for voice, believe or not, I am mostly self-taught.
Some people have a hard time believing that, since I can
sound very legit, very operatic - and I can also beltÖ Iíve
had opera singers ask me where I studied.
I think itís just that Iím lucky enough to have a
great ear and am a natural-born mimic.
I listened to so many different singers growing up
(opera, jazz, rock), and I learned to copy their sounds.
Also, having done so much choral work (Iíve been in
choirs and madrigal groups since I was 10) and playing piano
taught me to read music and also the basics of support, proper
breathing techniques, etc.
You have been working consistently as an Equity performer
for quite some time, which is not always easy for many
performers. Do you have any advice for aspiring young actors and
singers who desire to a career in professional theater?
Well, my best advice would be to audition, audition,
though I have an agent who represents me, and gets me some
really good appointments for high-profile projects, I always go
to every open-call I think Iím right for. Thatís how I got 42nd Street.
Aside from your career in theater, you have a successful band
that you founded with your husband. Please tell us the name of the band and what style of music
you perform? (Please provide a web address if you have one)
Weíre called Velvet Chain, and weíre probably
best known from our appearances on the TV show, Buffy the
Vampire Slayer, and the official soundtrack album on TVT
also had our music placed on Sex and the City, MTVís Road
Rules, VH1ís Fashion Television, and a lot more.
You can find out all about us, hear our music, see
videos, buy our CDís, etc. at http://www.velvetchain.com.
Who are the other members of the band, and how did they
come to be involved?
Well, the band is really my husband, Jeff Stacy, and
myself. Weíre the
core members. We
have two other members who currently contribute a lot:
our guitarist, Brian Reardon and our keyboard player,
Marc Antonio Pritchett. Interestingly,
Brianís been playing in the union pit orchestras of various
musicals lately and Marcís a chorister with Opera Pacific.
So weíre all sort of Renaissance-people.
As for how they got involved, Brian answered an ad in Music
Connection and I met Marc after he came to see a
production of Macbeth I was in.
How is the band doing?
Do you have any concerts coming up in the Los Angeles
The bandís doing great, thanks.
We arenít playing live right now, since weíre
concentrating on writing and recording new material. We hope to
have a new EP out by Christmas.
How do you feel when you are onstage with the band
compared to performing in a musical or a play?
Do you find that you relate differently with both kinds
I feel much more of an immediate connection with the
audience when Iím singing with the band.
I make a lot of direct eye-contact, and talk to the
audience between songs. But I feel just as comfortable in both venues.
Do you find that being involved in so many different styles of
music has enhanced your ability to express yourself?
I think that being in the band has freed me as a
performer in a lot of ways.
And singing in musicals and a capella groups has
improved my musicianship in the band.
I think as a performer, that experiencing the intense
give-and-take with the audience that you get when doing a live
rock show is something that can only enhance what you do in
other performance media.
What does music (or the arts in general) mean to you
donít even know how to put it into words.
Music Ė and the arts in general, but music in
particular Ė means just so much.
It was an outlet for me as a not-so-popular adolescent, a
source of solace, a source of expression.
Now, as a relatively well-adjusted adult, I feel like
music is the closest I can come to communing with God, or the
Universe, or whatever your beliefs tell you is out there.
Itís a glorious thing, and I never feel more alive than
when Iím singing or acting in a really wonderful scene.
Is there any event or aspect from personal life that has really
defined you as a person?
Well, not to get maudlin, but the one thing I think
shaped me more than any other was the fact that I was not very
popular in grade school and junior high.
I mean, really not popular.
I had some good friends, but I was also the butt of many
jokes, and was constantly attacked for being different.
And I do mean attacked.
Like, locked-in-a-locker attacked.
And many more examples that I wonít go intoÖ
The point being, I couldíve either become insecure and
retreated into myself from those experiences, or become stronger
for them. Due in
large part to my amazingly supportive parents, I was able to
become a strong, independent person, and now I can use those
somewhat traumatic childhood experiences to draw on in my
Is there a performer (either currently living or not)
that you have always admired? And why?
There are many. But
a few of them are Ella Fitzgerald for her impeccable voice and
effortless style, David Bowie for his sheer talent and
magnetism, Meryl Streep for obvious reasons, and Kevin Kline for
his amazing chameleon-like skills as an actor. (I actually saw him play the Pirate King in The Pirates of
Penzance on Broadway when I was little, and even then I was
just blown away.)
If you hadnít chosen a career in music and the arts what other
career would you have chosen? Or is there any field you wish you
could break into and try that is unrelated to the arts?
No, there really isnít!
I mean, even when I think about possible fall-back type
jobs for down the road, theyíre always in the arts.
Iíd like to teach drama, for example, or perhaps get
Where do you see your career heading in the future?
Have you thought of a career in film?
I have indeed. In
fact, I initially moved to LA because I wanted to pursue a
career in film and television.
Iíve done a few things on TV and a few indie films, but
that aspect of my career hasnít really taken off the way
theatre has. Which
of course, is a bit ironic, since I probably should have stayed
in the NY area if I was going to make a career in theater.
However, and this is very exciting, the most recent indie
feature I shot, A Couple of Days and Nights, is going to
be premiering at the Hollywood Film Festival on October 22nd
at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. You can always check the movie website for more info:
You just finished your run in 42nd Street.
What do you have scheduled next?
Well, Iím involved in the Actorsí Fund benefit staged
reading of CASABLANCA.
Thatís on October 2nd at the Pantages and
stars Christian Slater and Anne Heche as ďRickĒ and ďIlsa.Ē
Iíll just be a French bar patron at Rickís, (singing
ďLa MarseillaiseĒ at the top of my lungs, no doubt) but
itíll be a lot of fun. Iím
also going to be caroling again this year for one of the
companies Iíve worked for in the past.
And of course, thereís my movie premiere, which is just
so exciting. After
that, Iím not sure.
What would you say to those readers who really want to follow
their dreams but who are afraid to ďgo for it?Ē
(Is this what you did, and do you recommend it?)
Well, quite honestly, I would say, if you can imagine
yourself doing anything else, do that.
Making a living as an actorís really hard, and
rejection is a constant thing you have to deal with, no matter
how often you get cast. That
being said, if you really want to act, then act.
Donít just talk about it.
Do plays, even if theyíre unpaid.
Get seen. Yes,
take class, but donít use constantly being in a class as an
excuse not to actually do work.
And be careful about getting sucked in by your day-job.
I struggled for years until I finally said, ďthe hell
with it,Ē and quit my day-job.
Now, Iím not suggesting everyone should do that, but
for me, it was just the kick in the pants I needed to start
really making things happen for myself.
Is there anything else you would like the readers to know about
you, or anything you would like to say?
Just a little word of advice about ďmaking it.Ē
Set your own goalpost for that sort of thing, and donít
let anyone else put expectations on you.
If youíre happy where you are, then youíre a success.
As for me, even when I was little, I always said that if
I could one day make my living as an actor, Iíd consider
myself a success. And
Iím very blessed to be able to say that thatís exactly what
Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed.
I admire your talents. I
am always amazed when I see you perform, and I have thoroughly
enjoyed every performance of yours that I have seen.
Well, thank you so much for the interview!
Iím very flattered, and I hope to see you at another
show someday soon. Printable
to Arts & Reviews Main Page
Upward is a staff writer and the Chief Editor for Maestro
Arts & Reviews. He is an award winning composer and
musical director having worked in theaters throughout the
Los Angeles area. He currently writes and produces
music for Encore Maestro
Entertainment and is also working on a new musical to
be premiered later this year.