Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why Be Nervous? (Meet the little Cosettes!)

Be careful what you say or do, you never know who you are inspiring. I recall a time coming out into the lobby after RENT. There was a young man possibly in his late teens who had just saw the show and told me I was his hero. Had he seen me two minutes prior in the Strand auditorium tripping over my flip flops, popcorn flying and face planting into one of the seats he may of thought otherwise. When the autograph request came, I truly did not know how to react, partly because my handwriting looks as if I were writing a ransom note. I am still a student of the theatre, but the accolades are appreciated. I feel truly blessed to participate in such a lush production as Les Miserables. I am even more appreciative of the audience members who trek out, spend their money and opt to spend their time with us. Their energy feeds mine, and in a time where garnering interest and funding in the arts has become even more challenging, the connection with each and every audience member is very important. If I had the capacity to shake each persons hand that saw the show I would.It is that reason alone that I will always come out to the lobby after every show. You want to enjoy the show, I want to enjoy the audience, "Jabear Hugs" for everyone!

Opening night was such a huge rush.Standing in the darkness onstage at the beginning of the show, I watch the opening and it is hard to not get caught up in the excitement. We are actually doing this show, this show is actually happening, we are performing this show as we speak....I probably should be paying attention because my entrance We have very receptive audiences, and people are coming to see this show more than once. This show is also a hit with our younger audience members as well.

How about a pint sized view of Les Miz? (you see Al Stilo, I am trying) Our tiny actors are the most energetic bunch around and are enjoying their own bit of stardom both onstage and backstage. We rotate the kids every other day, but they do not skip a beat. They are professional, but kids all the same. They have the uncanny ability to turn the serious on, and off when need be. Mabel will be the first to tell you "Why be nervous, what is the point?..this is fun!" Meet two of our actresses who are responsible for the Pop Rocks and Gummi Worms shortage in Georgia.


HOW OLD ARE YOU AND WHAT GRADE ARE YOU IN? I am 8 years old, and I am going into third grade.

What inspired you to become and actor/actress/singer??

I have always loved singing, dancing and acting.I've been performing for family and friends for as long as I can remember.I have so much fun entertaining people.I've been lucky to see lots of shows which definitely inspires me to keep going.I want to make people in the audience feel the way the actors and actresses make me feel when I'm in the audience.


Acting, singing and dancing really are my hobbies, but there are other things that I like to do too.I like to ride my bike, create crafts, stories and characters, draw, jump on my trampoline, swim, hang out with friends and my brothers.I can usually sing, act and dance while doing all of these other things!

Share an interesting fact/story about yourself that most people may not know

I love writing stories.I won the 2nd grade writing fair at my school this year, and my piece got entered into the county writing fair.I wrote an opinion piece about my dog Rusty.I used a thesaurus to come up with different words to describe him.Of all the 2nd graders in Cobb County, I came in 2nd place.I found out two days before my birthday.That was a huge surprise and honor for me!

I create characters.They all have their own names, voices and personalities.Lots of the games that I play at home with my brothers use my characters.I use them to make my family laugh, and sometimes cry, all the time. :)

What is the very first musical/play you saw?

Annie at the Fox Theatre

What was the first play/musical/film/role were you in?I was Marcy the mouse in Jack and Jill and the Crown of Wonder.I got to sing a solo called Creeping Across the Woods. Tell us how you were first introduced to the musical Les Miserables

I went to see Les Mis for the first time when I was 5 years old.It was being put on by the children's theatre where I live.When it was over I thought it was really good.Even though I didn't understand it all, I knew that I wanted to be a part of Les Mis some day.Since then I've learned a lot more about it because my parents love Les Mis and listen to the music a lot.

What challenges do you playing your character?

I am always really happy, and I have a really good life and lots of blessings.At first, Cosette is sad and has a hard life.Like it would be so hard if my mommy died I would be so sad.I've had to practice focusing on what it would really be like to live Cosette's life so that I can show what she would really be feeling.

What is the most interesting thing you have discovered during the rehearsal process theatre/yourself/musical etc)

I have discovered that bad guys can be funny, and that serious shows need funny parts.I love the Thenardiers!They are bad guys but so hilarious.Also, people that play serious characters can be funny in real life - like Mr. Bryant and Mr. Kevin.

