Next to Normal: How to Make a Henry

How To Make A Henry – An Instagram Photo Blog by Mo Brady

About an hour before each performance, I wash and blow-dry my hair. Henry’s hairstyle is remarkably architectural, so using the hairdryer makes it easier to coax the hair into place once I get to the theater. As you can see, there are three distinct parts to this look: the front swoop, the middle faux-hawk, and the back spikes.

This is everything I use to get ready for the show:


Each actor wears two microphones, just in case there are problems with one of them during a performance. I also have laid out all of my jewelry, some makeup (lovingly liberated from the hair department of Addams Family Broadway) and my favorite: Old Spice Showtime deodorant. I like to think that its specific formula is made for the unique needs of musical theater actors like myself.


Once I clip and tape my microphone cables into place, I go about styling my hair. I use two products: pomade and hairspray. The pomade keeps the swoops swooping and the spikes spiking, and the hairspray makes sure that none of the structure deflates as I take my hats on and off. You can also see the guyliner I wear in this photo (as well as a little eye concealer (everyone on my Mom’s side of the family has naturally dark under eye circles, myself included).


Next, I put on all of my jewelry for the show. As you can see, Henry wears two necklaces and two bracelets for the entire show. Full disclosure: the bottom bracelet is actually my real life engagement bracelet! It has a leather strap and a silver bead that has “LOVE” in Sanskrit. My fiancé wears a matching one (although not onstage, of course).


Here is how Henry looks as he leaves the dressing room. The hair is in place and the jewelry is on. I’m wearing my Doors shirt (which I wear for most of Act I) and one of my favorite parts of Henry’s costume: the acid-washed jeans. The first time I tried on these jeans, I told  Shelly Hall (Rep costume designer) that I HAD to have them after the show closes. We’re negotiating a deal as we speak…



Once I’m dressed, I head up to the stage to check my props and costumes. From then until curtain, I usually sit in the stairwell and  read a book. As you can see, I’m currently in the middle of ABRAHAM  LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER. I can’t wait for the movie to come out next month! In this photo, please notice my Old Broadway actor trick of looping my shoelaces through themselves. This way, I can’t accidentally untie my shoes by stepping on the laces (which I have done many times in my career). It’s also a great trick for the gym!

Once “Places” is called, it’s out of the stairwell and onto the stage!

Mo Brady is originally from Seattle and made his Broadway debut in The Addams Family. He performed in the world premiere of Catch Me If You Can at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, as well as in six additional original productions at the theater. His performances inSeven Brides For Seven Brothers and Hello, Dolly! there won him a “Best of Seattle” Award from Seattle Weekly magazine. He has worked on many developmental productions and world premieres, including Villains Tonight! with Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen for Walt Disney Entertainment, Robin Hood with Martin Charnin and Snapshots with Stephen Schwartz, both at Village Theatre in Seattle. This fall, Mo performed in workshops of two Broadway-bound musicals: The Rhythm Club, directed by Casey Nicolaw, and The Honeymooners, directed by Jerry Mitchell. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Whitman College. Read more at Follow @mo_brady on Twitter.

One thought on “Next to Normal: How to Make a Henry

  1. Don’t know how you find the time to perform and rehearse and plan a wedding and blog and who knows what else!!
    Love this entry and this version of “Henry.” He looks more obviously outsider/counter-culture than others I’ve seen. I’ll be interested to see how you play him! Won’t be long!
    Thrilling days ahead for you…..sending all my good wishes!

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