Q: Tell us a little about your character.
A: I’m playing Edna Turnblad, the mother of the main character. She’s very shy, hasn’t left her house in a very long time, and is similar to her daughter in the way that she is very self-conscious. Eventually she comes out of her shell and is very confident in herself.
Q: How did you become Edna Turnblad?
A: I auditioned for Link or Corny Collins, but i got a call and an audition for Edna. It came as a surprise, since I was a bulkier person to play Edna. However, Ms. Phillips knew that Edna was supposed to be a bigger woman. Another reason would be that I fit the singing voice range, and I fit Edna’s voice because I could make a convincing impression.
Q: How does your personality compare to Edna’s?
A: I guess i would have to say that she’s more shy. I think we’re similar in the way that we’re self conscious, and I would say that Edna is more wary of what other people would think of her.
Q: Have you had any problems playing Edna?
A: There were no problems playing the part, but getting myself emotionally prepared for dressing as a woman and getting in the “it’s a play, just do it” mindset. I couldn’t really get into the right voice at first, I’m still trying to really get it. I do need a little bit of work on my mannerisms, but that’s really it. I would say it’s a little hard to truly embody a woman, not to be sexist, with how they carry themselves. It was hard to be convincing at first.
Q: Have you participated in any other musicals or plays?
A: Hairspray is my first musical. However, I was in Leading Ladies previously around mid-October.
Q: How do you feel about being in your first musical?
A: It is a really fun, dancing and singing. I like singing and acting. I thought dancing would be a problem, but I’ve gotten over that through practice. I was really excited that Hairspray was going to be a musical.
Q: Do you think you’ve practiced and rehearsed enough?
A: Yes and no, I think we’re cutting it pretty close. There still needs to be some work done. This last week was very stressful, but i think we’ve had enough time. I wish we could’ve started rehearsals earlier, but I think we’ll do a good job and we’ll pull it off.
Q: Have you had memorable moments so far?
A: Definitely a memorable moment would be putting on the fat suit and dress for the first time. you could definitely call that pretty memorable. The final number, “You can’t stop the beat”, which has a mix of the whole cast together singing and dancing, trying hard, makes me happy that they’re giving their all. That part took a lot to learn, so it makes that very memorable and I’m proud of the cast.
Q: Do you have anything else to say to the people that will come to Hairspray?
A: I don’t there’s much to say, but when people come to see this play, keep an open mind. The play had some controversial topics that were present when the original musical was written. I do think that you’ll like the design and that you’ll enjoy the show. I hope that the viewers will get the general message of the play.