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Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Yes. It varies a little show by show, but music is very important for me to find focus. I arrive early at the theatre to get comfortable and calm in the space, and I either run or dance for an hour before a show, using my iPod and selected playlists to get my mind listening, engaged in the present and moving. Having a warm body and mind is especially important in a show like The Servant of Two Masters because my costars will often take opportunities for improv or something will change due to audience response, and lightning fast, just like that, the play shifts and you go right along with it! It’s an incredible challenge that has such pleasurable results. After the physical work, I take a hot shower and dry and prep my hair for wigs at the theater while going through my vocal work. Still, very often, to music. It’s all about the listening. Also, I usually start the day with a Starbucks Iced Green Tea.
What are you most excited about with The Servant of Two Masters?
The audience members will be really exciting to experience night to night. I’m looking forward to their interaction and attention, what they respond to, how they respond. I’m really hoping people will come ready to let their raucous side come out and play. I know we’re looking forward to it and will be ready to play right back! In true commedia form, the piece is a constant paradox of scripted and improv, tradition and topical, comfort and controversy, and – as with most things human – a whole lot of brave, messy love. I’m looking forward to how each hilarious moment changes night to night depending on the audience’s response! I’ve learned so much working with Chris Bayes as a director because training with him in school only scratched the surface for me of the incredibly mad, beautiful, tender and tumultuous world of commedia and its characters. Chris has a real understanding of the rhythm and spirit of the piece and has created with Steve [Epp, who plays Truffaldino] a world where severe precision and reckless abandon go hand in hand, and it feels like flying! You’ll see what I mean when you see it. I’m most excited to share it with everyone. It’s a wild ride with a lot of heart, music and story. What more could you ask for?