polo and a green apron,” said Allistair McSweeney, a recent graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University. “Before I knew it, I was writing names on cups, warming sad sandwiches, and putting on a hazmat suit to clean the bathroom. It’s really amazing what costume designers are able to pull off these days.”


The staff at the 43rd & Broadway Starbucks has the quick change choreography down to a science. It helps that everyone working there has a degree in musical theater.


“We can transform someone from audition-chic to shift-ready in eight seconds flat,” said Meredith Kilke, the manager and an actress herself. “Employees walk in all the time looking sad and without a callback, so we add a little of our own theatre magic and get em’ in that green hat and apron without skipping a beat. And also before they clock in - that’s just company policy.”


Most employees are able to handle the quick change entirely on their own, but often times they require a handler on site to convince the actor that getting dental insurance sure beats going to EPAs over and over again. There are rumors Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering publicly funding Starbucks to introduce this practice to more locations, in order to (quickly) change the lives of actors with day jobs.


“I didn’t realize how quickly I’d become a barista after graduating,” said Lizzie Bell, a recent alumni of Pace University. “I mean, it literally took seconds! They even changed my underwear to ones with Howard Schultz’s face on them!”


At press time, reports are circulating that the quick change at the Broadway & 43rd Starbucks will be running daily until Dunkin’ rebrands a few more times and becomes more the vibe.