Fetching Up with Lindsay Heather Pearce

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Interview: MEAN GIRLS at Proctors: Fetching Up with Lindsay Heather Pearce
Eric Huffman and Lindsay Heather Pearce
[Photo Credit: @maegan.olyvia]

Previous to subsequent week’s arrival of the film-inspired musical MEAN GIRLS to Proctors, I spoke with Lindsay Heather Pearce, who not too long ago took over the position of Janis on tour. Her resume consists of some notable tv and theater credit, together with her participation on The Glee Undertaking/Glee and her Broadway debut as Elphaba in WICKED.

BWW: Good afternoon, Lindsay. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me at present! We’re wanting ahead to having you right here at Proctor’s subsequent week. The place are you now?

Lindsay: We’re in Grand Rapids [Michigan]. It is an attractive metropolis. I’ve simply been biking in every single place and it has been actually pretty, the sunshine and the river. And the individuals are very nice. Detroit was actually thrilling and loud: it is Motor Metropolis, so it was a completely totally different vitality. There’s one thing concerning the outer boroughs that jogs my memory of the small city I grew up in. Biking round is form of like reliving Northern California.

BWW: So, let’s begin in the beginning! How did you get into performing?

Lindsay: I really feel prefer it’s form of a cliché reply, however ‘it discovered me.’ I grew up watching these nice films like THE SOUND OF MUSIC, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, all the Disney movies – something with a track in it. Sondheim was an enormous old flame for me…INTO THE WOODS! I couldn’t cease watching that unique forged proshot! It was that and my dad’s love of rock music. I used to be raised in a household filled with athletes. I used to be the one adopted little one and was the one singer. My mother and father realized that I sang on a regular basis; I feel I used to be singing earlier than I used to be speaking. So, after I was round 7, they put me right into a youngsters’s theater group.

I feel the primary present that we did was a bizarre little present known as CLOWNS – and I want I used to be joking. It was a completely unique present…most likely nightmare-inducing. I even have a definite reminiscence of one other one known as COMPOSE YOURSELF. It was about composers and I performed Beethoven and sang a track known as “Can You Hear?” to the tune of “Moonlight Sonata.” Then, ultimately it was INTO THE WOODS JR and HANSEL AND GRETEL. I keep in mind we did STARMITES at one level, which I feel is a really underrated and great musical.

The advantage of that particular youngsters’s group theater group was that it was a part of an opera home, so I’d even be in reveals with these superb adults. They’d do JEKYLL & HYDE and I’d be the little newspaper road urchin in “Homicide.” I might be in MADAMA BUTTERFLY as a servant. I’d get to see these actually superb vocalists and really proficient skilled adults carry out. I feel that set me off. Then, ultimately junior school and OKLAHOMA, and I did BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at a repertory theater.

I simply beloved music. And I simply stored following it. Most individuals [who do this professionally] have that realization of like, “Oh wait! This can be a profession path?? I can do that for the remainder of my life?” That is at all times the story and I feel I am no totally different.

BWW: Your “massive break” was The Glee Undertaking, bringing you into the world of that extraordinarily widespread show-choir hit! What was that have like?

Lindsay: It was form of wild. We had been all actually younger. I do not assume there had been actually something fairly like that with people who younger, but. I feel there was The Seek for Elle Woods – however it positively felt like a brand new frontier of television. It opened a whole lot of doorways, however I do not assume actuality tv is one thing I might ever do once more! [laugh] It is so much. It requires a whole lot of hours. Thank god we had been all younger and had the vitality to maintain up with the schedule! However, it was an incredible studying expertise: attending to study myself and how one can work with different folks. Dwelling outdoors of the small bubble I used to be raised in. It was eye-opening. And clearly, I met unbelievable folks, some lifelong companions. Our battle tales from these days are actually hilarious. However, it was unbelievable. It launched me into L.A. and I went to L.A. understanding folks, which was an actual present. Then, I filmed Glee and that was an enormous studying expertise, as effectively. I feel I bought actually fortunate breaking into the tv and movie world by way of the musical theater lens, principally doing musical theater on television and studying the variations between tv, movie and theater and the way they’ll cross.

Interview: MEAN GIRLS at Proctors: Fetching Up with Lindsay Heather Pearce
Lindsay Heather Pearce as Elphaba in WICKED
[Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]

BWW: After that, you constantly labored in theater and TV, resulting in your Broadway debut in WICKED because the inexperienced lady, Elphaba, in February 2020 – and, two weeks later, the pandemic modified all the things. What was that like?

