Hi there! So thrilled to come to the Playhouse soon! My name is Lesley and I am going to be in Guys and Dolls. Here are my answers to the questionnaire we were sent!
What are your hobbies?
I LOVE to do yoga. It is kind of an obsession of mine. I’m not so much a “gym” person, so my version of the gym is an intense yogic practice and a bunch of “omm-ing” I also love to organize and purge- it’s my favorite thing to Spring Clean all year round! I find it renewing and refreshing. I also took up knitting about a year ago when I was touring, so in the winter months it’s my favorite “backstage” project- it’s very relaxing and rewarding when you realize you’re actually capable of making a hat, a la Sondheim… but not
What is your nickname and what is the story behind it?
My main nickname deemed by many of my friends is “Lesls”. It originated in college when the girls in my BFA class- Carly (Carls) and Ashley (Ashls) just bean adding “ls” to the end of our names And of course, I’ve always had the derivative “Les”, even though my name is pronounced with an “s” in Lesley and not a “z”- but eh! I just learned to embrace it even though that is not my sexual orientation hehe- I even got elected Thespian President by using “Vote for #1 Les” in my “campaign”- ha! But you don’t have to use that part in the actual publication of this questionnaire- haha
What is your favorite: Play? Musical? Movie? Book?
My favorite musical ever is Ragtime. It wasn’t the first show I ever saw, but it was the show that made me realize I wanted to do this for a living. It was so inspirational and thrilling, and I couldn’t stop listening to the album for about 3 years straight after that I saw the touring production at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa in my home town, and then about 10 years later I was performing as Glinda in Wicked on that very stage! Pretty incredible and rewarding- so grateful!
My favorite movie would probably have to be You’ve Got Mail or Sleepless in Seattle. Those are two movies I can LIterally watch over and over again and of which I never get sick. Probably my ultimate fav movie is Shawshank Redemption- SO. GOOD. And then pretty much any movie Judy Garland ever made, or anything from the classic MGM era
Book- definitely Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights. But let’s be honest, y’all, I’ll re-read ANY Harry Potter book at any time. I may be reading the 3rd one right now. It’s fine don’t worry about it
Funniest mishap behind-the-scenes or onstage?
Ooof. There have been many a juicy one. Probably the most classic onstage mishap I personally experienced was one time when I was on for Glinda: in the “Dancing Through Life” sequence when Glinda and Fiyero enter the stage for the big Ozdust ballroom party, as he and I were dancing the strap to my pink dress snapped right off! Of course there was nothing I could do to repair it at the moment. So while Fiyero and I were pretending to “slow dance” off in the SR corner not being lit while Nessa and Boq had a featured scenelette, in my mini-panic, Chris (the actor playing Fiyero) helped me take OFF the OTHER dress strap and tuck both straps into the sides of my dress, so it became a strapless number all the sudden. Thank goodness that dress was fitted really tightly- otherwise it would have fallen right off for sure! Ha.
Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know.
My real hair color! Ha! (I may not even know at this point…)
What was your favorite toy (or game) as a child, and why?
I loved my American Girl doll, Samantha. I saved up $40 to help pay for her, and my grandmother made her all these really beautiful outfits. I also made her bed out of a shoebox!
What is your favorite role so far and why?
Probably my favorite role so far is playing the opera singer Jenny Lind in My Fairytale. It is a brand new musical by Stephen Schwartz about the fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen In real life, Andersen and Lind were good friends, and he admired her so that she was the muse and inspiration for many of his fairytale characters. So in the show, I got to sing some really challenging opera as Ms. Lind, then proceeded to change into several different fantasy characters as Andersen “fell” into his own creations: the little mermaid, the little china shepherdess, a snow queen, a pink princess, a robber girl, etc. It was such a blast to dress in all those fun costumes and also such an honor to get to originate a role that no one had done before- so I could totally make it mine! It was a great time.
If you could remake any movie with yourself in the lead, what would it be?
Oh Lord. Probably any Judy Garland movie- but that’s been done hasn’t it? Hehe. Seriously though, I’d LOVE to play Esther in the remake of Meet me in St. Louis, or just any number of those classic MGM musicals from the golden era- I’m a sucker for nostalgia!
What is the one food that you would never give up?
I really don’t think I could give up cheese. I just really don’t think so. I try to. I’ve tried. But I love it. I love cheese. Cheese is so good!
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To never give up- even though you may feel like it a lot of the time. You never know what’s over the rainbow.