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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Wednesday
Mar312010

Autumn Hurlbert

I had the fortunate experience of having a one on one interview with Autumn Hurlbert after seeing her in Bobby Cronin's concert "Not The Same: The Music and Lyrics of Bobby Cronin" on Sunday, March 28. With a big beautiful voice and stage presence to go with it, Autumn not only has the talent, but she is gracious, personable, and full of energy. From starring in the first national tour of "Little Women" to regional productions of "Beauty and the Beast," "Les Miserables," and "Evita," Autumn gained national attention as the runner up in MTV's reality series "Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods." Since then, she has continued entertaining audiences. She joined Broadway's "Legally Blonde" until it closed in 2008, then starred in "Glimpses of the Moon" at the Algonquin Hotel, "On The Town" at Encores, "Beehive" at the Maltz Jupiter Theater in FL, and "A Contemporary American's Guide to a Successful Marriage (c) 1959" (which also starred fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Lee Aaron Rosen) at the 2009 NYC International Fringe Festival. Autumn has a few projects in the works, so stay tuned to find out when they come about and in the meantime be sure to visit http://www.autumnhurlbert.com for more on Autumn.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My dad because he was in a band when he was in college, but his dream of becoming a musician never came to fruition. He became a banker instead. My parents never pushed anything on me and just allowed me to explore the arts and it was very obvious very quickly that this is where I belonged. Growing up I loved Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters...all the curly haired girls.

1a. Is that where you get your big beautiful belt from, from loving Bette and Bernadette? You know where I get my big beautiful belt from, I had colic when I was a baby and my mom said I screamed every single day of the first year of my life. So I think I have a big voice because I got good training, screaming, as a baby.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? The lowest note I can sing is Low E below C, highest note I can belt is a high B flat or B, highest note I can sing is High F or G.

3. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Too many names to pick, but I would really, really, love to  work with is Lin-Manuel Miranda. He has such great energy. I've seen "In The Heights" a bunch of times and he's so smart, humble, and really innovative. I think he's really fabulous.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Oh, I've never been asked a question like that. That's scandalous! I would probably dream that Henry Krieger wrote a fierce song for me.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I am able to stick objects in my nose. I can make a q-tip disappear into my nasal cavity. If I stick 2 things in my nose, I can make them hang from my nostrils. Actually, everybody can do that because if you cut your nose off your face you just have two holes and I found mine. It's disgusting, I know, but I love freaking people out.

6. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor & toppings)? If I got a Sundae with lots of toppings it would be vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate and strawberries. If I had just plain ice cream my favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip all the way.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? All Shoes.

8. Favorite skin care product? Burt's Bees when I'm not working and Origins when I'm employed.

9. Favorite website? Etsy.com or Apartment Therapy.


10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. I was her for Halloween. Rope, cuffs, and starred undies included.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite quote? I have a lot of favorite quotes, but I will say "leap and the net will appear."

12. Favorite play/musical? Play: "Lend Me A Tenor" or "August Osage County." Musical: "Once on this Island."

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Sunday
Mar282010

Nancy Anderson

Nancy Anderson is an Olivier, Helen Hayes, and Drama Desk nominated performer. She delights audiences with her beautiful voice as well as her brilliant acting, especially her comedic timing! She has played multiple roles in a single show and her stage presence reflects her strong skill set. On Broadway she has appeared in "A Class Act" and the revival of "Wonderful Town." She has appeared on PBS' Great Performances in the West End premiere of "Kiss Me Kate" as "Lois/Bianca" for which Nancy received an Olivier and Helen Hayes Award Nomination and "Annie Get Your Gun" starring Reba McEntire. Off-Broadway she received Drama Desk Award nominations for playing all the women in "Jolson & Company" and for the title role in "Fanny Hill," both at the York Theatre. Regionally, Nancy has been seen in "Ordinary Days" (South Coast Rep), "White Noise" (New Orleans), "The Women" (Old Globe), Cape Playhouse's "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine" and "Sylvia," "By Jeeves" (Goodspeed, Geffin, & Kennedy Center), "The Black Monk" (Yale Rep), "Sweeney Todd" (Goodspeed), and "Crazy For You" (Pioneer Playhouse). She has also been seen in the Encores production of "No, No Nanette" starring Rosie O' Donnell & Sandy Duncan as well as appearing with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall in his Valentine's tribute concert "Hooray For Love Songs." Nancy has also performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and is a regular at Town Hall in NYC in Scott Siegel's "Broadway By The Year" series. Her debut album "Ten Cents A Dance" is available now. Nancy can currently be seen at the York Theatre in the hit Off-Broadway premiere of "Yank: A World War II Love Story" through April 4. For more on Nancy be sure to visit: http://www.nancyanderson.name.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? That's a tough question, because I don't remember a time when I didn't want to be a performer-but my guess is it's a combination between my grandmother, who was a concert violinist, my sister, who was probably the first person i saw perform, and Judy Garland (from the Wizard of Oz on tv, of course..)

