Where you were born/where were you raised: Born and raised in Corinth, Mississippi
Zodiac sign: Virgo
Do you have any Siblings?: Yes, one younger sister Heather
Where were you trained?: Masters in Music at Roosevelt University CCPA and Bachelors in Music at The University of Mississippi
Current favorite audition song or monologue to use: I've been using a Phoebe speech from As You Like It recently. There's also a song from Smash I've been using...perhaps too frequently
What skill(s) are you excited to share with the audience of Shockheaded Peter? I am excited to use my sassy-direct-address-to-the-audience skills to make everyone squirm in their seats, hopefully
Why did you want to be a part of Shockheaded Peter? I've loved every Black Button Eyes project I've been involved with and this material is just so darn juicy and disturbing, my favorites!
Current or recent show in Chicago (other than Shockheaded Peter) that you think is must-see: The Nance (Pride Films and Plays)
Some favorite musicals: Assassins and She Loves Me
Most played song in your music collection: probably I Can't Stand the Rain by Tina Turner (my queen)
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: First role was my senior year in high school. I was the scarecrow in a really bizarre version of The Wizard of Oz called The Magical Land of Oz
Worst onstage mishap: I fell off the stage in an college production of She Loves Me. It was super awkward because I was playing the smooth bad boy womanizer Kodaly. Can't make that look cool.
Worst costume ever: any of the shows where I only wore a towel, there's like three of those. Now that I think about it though, they weren't really that bad. I certainly didn't get hot in them.
Worst job you ever had: retail job at Express, blah!
Craziest audition story: I nearly hit the music director in the head with my shoe as I dramatically kicked it off mid-scene. But hey, booked the gig anyway!
Role(s) you’ve been dying to play: Hedwig and Iago (now that I write that, I realize those are also two of my favorite fictional birds)
What were you afraid of as a child? Whatever was hiding under the bed. I'd do that thing where I'd attempt to jump from my bedroom door to my bed.
- Where you were born/where were you raised: Originally from Lebanon, Indiana, I moved here when I was 16 to go to a performing arts HS. I thought it would be just like FAME. It was not.
- Zodiac sign: Does it matter?
- What are/were the careers of your parents: Well, my Dad was a drywall man and worked other general construction odd jobs. My mom worked a few places; Wellman Plastics (until she lead a revolt and everyone quit). She worked at the diner in the mall for a while, a fast food joint, at the Lobo (local bar) and a bunch of other places before my grandpa died and left her and my grandma and aunt money which they used to open their own loose meat restaurant.
- Do you have any Siblings?: Nope
- Where were you trained?: Young Actors Theatre in Indianapolis, IN by Charlotte Kaufman from the ages of 6-12. Then a bunch of other workshops and classes and performing arts high school and college at UIC, but, like, mostly it all happened at YAT.
- Current favorite audition song or monologue to use: I literally only ever sing “When You’re Good To Mama” and, if forced, will do a monologue from whatever show I’m in at the moment. I’m really not good at this.
- What skill(s) are you excited to share with the audience of Shockheaded Peter?: My ability to look like a deranged toddler and creep people out with my face and abnormally large eyeballs.
- Why did you want to be a part of Shockheaded Peter? I saw it when The Tiger Lillies brought it to Chicago a million years ago. That performance and the music have stuck with me every day since. It was so powerful and weird and magical and creepy and unlike anything I’d ever seen onstage before. I love it so much. SO. MUCH.
- If you could go back in time and catch any show or performer, what would it be? I’d like to go back in time to watch Anthony watch Judy.
- Current or recent show in Chicago (other Shockheaded Peter) that you think is must-see: Well, it’s a little known show and not many people know about it yet, but there’s this really great new show called Hamilton that I think everyone should check out as soon as possible!
- Favorite show tune(s) of all time: “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy and “I Know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray.
- Some favorite musicals: Have you heard of Hamilton?
- Most played song in your music collection: I’m a TV watcher not a music listener. Most played TV show? Roseanne (see question 3).
- Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: MY VERY FIRST PERFORMANCE. I was 5 years old and playing Mary in the Lebanon Lutheran Church Christmas pageant. I had one line and was supposed to pick-up Baby Jesus and walk down the aisle. The little shit playing Joseph knocked me down, ripped Baby J from my arms, said my line and walked his ass down the aisle. It was dramatic AF. I was hooked.
- Worst onstage mishap: See question 14. Also, one time my dear friend Anthony fell through our trailer onstage and damn near broke his arm while dressed like a redneck cheerleader. It was pretty traumatic for all of us. She’s ok though.
- Worst costume ever: No such thing.
- Worst job you ever had: Wellman Plastics
- Craziest audition story: One time I auditioned for a new company for a show that I really wanted to do and I was doing a Neil Gaiman poem and I blanked and said “FUCK” (twice) then started over then forgot my song (which was from The Devil’s Carnival) and was a total all around spaz. That show was Coraline and it was my first time working with Ed and Black Button Eyes.
- Role(s) you’ve been dying to play: All of them. I’m a big fan of the “cry & die” roles.
- What were you afraid of as a child? I AM TERRIFIED OF GIANT THINGS. MOSTLY ANIMATRONICS AND STATUES AND STUFF THAT SHOULDN’T BE GIANT LIKE THAT FROG ON TOP OF THE RAINFOREST CAFÉ AND THAT GIANT “OUR LADY OF THE MILENNIUM” STATUE AND THAT GIANT ELMO THAT USED TO BE ON TOP OF THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM. I AM USING ALL CAPS BECAUSE THAT IS HOW SCARY IT IS. Also home invasion.
1. Where you were born/where were you raised? Greenville, SC. Home of Jesse Jackson, Joanne Woodward and Polyester.
2. Zodiac sign? Cancer
3. What are/were the careers of your parents? Circus Sideshow People.
4. Do you have any Siblings?: Yes, did I mention Circus Sideshow People? My sister carries on the family business.
5. Where were you trained?: Second City Conservatory, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts, the mean streets.
6. Current favorite audition song or monologue to use: No way! Steal my monologue and I'll cut a bitch.
7. What skill(s) are you excited to share with the audience of Shockheaded Peter?: Shadow Puppetry and Gymnastic Ribbons.
8. Why did you want to be a part of Shockheaded Peter? Because it is some messed up literature and I love it.
9. If you could go back in time and catch any show or performer, what would it be? Carnegie Hall, April 23, 1961 at 8:30 pm to see our Lord and Saviour, Judy Garland , give the greatest performance in the History of the World.
10. Current or recent show in Chicago (other Shockheaded Peter) that you think is must-see: Lady X at Hell In A Handbag!
11. Favorite showtune(s) of all time: Pirate Jenny from the Threepenny Opera
12. Some favorite musicals:
- Evita, 2. Threepenny Opera 3. Mame, 4. A Chorus Line, 5. Once On This Island, 6. Sunday In the Park with George
13. Most played song in your music collection: Music never stops playing in my world.
14. Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Being a Beggar in Threepenny Opera.
15. Worst onstage mishap: Falling off a platform and knocking down half of a flat of trailer dressed as a redneck cheerleader.
16. Worst costume ever: I was hired to dress as a Genie in a gold lame Genie costume at a casino welcoming people to the new parking garage. A part of me died that day.
17. Worst job you ever had: See above.
18. Craziest audition story: Imagine a fresh-faced 19 year old me showing up and singing "Who Will Buy" from Oliver, only to find out that the show was a drama with four African-American female characters.
19. Role(s) you’ve been dying to play: Mama Rose
20. What were you afraid of as a child? Rod Stewart
I'm beyond thrilled to share the results of our photo shoot, taken by Cole Simon. A few of our cast members, Kevin Webb, Gwen Tulin and Caitlin Jackson, got decked out in the finery our costume designer Beth Laske-Miller put together, with a guest cameo by yours truly as a certain claw. Check these out- I'm so, so happy with them and they really capture both the mood and how cool the show will be!