I have also discovered that there are wonderful people everywhere in theatre.I never thought that I would love other people like I love my friends at my home theatre, but everyone in Les Mis has been so kind and caring.I love them all!

What is next for you after this is over?

I'm not sure.I have a couple of shows that I plan to audition for, and I might try some on camera work for the first time. I also want to enjoy my school year and my friends.One thing I know for sure, I can't stay off the stage for long!

The Candy BanditsTony Rodriguez - Artistic Director


HOW OLD ARE YOU AND WHAT GRADE ARE YOU IN? I am 9 years old and I am headed into 5th grade--my last year in elementary school. I am the youngest and smallest which I don't always like.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AND ACTOR/ACTRESS/SINGER?? My brother was my inspiration. He got into it before I did because he dreamed of going to Hollywood. Then we all ended up in NYC and his manager asked if I wanted to go out on auditions. My mom said that I was too shy and I couldn't do it but I said I really wanted to try it so she let me. I went out on that first audition and booked the job. I have loved it ever since.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES? I love to be with my friends, do crafty things, go to the pool, watch movies, and I really love going to NYC. NYC is my favorite place in the world and I go there a lot for work. I love everything about it and one of my BFFs lives there so I love getting to see her when I am there. We are so much alike and she makes me feel like it's ok to be my crazy self.

SHARE AN INTERESTING FACT/STORY ABOUT YOURSELF THAT MOST PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW--I love animals very much and so I do everything I can to help them. I take all of my money from presents throughout the year and donate it to save endangered species. I volunteer at the Northeast Georgia Humane Society. I even have my birthday party there sometimes and all my friends bring presents for the animals instead of me. I very much want to do in Cirque du Soliel when I grew up because it is a wonderful circus but doesn't hurt animals like the other circuses do.

This is me doing a catch at the Trapeze School of NY. WHAT IS THE VERY FIRST MUSICAL/PLAY YOU SAW?My parents say that I used to like to take very expensive naps at the theatre. When I was very little I took a quick nap in some of the best musicals. I do remember seeing Mary Poppins on Broadway when I was 4 years old and I went to Mama Mia when I was 5. I saw Hair Spray around the same time on Broadway. My earliest memory is when I saw Disney on Ice when I was 3 years old. Seeing a live show is so awesome because they can't stop and say cut and try it again--they just have to go with it cause the show must go on.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST PLAY/MUSICAL/FILM/ROLE WERE YOU IN? When I first joined J Pervis Talent Agency (shout out to Joy and Jayme Pervis), I booked Hall Pass starring as Owen Wilson and Jenna Fischer's daughter. It is a Farrelly Brothers film and they are so funny. When I first met Owen Wilson, he was all serious so the brothers were being extra silly and lifting up their shirts to get him to laugh.

Tell us how you were first introduced to the musical Les Miserables

My AMAZING voice coach--Bill Newberry introduced me to Castle in the Cloud and then he got really excited about me auditioning for Les Miserables. I even dreamed a dream about him getting me all ready in costume and with props before I even auditioned so it must have been meant to be.

What challenges do you playing your character?

Sometimes it's really hard for me to let myself get sad and Little Cosette is sad most of the time so that is hard. I think if I let myself get a little bit sad, I will get a lot sad and I don't want to do that. My Ompa who I love very much passed away one year ago and so did my sweet dog Annie so I think if I get a little bit sad then all that sad will come back. I know he would have loved to come see me in Les Miserables. It was one of his favorite musicals.

What is the most interesting thing you have discovered during the rehearsal process theatre/yourself/musical etc)

It's pretty crazy how much goes into getting a show ready and how much the actors have to remember while they are performing. Like blocking . I never have to really worry so much about blocking in TV or film or commercials--it just kinda happens. On stage, you really have to think about where you are standing and moving and where you are going to stand.

What is next for you after this is over?

I start Suessical rehearsals right after this--my costume is amazing!!!! That show is at Brenau University in December. I plan to audition for Madeline at the Horizon Theatre and Annie at the Lyric. I am part of a TV show called "Love That Book"--they are talking about making me a regular so I am excited about that. I was also just asked to do a promo tour for a TV show I was on called "Conversations" and the "I Choose" campaign. But mostly after this I will be focused on 5th grade since it is my lastyear in elementary school and it is supposed to be a lot of fun.

Les Miserables runs July 25th - September 8th

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