Lindsay: I used to be in rehearsal for 4 weeks – after which two and half weeks in, we closed. It was actually wild. The Broadway debut itself was a dream. It was an unbelievable honor and it was difficult and unbelievable and thrilling. That being mentioned, my Broadway debut felt like getting shot out of a cannon! I had by no means skilled something like that. I might by no means been within the Broadway circuit earlier than, and anybody that’s doing an 8-show week busts their butts. I knew that it was grueling, onerous work. However, to not solely expertise it first-hand, however to expertise it as that character in that position with that workload: it was unbelievably humbling, as if I wasn’t already humbled sufficient strolling into that job. Unbelievably gift-giving. Even on the toughest days, I could not imagine that I used to be given this chance, and I will always remember it.

Then, the shutdown occurred. I feel if I had been doing something – if I had been doing a group theater manufacturing of HAMLET and the world had shut down like that, I’d have felt unbelievably affected by it. However, to be in New York whereas it was all taking place was so much. Very intense, clearly. All the things was an enormous query mark. No one knew once we had been coming again. No one knew if everybody was okay or the place everybody went to on the earth. However, all through the pandemic, whereas we had been in quarantine, I had the present and the privilege of understanding I had a job to return to, the place lots of people didn’t get that. We had been on Zoom conferences, and I feel a lot of the long-running reveals [knew they] had been fairly protected.

BWW: In the end, you had been capable of return to the position when the present reopened final September.

Lindsay: [Yes. When WICKED was ready to reopen,] I had the great expertise of getting to come back again and rehearse with everybody for 3 weeks. As somebody who was a substitute, you rehearse, you then go in and change somebody and the present does not skip a beat. It simply goes on and also you form of get to know folks if you get to know folks in any respect since you solely see them at work. So getting to begin, not from scratch, however to be with everybody and to be doing it collectively – not simply upstairs within the 4th flooring rehearsal room rehearsing by your self and ultimately you are simply going to suit proper in like a puzzle piece – was superb. It was a gaggle effort. And we had been on Zoom conferences collectively. And that was anxiety-relieving. [Elphaba is] already an isolating position, simply in its nature. The best way that it is written is isolating. She goes by way of an isolating expertise. You [also] form of must reside like a nun whilst you’re performing the position. So, attending to go to work each day from 10-6 and be on lunch breaks or snack breaks with one another and sit down, with our masks on, pushing meals beneath the masks, was simply nice. All the expertise from begin to end, pandemic included, was an unbelievable studying expertise of radical self-love and acceptance and care.

And the folks I used to be fortunate sufficient to share that stage with had been second to none. The most effective of the perfect. And all of us bought to reopen it collectively – and that was its personal…it was like a rock live performance. I’ll always remember that for so long as I reside. I went up within the air and I actually could not hear something. It was simply folks on the prime of their lungs, on their toes earlier than I even began rising. And so they had been giving a standing ovation after each track, each entrance of a personality. The minute the ensemble stepped out, the monkeys, Kristen Chenowith popping out. Everybody was standing. Everybody wanted it. It may make me cry simply interested by it. To have the ability to give that again after being separated for therefore lengthy was simply so particular. There may be nothing like that. And to capable of rehearse and rehearse and rehearse, performing to this empty home – after which attending to fill that in with family and friends for the preview, getting WICKED to the folks which can be closest to you, after which getting WICKED again to the general public. Simply, come on! Come on! Nothing on the earth is like that. What an honor.

BWW: Did your efficiency change while you got here again?

Lindsay: Gosh, most likely. I feel a whole lot of us lived various life within the 16-18 months we would all been away. I had gone by way of a whole lot of private issues and had skilled all the present occasions that everybody else had gone by way of in the course of the pandemic. There have been strains once we reopened that hit otherwise: you do not assume that strains like, “We will by no means come again to Oz, can we?” are going to hit you that onerous. We did not know once we mentioned that in our ultimate Wednesday night present earlier than the pandemic that we could not come again. Then, after I left [the show] a month in the past, saying it at that time, I used to be like, “Oh my god!” The present simply form of lets you undergo what you are going by way of in that second.

I used to be speaking to my reopening Glinda, Ginna Claire [Mason], and mentioned, “You understand what’s actually going to hit is, ‘Fellow Ozians, mates, we have been by way of a daunting time. And there will likely be different issues that frighten us, however in the event you let me, I might like to assist. I might prefer to attempt to be Glinda the Good.’ Nuts! Completely nuts.

BWW: And now, you might be becoming a member of this good forged for the primary nationwide tour of the musical MEAN GIRLS. How does touring life examine to Broadway?

Lindsay: You understand, it is its personal problem. I’ve by no means accomplished a nationwide tour earlier than. I’ve carried out on ships, so there’s a similarity in that suitcase dwelling – however you did not have to hop from ship to ship. [laughs] So, it is a problem in studying how one can pack the suitable method and how one can be actually environment friendly in what you want and what you do not want. And each metropolis has its personal challenges – and allergens! Michigan [where we are] goes by way of it! It is allergy season proper now, and we’re all getting hit with it. I had already been hit in allergy season at WICKED in New York in April, so I am expertise it once more. However, it is superb. I am seeing states I have never been to earlier than.

