On our newest Talkback Tuesday blog post we meet Olivia West! She is currently getting ready to open Mary Poppins at Ritz Theatre Co.
Tell me about yourself
My name is Olivia West. I am twenty years old and live in New Jersey. I am pursuing a degree and a career in Musical Theatre.
Tell me about what you’re working on now and what’s next!
I am currently about to open Mary Poppins at the Ritz Theatre in New Jersey. I am playing Ms.Corry/Ensemble. During/After that I am assistant choreographer on a production of Fiddler on the Roof Jr. and a choreographer of a review called Broadway Kids at Moorestown Theater Company.
How is this character like you? Different?
Ms.Corry has a lot of energy and a BIG personality. I tend to have a big personality and I talk a lot so in that way we are similar. She is also weird and a little strange and I think that we all have a side to us that is weird and odd. We are different in the sense that Ms.Cory has lived. She has been around for a while and has seen a lot of what the world has to offer. At this time I realize that there is a whole world I have yet to see.So I would say that I lack the life experience and knowledge that she has.
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
The biggest challenge that comes with playing Ms.Corry is she is not introduced until the end of Act One. I have to come in at such high point because she has about ten minutes to show who she is and establish how she fits into this story. So it means that during this time I have to come in with a fully developed person that already has relationships with some of the characters. There is no time to waste so every minute really counts.
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
My favorite line of dialogue is ” And where do you think words came from in the first place. Someone had to make them up.”
If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?
If I could play any other character in this show I would say Ms.Andrews. Who doesn’t love playing a villain?
What kind of roles do you prefer?
I prefer playing a role that is going to challenge me and push me outside of my box. I love a role that develops and grows throughout the show.
When was your first role as a performer?
My first role as a performer was Immigrant Ensemble in a show called Freedom Bound.
What do you love about your voice?
I love the flexibility my voice has. I love that I can change my tone and style to fit who I am playing.
How has Starling Voice Studio helped you?
Not long ago I had found myself in a place where I hated to sing. Everything I had loved about singing no longer existed. Instead I was in a place where every-time I opened my mouth I was constantly thinking do I sound too childish, am I breathing correctly, did I pronounce that vowel right, am I supporting enough. I used to just open my mouth and sing from the heart without thinking and I loved it and I poured my heart into it. Instead I got to the point where the words I was saying meant nothing because they never really registered with me. They never meant anything because all I could think about was am I singing the right way. I have started find myself as a singer again and Starling Voice Studio has really helped in this process. While we do discuss the technical aspects of singing it is not the only thing that is important when I am singing. I appreciate that Julia lets me be myself and does not try to change me she just works with me to make what I have better. Class is always a positive place and I never feel like I am being judged when I do things differently or try to play around with things and make artistic choices that let me tell the story of my song. Julia is always encouraging and supportive. So I am thankful to Starling Voice.
What’s your vocal goal this year?
My vocal goal this year is to be able to belt a solid E5 or at least to have a strong mix there.