Gabrielle is playing Ily in The Art of Living. Here, we asked her a few questions about how she got her start, musical theater, and what she does to get into character.
Q: What was your first acting experience?
A: My first acting experience was technically the “Ice Cream Lady” in a 5th grade school show, where I recited over thirty different flavors of ice cream! Pretty cool, I know. But, when it comes to a fully-realized theatrical production, my first acting experience dates back to 8th grade. My high school was putting up Grease The Musical, and I forced myself to audition (despite my fears). I was surprised when I landed the role of Cha-Cha Digregorio, and super excited to be in my first musical ever. That production will always be the home of wonderful memories and the root of where I first fell in love with the stage.
Q: What’s your favorite show?
A: My favorite musical would have to be Next to Normal. It has a gorgeous score, heart-warming and heart-wrenching book, and real characters. I was fortunate enough to have been cast in a production of Next to Normal in the past, and it was definitely one of the most difficult, but rewarding shows to be a part of. As for a play, my favorite is Dog Sees God. This contemporary re-imagining of the Peanuts characters is brilliantly written and prompts readers, audiences, and artists alike to question our society. I 100% recommend both of these shows to anyone looking to experience some amazing theatre!!
Q: What is your favorite thing about performing in a musical?
A: My favorite thing about performing in a musical is that it’s live!!!!! There is no middle-man. The audience and the artist are both vulnerable, sharing the same space, and the same emotions; in real time. There is nothing more beautiful and human than that. I love it.
Q: What are your thoughts on community theater?
A: Community theatre is a very special entity. It’s such a tight knit community, where everyone knows each other and has seen each other grow. It’s really an amazing opportunity for all kinds of artists to come together and create something for the community to experience, share, and hopefully learn from. My favorite part of community theatre is the people; all of the talented people who miraculously work as one!
Q: What part of the process stands out for you?
A: I can’t possibly choose a favorite part of the process!! It’s all so good in different ways. The most valuable part to me, however, is the bonding with others. Meeting people who share a similar passion and strive to bring it to the light just as you do… It’s an indescribable bond that people share when they do a show together. It’s powerful, empathetic, and always goofy!
Q: What’s your favorite place inside a theater building?
A: My favorite part of a theatre is the stage. It’s where all the action happens… literally!! And it’s where the world of the play and reality meet, which can’t be replicated anywhere else, in my opinion.
Q: Do you have any particular techniques you rely on for getting into character?
A: I don’t really have any particular techniques to get me into character. Every character is different and requires something new. I usually just allow time before curtain to be by myself and get “in the zone.” I think about my character, their background, the circumstances they begin in, prep stuff like that! Then I tend to get ridiculously nervous and I use the energy to build hype with my fellow cast-mates!
Q: Is there anything about playing Ily that has you particularly excited?
A: I am beyond excited and honored to be playing the part of Ily!! The musical itself is hilarious and touching; Ily’s character is just one piece of that, and she’s full of layers that are so much fun to work through and examine. Plus, the character is largely uncharted, she’s totally original. Having the opportunity to take that on and bring her to life is very scary, but also very humbling. It will be a challenge, no doubt, but so worth every second. I love her already!
Gabby is beyond excited to perform in this hilarious production! She is a Theatre Major/Business Minor at SUNY Plattsburgh and has participated in regional theatre for six years. Some of her favorite past roles include Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (PDC), Tricia in Dog Sees God (SUNY Purchase), and Natalie in Next To Normal (ETC). When Gabby isn’t performing she loves to cuddle with her three cats. She feels honored to perform at the beautiful Strand Theatre alongside such a talented cast and crew. She would like to thank everyone who made this production possible! Enjoy the show!