Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interview with Charlene Sloan from LTA's Funny Money

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?
I play Jean Perkins and she is a really great character to play. She goes through a huge emotional journey in the show and that makes her so complex and exciting to portray. She does take a lot of energy and even though it can be exhausting at times it has been so rewarding.  Funny Money is just such a fun show to work on. The script is hilarious and we laugh through rehearsals as we discover more and more about our characters and the ridiculous situation they find themselves in.
What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of “Jean Perkins”?
Hmmm. I think I have just learned how to emote more. In my real life I don’t always feel comfortable showing emotions like anger, fear, or sadness, so I was afraid that might limit me in terms of showing the range of emotions that the character Jean Perkins feels. Of course, I still feel those emotions, so I learned to just be free, trust my director and cast mates and let those emotions out…In a funny way, of course!
What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?
I just want the audience to laugh out loud. Funny Money is a comedy and so laughter is really the goal, but I would also like the audience to be able to identify with the characters. Even though it is a comedy, we have worked hard in rehearsals to make the characters realistic so that audience members could see a little of themselves in each of us. I want the audience to see the characters as real people who get caught in a ridiculous situation. That’s where the comedy is created.
How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?
I started acting last December, so I am really a newbie, but I love it. My first show was “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play.” It was a great start into stage acting because it was a radio play, which allowed us to keep our scripts with us on stage. Even though I had the lines memorized by the time performances started, it was such a comfort to a new actor to have the script with me. Now, I can’t wait to get the lines memorized so I can get rid of the script and really get more into the character!
I got involved in theater because I always loved seeing shows and would get excited to go to the theater, but when I would arrive and take my seat I always felt a sadness that I couldn’t understand for the longest time. Then, I saw a recent production of “Follies” at The Kennedy Center and it hit me, “I wish I was up there doing that.” Now, I don’t have that tinge of sadness when I go to the theater because I am able to take part as both an actor and an audience member.
I got involved with LTA by auditioning for Funny Money. I knew LTA was a phenomenal group and I thought I would learn a lot just by auditioning. I went to the audition thinking, “I’m not gonna get a part, but the audition itself will be fun.” And it was; getting a part was a “double bonus.”
What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
Just do it! If you are interested, get involved. Audition, volunteer, take a class, whatever. Don’t listen to doubters or fears in your own mind. If you are interested in taking part in theater whether it is as an actor or behind the scenes then go for it. Life is too short to not try things you feel a passion for.
Charlene Sloan (Jean Perkins) is thrilled to be making her LTA debut in Funny Money. Previous roles include Anne in a staged reading of The Slippery Ladies Book Club (RCP), Kay Ridgeway-Mostyn in Murder on the Nile (PTC) and Matilda/Ruth Daiken Bailey/Mrs. Thompson/Sadie Vance in It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (PPF). Charlene also works with Broadway Barks and Braille Tails. These nonprofit organizations are dedicated to the plight of homeless animals and increasing Braille literacy among the visually impaired.

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