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? High B (high C on a good day). Low E (below middle C).

3. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Stephen Sondheim.

4. What is your proudest moment? oh, that's impossible...maybe when I conducted an 80-voice choir of kids at the Summer Stars camp in Rochester, NY.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Well, most people know I play the Ukulele, but not many know that I can tumble-in fact, for the first time in my life I was asked to tumble in an audition for Peter Pan at Papermill-just last week!

6. Favorite skin care product? Elizabeth Arden's anti-wrinkle serum.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? Platform boots.

8. Favorite play/musical? Sunday in the Park With George.

9. Favorite website? http://www.earthwatch.org.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off? In NYC-walking the brooklyn bridge. In San Diego-Surfing.

12. Favorite quote? I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

- John Adams

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Sunday
Mar212010

Morgan Karr

Morgan Karr is another one of our next generation actors to keep your eyes on. He has a powerful voice, personality and a great stage presence! From Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regional shows to concert performances, Morgan Karr is the man about town.  He's performed in Broadway's "Spring Awakening," Off-Broadway's "Everyday Rapture," and the Fringe Festival hit "VOTE! The Musical." Regionally, he has been seen in "All Shook Up" at the Ogunquit Playhouse, "Green Eyes" at Theatre Building of Chicago, and American Music Theatre Project's productions of "The Boy in the Bubble," "The Boys Are Coming Home," "Not Wanted On The Voyage," Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party," and "Edges." His one-man show "Morgan Karr: An Awfully Big Adventure" sold out Joe's Pub. Morgan was also part of fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant's Ryan Scott Oliver's sold out show "Rated RSO: The Music of Ryan Scott Oliver." Catch Morgan rocking it out on Sunday, March 28 at 7pm at the Metropolitan Room in Bobby Cronin's "Not The Same: The Music of Bobby Cronin" (fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant) and with Anne Fraser Thomas on March 30 at 11pm at Bartini in New York City (642 10th Avenue, between 45th & 46th Street)! For more on Morgan, be sure to check out his website: http://www.morgankarr.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My grandfather continues to be my inspiration every day. I'm living the dream he wasn't allowed to pursue. He was never encouraged to follow his dream. I'm so lucky to have my grandfather's support, and every day I think about him and he inspires me. My family is a huge source of inspiration.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I've never really sat down to figure this out. I know it gets pretty ugly when I try to actually sing low. I get scared when I see a low note on a piece of music haha. And as for how high I can sing? I'm not scared to find out if I can or can't sing a note... so I just go for it. And it usually works out. Sometimes, however... it CAN be a hit or miss game haha.

3. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? There is a laundry list of people I'd love to work with. I'm a sponge when it comes to soaking up wisdom and stories from seasoned veterans! Watching Sherie Rene Scott, for example, during EVERYDAY RAPTURE was a master class every day. I'm also just starting out with my career so the list of people I WANT to work with... is miles longer than the people I HAVE worked with.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I don't dream about people. I dream about adventures.

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? Walking in NYC on a spring day.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer Briefs.

7. Favorite singer/musician? Stevie Wonder meets Ben Folds meets Luther Vandross meets Whitney Houston meets Dave Matthews Band.

8. Favorite quote? Be who you are and say what you feel.... because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind!

9. Favorite Website? http://www.iloveegg.com/egg_english.htm.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? SUPERMAN. If you know one thing about me... know that Superman has a big place in my heart.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite ride at an amusement park? The Superman ride at Six Flags. original huh???

12. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? Tanto Dulce Cafe up in Harlem. Best coffee in the world with RAW SUGAR!! OOOOOOHHHh so good!