- Where you were born/where were you raised? I was born in Downers Grove, IL and raised in Lisle, IL (both are in the western suburbs of Chicago)
- Zodiac sign? Aries
- What are/were the careers of your parents? My father owns a flooring business & my mother was a teacher + swimming and diving coach
- Do you have any Siblings?: I have six sisters and one brother (I'm the 6th child)
- Where were you trained?: For school, I studied theatre and Russian language at Northern Illinois University and the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia. I've taken other classes at various other places since graduating: Shakespeare with Susan Hart and Jeffrey Carlson, Aloft Circus, Actors Gymnasium, Bristol Renaissance Faire, MACE Stage Combat Courses, Clown with Victor Quezada- Perez through Trap Door Theatre - to name a few.
- Current favorite audition song or monologue to use: Neely from "The Secret Lives of Losers" - a contemporary monologue
- What skill(s) are you excited to share with the audience of Shockheaded Peter?: Stilt walking & dancing
- Why did you want to be a part of Shockheaded Peter? I had never heard of the musical until the audition. When I read more into it and saw how Black Button Eyes wanted to incorporate interesting skills, I became very excited and wanted to be a part of it. I don't often get to break out my more bizarre skills on stage! It has also been a long time since I've done musical theatre which is very exciting!
- Current or recent show in Chicago (other Shockheaded Peter) that you think is must-see: I don't have a particular show currently in mind, but I always suggest looking into productions done by Steep Theatre and Manual Cinema. They do high quality/ beautiful work.
- Some favorite musicals: Hard to pick, but since I was a kid I've always had a soft spot for "The Music Man"
- Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: I played Winnie the Pooh for a community theatre in Naperville my sophomore year of high school
- Worst onstage mishap: I was in a haunted house and working a room where myself and other performers would wear these masks and dart around the room (towards patrons) with foam weapons. The masks had poor periphery vision. Another performer and I collided, I tripped over his back leg (in front of audience members), tore a muscle in my ankle, and had to hobble back stage. Several months of physical therapy followed.
- Worst job you ever had: Jimmy Johns
- Craziest audition story: Around the Holidays a couple years ago, a friend who had discovered I was having trouble finding a decent Christmas tree I could afford offered me a small fake one she said she never used. The night and area she said she would be in Chicago and could drop it off happened to be the night and location I had an audition. She said she would meet up with me beforehand. I was under the impression that this tree was very small (by the way she talked about it). I pictured it to be 2 ft at the tallest and easy enough to carry/ stow to the side when I arrived at my audition. So when she showed up with a 4 ft tall tree (all put together because she couldn't find the box and it still had it's lights wrapped around it) I wasn't sure how this was going to pan out. It's not every day you get to walk into an audition with a Christmas tree and have the monitor and others auditioning look at you like you're crazy. I was very happy to have the tree, but I didn't get a callback to that show...
- Role(s) you’ve been dying to play: Peter Pan
Our awesome costume designer, Beth Laske-Miller, shared with me some photos of the costumes she's put together for our Shockheaded Peter photo shoot this weekend. These may still evolve or be switched out before they're used in the final production- but aren't they terrific? : - )
This coming weekend we have one of my favorite parts of any production process- our photographer, Cole Simon, will be getting together some of our cast members to do a photo shoot. Cole (of Cole Simon Photo) will be collaborating with our awesome costume and props designers to put together some awesome images to whet everyone's appetite for the production. We've been collecting claws, scissors, accordions, facepaint, and other assorted goodies for the shoot, and I'm tremendously excited; Cole does excellent work, as you can see from some of his production photos below (from Coraline and Goblin Market). I'll post the new photos here once they're ready.
Hi there! We've got a million things to do between now and the start of rehearsals for the show, just after July 4th. But I just wanted to give you a taste of some of the awesome talent and skills we'll have on display during the show. If you catch this production, you'll see at least one actor who:
-Can walk on four foot stilts -Is an advanced ballet dancer and also plays alto saxophone -Plays accordion -Plays a grab bag of other instruments including cello and melodica -Is skilled at shadow puppetry -Can tumble, contort and do other assorted physical feats
Suffice to say, I'm beyond pumped to get started with everyone. This is going to be something special.
Hi everyone! Just getting things off the ground here at the new Black Button Eyes Productions website. Feel free to take a look around- we have information on the first show of our fourth season, Shockheaded Peter and will be adding additional nifty information very soon. Thanks and welcome!