Five Question Friday

 

Hey everyone! Today we’re doing a #flashbackfriday in honor of this lady! You can see Kaitlyn NOW in Cinderella at the Fox though Dec 31st! The victim is…

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Five Question Friday (featuring popcorn…)

The other half of a very familiar theatre couple…Welcome, Gerry Love!

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Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
A: In first grade I played a tin soldier complete with a hat made out of a Quaker Oats box. It was part of a Christmas program and was a hit with all the parents and grandparents attending. I was scared to death.

 
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?

A:  No matter the endeavor, you can achieve more as part of a team with a singular goal than as an individual.

Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.

A: I performed as a butler in a production of the melodrama, The Streets of New York while working at a small theater in Dallas. Part of my duties included a crowd warm-up where I led the audience in singing songs of the era. Then I introduced the characters of the show and their musical themes, and the audience was encouraged to participate by cheering the hero, booing the villain and flinging popcorn at the scoundrel. Then, when it was time for the show, the lights were dimmed, the villain took his place onstage. Then the lights came up and his musical theme was played. To my amazement, the crowd sat mute. No boos. No popcorn. I had the first line of the show, so nothing was going to happen before I started. I decided to stop the show and repeated my instructions on the proper greeting for the villain. To emphasize the point, I went to a table in the first row and demonstrated the proper technique for launching popcorn. (I threw a handful directly in the face of the seated villain.) Then I instructed the technical director to reset and restart the show. This time when the lights came up, an enthusiastic audience launched an extended barrage of popcorn at the poor villain who sat balefully in place. I applauded the diligence of my students/audience upon my entrance. It became the best audience that I have performed for in my entire career. Clearly it was an example of making a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Q: What is your dream role/show?
A; I have always been a fan of Howard Keel, so Fred in Kiss Me Kate or the Poet in Kismet will always be at the top of my list. Alas, my chance for both have probably passed me by.

Q: What is your current guilty TV pleasure?

G- Game of Thrones.

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Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator currently directing Little Shop of Horrors at East Central College.

See her work at gracemaustin.com

Five Question Friday (wait till you hear her dream show!)

This amazing lady worked with me on Variety’s Wizard of OZ this year- let’s hear from wig and makeup artist Krystal!

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Q: What was your first experience in theatre?

I was in middle school and was told by the drama director to “read this, but with emotion.” Next thing I know I was cast as Emma in Over the River and Through the Woods. I was a very convincing grandma as a 7th grader. But my first experience in the theatrical side of theatre wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school. My directors told me about a Theatrical Design competition and had me do the hair and makeup category, the rest is history.

Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?

It is never too early or late to seize opportunities.

Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.

I ran Hairspray at a local high school as the wig technician and we had to be behind a rolling set piece for Welcome to the 60’s, wig changes on top of costume changes, during the first dress I remember one of the wardrobe kids froze and Tracy didn’t have her dress fully zipped up in the back but her presence made up for it!

Q: What is your dream role/show?

Cats: The Musical… I LOVE IT. That is my one and only dream show to run as a Wig Technician.

Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?

Keeping Up with the Kardashians!

Thank you Krystal- I will admit to a secret love of Cats myself!!

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Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator.

See her work at gracemaustin.com

Five Question Friday

This amazing woman has been one of my dream interviews for a while…and here she is!!

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Kay has performed in well over 100 shows, including several seasons at The Muny.  She sang with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus for 15 years and sings with The Jeweltones and Caroling St. Louis.  Upcoming performances include “A Song For Christmas” Dec 1-3 with Family Musical Theatre, and “A Cowboy Christmas” Dec 16 with the Hawthorne Players.

 

Q: What was your first experience in theatre?

K – The first one I recall was in 7th grade – I was the understudy to Peppermint Patty in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”.  The 8th graders did the actual show, and the 7th graders were the understudies and did the show at the elementary schools in our district.  My mom says I narrated a play in Kindergarten, but I don’t remember that.  😊

 

Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?

K – Try not to compare yourself to others.  It’s difficult, but each person has a unique set of talents and skills and there is a place for everyone who wants to be involved.

 

Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.

K – I’ve had several wardrobe malfunctions but one I can laugh about now is from a production of “The Scarlet Pimpernel”.  My dress was too long, so it was hemmed with tape.  The fabric was heavy and the hem rolled down.  The tape stuck to the backs of my shoes and I couldn’t walk.  So I shuffled my feet for an entire song (and minuet dance) until I could get offstage.  There have been many others, including a wig that came off and a dress getting stuck on a nail which I tried to get unstuck while singing Sondheim….

 

Q: What is your dream role/show?

K – I’ve been so lucky to play so many wonderful roles.  I’d love to play Donna in “Mamma Mia”, and Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard”, among others.

 

Q: What is your current guilty TV pleasure?

K – I still follow The Young and the Restless.  When I was a kid, our babysitter watched all of the CBS soaps – you couldn’t bother her during her stories – so I’ve watched Y&R since the beginning.

Thank you so much Kay- you’re the best!!

 

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Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator currently directing Little Shop of Horrors and I Love New York at East Central College.

See her work at gracemaustin.com

Five Question Friday

Today’s interview is currently traveling around the US…on the national tour of The King and I! You’ve seen him in quite a lot in STL- let’s say hi to Spencer!

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Spencer Jones is making his national tour debut in The King and I. Regional: The Little Mermaid (Flounder), Beauty and The Beast (Chip), Tarzan (Young Tarzan) at the MUNY; South Pacific (Jerome) at the MUNY and St. Louis Stage; A Christmas Carol (Quartet, Matches Boy). Film: The Lipinski (Chang Lee), The Goddaughter (Bradley).