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Tuesday
Mar162010

Jo Dee Messina

Jo Dee Messina is a CMA and ACM award winner plus a two-time Grammy nominee. She has sold over five million albums, had nine #1 singles, and was the first female country artist to have three multiple-week #1 songs from the same album. Her many hits include: " Heads Carolina, Tails California," "You're Not In Kansas Anymore," "Bye Bye," "I'm Alright," "Bring On The Rain," "That's the Way," "My Give A Damn's Busted" & her latest "That's God" from her upcoming album "Unmistakable" due out April 27. For more on Jo Dee Messina be sure to check out her website: http://www.jodeemessina.com.

Tonight I had the distinct pleasure of seeing and interviewing country superstar Jo Dee Messina.  She is performing at Feinstein's at the Regency from March 16-20 as part of her "Music Room Series Tour" where she goes around the country playing intimate venues where she really connects with fans by taking requests & questions from the audience between songs.  I have been a fan of Jo Dee's for many years and to have this as my first time seeing her live is truly wonderful! (Click here for my review of Jo Dee at Feinstein's).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Dolly Parton, The Judds, Bonnie Raitt, and James Taylor. In my full show (we only got to see 70 minutes of what is normally a 2 1/2 hour show) there is a lot of wild craziness that goes on and it's great to be able to pull off a Dolly Parton or Reba McEntire influence show which is all of the big woo-ha-who and do a James Taylor kind of laid back, let's just hear about the music. It's a huge spectrum of influences in my career. I just love music. Even now on my iPod I have everything from James Taylor to Miley Cyrus to Casting Crowns to Maroon 5. It's all over the place. Okay, I gave you way more than you wanted.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? James Taylor, James Taylor, James Taylor!

3. What has been your most embarrassing on-stage moment? It actually was not on stage, but this morning on national television. I thought we were doing something really quick and local and I wasn't paying attention to my paperwork so I had the worst outfit to wear on "Fox and Friends."

4. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? If so, what career would you choose? Recently. I thought about it recently because I could not get this record out. If I weren't singing, I would love to do something with TV, like hosting. Any kind of interactive TV show would be hysterical because it's all about the fans and listeners. I'd also like to write, which as I mentioned in my show, I've been working on a book forever and ever.

5. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My husband. He's a hottie!

6. What's your proudest moment? Every time I can get on stage and perform, I'm proud. It's about having fun and sharing that experience with the person who cared enough to give up their evening and come.

7. Favorite hobby? Singing, writing.

8. Favorite way to spend your day off? Ah, hanging with you! I'm going to go run in Central Park tomorrow and I'm totally stoked about that.

9. Favorite website? Yours of course! Also weather.com because I'm always checking the weather where ever I'm going.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Who do you consider to be your hero? The single mom's out there that are pulling it off because I have the help of my husband and it's amazing how much that can take.

12. What is the best advice you've given, but not taken for yourself? Don't care what anybody else thinks.

Sunday
Mar142010

James Monroe Iglehart

For the past 11 years, James Monroe Iglehart has been entertaining audiences in theatre and television. His theatre credits include: "The Cowardly Lion" in "The Wiz" (Encores!), Broadway's "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Be," "Porgy and Bess" (Oakland EB Symphony), "It Ain't Nothing but the Blues" (Theatreworks, CA), and "Smokey Joe's Cafe" (AMT San Jose). James is also part of the Hip Hop Improv group "Freestyle Love Supreme" and he is the "Silent E" soloist on "The Electric Company." Currently, James can be seen in Broadway's smash hit "Memphis," (along with fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participants Chad Kimball and Derrick Baskin) with his show-stopping opening Act 2 dance number! For more on James, be sure to check out http://www.jamesmonroeiglehart.webs.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My parents.  Prince and Michael Jackson.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I have a low G and high B.

3. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Chuck Cooper.

4. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? The best experience was the opening of Memphis and the worst  was this horrible understudy I had in the Bay Area.

5. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks. I love their Carmel Apple cider.

6. Books or Magazines? Both. I'm a nerd.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Depends on the mood.

8. Favorite musician/singer? Prince, Stevie Wonder.

9. Favorite website? WWE.com and Broadway.com.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Neither Batman all the way!