We took a bit of a hiatus last week with the blog posts showcasing performers in our upcoming production of The Fantasticks and we have a little catching up to do. So here's the first of two posts to go up this week...
Meet Emily Talma, a newcomer to the G7 stage, but no stranger to muscial theatre. She will be playing Luisa opposite Morgan Cox in the show...enjoy this little chat as Emily shares about how she discovered musical theatre and what she likes most about the show!
Gallery 7 (G7) Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?
Emily: I've always been a drama queen. Since I was very young, I enjoyed watching theatre and loved putting on little performances for my family and friends, or really anyone who would be willing to watch. But it wasn't until I snagged the lead role in my grade 5 production of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes that I got bit by the acting bug.
From then on I participated in any show that I could, both in school and also a youth theatre troupe in my community. I had a serious love of being on stage! In high school, I had my first experience with a musical, playing a chorus member in Kiss Me Kate, and that was when I knew I wanted to pursue theatre for the rest of my life. I had the opportunity to travel to Scotland in 2010 with a group from my high school and participate in the Edinburgh Fringe festival, preforming an original show written by Edmonton playwright Stewart Lemoine; a truly enriching experience for a young actor! Since then I have been involved in other various musicals, such as Little Women (Jo March), Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel), and The Sound of Music (Maria).
The reason why I continue doing theatre is because it allows me to grow as a person. I always end up learning something more about myself and about life in general through every character I play. Every show offers a lesson or truth about life for the audience to come away with after every performance, and I think when you actually live through the characters, you come away with that much more knowledge and understanding.
G7: What drew you to this play?
I have heard about The Fantasticks before, but I never really knew what it was about. When I moved here in the middle of March, I saw the advertisement in the paper for open auditions, and I started doing my research on the show. The more I read about it, the more I loved it. I loved the simplicity of the show, how truly stripped down it is in comparison to all other big musicals.
Also, I adore the characters. The young lovers, the cheesy fathers, the suave narrator; all the characters are so dynamic and interesting and have their own little quirks that I enjoy so much. You really get attached to their stories and personalities throughout the show.
G7: How does musical theatre differ from non-musical theatre for you? Is there a different process that you go through in preparation? How does the music inform your character?
For myself, I love all kinds of theatre, but I definitely enjoy doing musical theatre more simply because I love singing as well as acting! I think there is so much to be said about a character through the songs they sing and the way they sing them, it adds an extra dimension in the character development. I find doing regular shows with no music in them a challenge for me, because you have to work a little bit harder to really solidify your character without the help of music. However, doing non-musicals I find is much easier to prepare for performances because you don’t have to worry about learning songs and choreography (and trust me, choreography is NOT my strong suit!).
G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?
I hope that audiences who see this show will really utilize their imagination and let the story come alive for them. I want them to connect with the characters and feel like they are right in the story with them. I think it is always a fulfilling moment when an audience member tells you that you brought them right into the character's world, that they could relate to your emotions. My hope is that every audience member finds some special moment within the story where they can truly feel a connection to what is going on, or to a character. I think that's what live theatre is really all about.