 

Q: What was your first theatre experience?

A: My first theatre experience was in 2012 when I was in the Youth Ensemble at The Muny.  The show was The King and I, starring Laura Michelle Kelly, so it’s awesome I have been cast in the same show again 5 years later with the same Anna!

Q: What is the best advice anyone has given you?

A: A few weeks ago we closed South Pacific at Stages, and after doing the show for a month I was sad to see it end.  During the closing party one of my cast mates told me, “There are no goodbyes in theatre!”  I know that’s really not advice, but it made me realize that I will always have these friends and we might work together again sometime.

Q: Tell us about a backstage mishap you lived through!

A: When I was doing a show a few years ago, a scene got really messed up because one of the actors accidentally recited lines from the wrong scene.   I didn’t break character or laugh because I’m super awesome hehe, and we were able to wing it and bring the scene back without really messing it up.  The next day an actor completely missed a cue and wasn’t on stage at all for a scene—I really learned how to ad lib that day!  I still laugh about how crazy that show was!

Q: What is your dream role/show?

A: I want to be in Matilda someday because it’s one of my favorite musicals that features kids with challenging choreography and dialogue.  Also, I want to be in Dear Evan Hansen, because who doesn’t want to be in Dear Evan Hansen?!

Q: What is your current TV guilty pleasure?

A: I’m not guilty at all about watching this show over and over and over again, but Stranger Things is my favorite show.  Oh yeah, I wanna be in that, too.

Thank you, Spencer- we can’t wait to see you when the tour comes to The Fox!

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Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator.

See her work at gracemaustin.com

 

Five (but actually Four) Question Friday

Today we’re talking to Taylor Louderman,  St Louis area native, current Mean Girl and Broadway star!!

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TAYLOR LOUDERMAN just finished starring as Lauren opposite Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie in Kinky Boots on Broadway and joins Mean Girls The Musical this year with a book by Tina Fey. She was also seen on Broadway starring in Bring It On: The Musical, for which she received a Fred Astaire Award Nomination. Taylor starred opposite Allison Williams as Wendy in NBC’s Peter Pan Live, and is a series regular on Nick Jr.’s upcoming “Sunny Day.” She has also appeared on HBO’s “High Maintenance” and Pop TV’s “Nighcap.” Taylor has also starred in roles off-Broadway, at The MUNY and Paper Mill Playhouse. @taylizlou

 

Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. We have to work hard so when the right opportunity presents itself we are ready! The trick is figuring out how to enjoy the work.

Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.

Oh, I have had plenty of mishaps by my own doing. I have anxiety which manifests itself in stage fright sometimes so I’ll go up on lyrics every once in a while. But the day of the Lincoln Center Archive taping for Bring It On (the only time you’re allowed to tape a Bway Show) I fell flat on my face out of a cheerleading stunt for the button of Act I, which is when my character is supposed to be feeling empowered to catapult us into act II. Oops.

Q: What is your dream role/show?

My dream role is to create a role; one that doesn’t already exist. It is most fun, I think, to create from scratch. When you play a role on Broadway that has already been done, you usually have to follow a lot of what the original cast set.

Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?

Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise! 😛

Thank you Taylor- can’t wait to see your Regina George!

 

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Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator…who forgot to send the first question to Taylor. Whoops. Sorry everybody!

See her work at gracemaustin.com

Five Question Friday

Steve Isom and family are a force to be reckoned with around STL- and he’s here to share some wisdom with us today!

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Steve has been a St. Louis based equity actor for a couple dozen years. He’s performed at most of the theatres in town, but is most known for his work at Stages St. Louis where he has done 52 shows. His lovely wife Ellen and daughter Abigail are also in the biz. He once started a little thing called The Kevin Kline Awards, but we can talk about that later.

Q: What was your first experience in theatre?

I liked puppets. Age nine, I was bored one summer and mom sees an audition to work puppets at this little church theatre. We went. The puppets were life-sized marionettes. I was too small to run them, but they needed voices for the puppets. It was a musical version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I was the voice of Jack. I can still sing you the Cow song. That little church theatre became the largest children’s theatre in the country, San Jose Children’s Musical Theatre. It was my home away from home.

Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?

I’ll give you the worst instead: “If you can do anything else … for god’s sake DO IT.” That’s a load of crap. People who do theatre are smart, energetic people. Of course we can do other things! Follow your passion. Do what you love. Life is short.

Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.

During 9 to 5 at Stages this year we had a power outage in the middle of Act 1. A generator blew up somewhere. We were told it was going to be a while before, so some of us went onstage with a guitar and started singing to the crowd. We, and the audience, used phones to provide some stage light. It was fun and rowdy. At one point during a song I yelled out at the crowd – “If we all just believe hard enough I’m sure we can get these lights back on!” – and boop! They instantly came on. It was so weird people thought it was some trick, but just a crazy coincidence.

Q: What is your dream role/show?

Sweeney Todd. I always wanted to play Sweeney. I may be getting too old. I’ll do anything in it though. Am I in my Judge Turpin years yet?

Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?

Im watching TURN right now. So good. I just watched a bunch of 30 Rock because it’s leaving Netflix. I relate to Jack Donaghy. Where’s my scotch?

Thank you Steve!!!

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Grace Austin is an STL based director and educator. Her picture was taken by Ann Aurbach of COCA while she was living out her dreams of being in Frozen.

See her work at gracemaustin.com