And, it is good to have the ability to deliver this to individuals who possibly cannot get to New York. They will drive in and are available to see the present and nonetheless get that caliber – that nice stage of efficiency that they are hungry for – with out flying all the best way to San Francisco, L.A. or New York. It is form of nice. Having the ability to deliver theater TO folks. Our job is actually to journey and provides theater to folks. I imply, come on! What a present!

BWW: And also you get to play the long-lasting position of Janis!

Lindsay: I imply, come on! Have you ever seen the costumes? This complete interview can simply be “Lindsay Heather Pearce Says Come On.” [laughs] She’s so enjoyable, and I am taking up after Mary Kate Morrisey, who can also be an Elphaba. The Elphaba to Janis pipeline exists now and it is nice! Having the ability to shadow her and have time along with her, and speak about our battle tales of WICKED and the way totally different that is right here, and the challenges right here and the enjoyment right here is simply superb. It isn’t misplaced on me. WICKED is a dramedy; MEAN GIRLS is a comedy. So it is probably the most enjoyable. And it is a great firm. Fantastic producers and managers. It is simply nice. It is a actually pretty expertise.

And Janis is simply cool! Her stage of honesty and self-awareness is fairly superior and I can solely hope to have that inside my very own life. The best way that she carries herself. My voice modifications and the best way I maintain myself modifications after I’m in these costumes and people Doc Martens and the wig and the darkish lipstick: you simply roll your shoulders ahead. After I was in highschool, that was the particular person I wished to be. I wished to be the Janis Ian/Sarkisian of the college. So, little Lindsay is having the time of her life. My inside teen is LIVING her fact proper now. It is actually enjoyable.

There was a lot specificity in taking part in Elphaba since you needed to match into this machine of a present. There’s guides and goalposts to stay inside. Not in a militant form of method, however you may’t simply go willy nilly. It is WICKED! It’s important to hold the integrity of the present. However, with Janis, she’s a 17-year-old Junior artwork freak highschool scholar, so it is form of like go off! Do no matter you need! Clearly inside purpose, however I even have time after I’m not the middle focus of the present, so I get to speak to my castmates whereas we’re sitting at lunch tables on the stage. I am extra a part of the ensemble than I used to be with my final present, so there’s so much that is simply actually, actually enjoyable. I relate so much to her goofiness and her pleasure and her love of play. She likes to play and he or she and Damian play so much in the course of the present.

Then again, I’d by no means arrange a buddy to wreck one other particular person’s life, whether or not I assumed that particular person sucked or not. That is simply not a Lindsay Pearce factor. Not my purpose. Not my M.O. Even after I was a young person in my worst moments. There’s a lot intention in what Janis does the place she’s actively making an attempt to wreck Regina’s life. If I ever damage any individual, or acted utterly out of character, it was as a result of I used to be a young person and an fool. However, there may be a lot particular intention right here. If I ever try this, I hope my mates simply flick me within the mouth and inform me to get my s*** collectively! As a result of this isn’t the best way to be a human to a different human being.

BWW: What’s your favourite second within the present?

Lindsay: There is a actually enjoyable second in Act I the place The Plastics are educating Cady the principles of every day, what you may and may’t do. Gretchen says, “For those who break any of those guidelines, you may’t sit with us. Not simply you; I imply any of us. It’s important to sit over there with the artwork freaks,” and the artwork freaks have form of a highlight second. Typically I do the “Defying Gravity” battle cry! [laughs] We simply faux like we’re in WICKED…or we faux like we’re dinosaurs. Or, there have been PHANTOM OF THE OPERA moments that different Janises have accomplished which can be simply so humorous. The people who get it get it. It isn’t each night time. There’s at all times one thing new and I will at all times flip to Eric Huffman, my Damian, and be like, “What do you need to do tonight? Dinosaurs? Defying Gravity? One thing new?” and he’ll simply be like, “Dinosaurs!” It is tremendous enjoyable. It is a very “sure and” present.

BWW: For those who might give Janis some recommendation, what would you inform her?

Lindsay: Maintain going to remedy, for certain. Perhaps slightly little bit of anger administration. [laughs] However, no, in all seriousness, I feel I’d simply inform her to let it go. To not “Elsa” it, however I’d simply say let it go. No matter that’s, it is taking away from you, so cease letting this hatred of 1 particular person [rule you]. You’ve got develop into obsessed and it is ruining your life on prime of theirs, so I’d simply say drop it. It isn’t value it. Highschool actually does finish and you will be okay!

MEAN GIRLS arrives in Schenectady at Proctors on March 22, 2022 and runs by way of Sunday, March 27th, 2022. Tickets and extra data could also be discovered at www.proctors.org

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