Today I will be talking about an impromptu meeting I had with a broadway actress named Susan Egan. She has played many roles in both tv and movies and on broadway including the original Belle in the broadway production of Beauty and The Beast, and the voice of Megara in the animated movie Hercules. I actually had the privilege to perform on the stage with her at Carnegie Hall as part of a tribute concert to the master composer, Alan Menken. But that is all in the past.
But one day I was sitting in the Odyssey Scholars room browsing Instagram to see if I had received a response from another performer who I was lucky enough to perform with on the same stage at the same concert, James Monroe Iglehart. He had in fact had not responded as of yet, and so I was going to exit out of the app and work some more on my play. But before I exited the app, I noticed that Susan Egan was holding a live stream where she was answering people’s questions. I immediately seized the opportunity, and entered the live stream. I first introduced myself and what I was doing for my project, and then typed in my question: How do you truly get into character when performing a role? Do you have any techniques and/or tips for me about embodying another person?
At first I thought, “no…she not respond. I am a random person asking a random question and she os never going to answer me.
She said to me, “I don’t really have a certain…technique per say of getting into character. I just think about, not what Susan would do in this situation, but what would, for example in my case, what would Belle do? Then I attempt to “act” when I say act, I really mean feel, the character and attempt to show what the character would do and how the character would feel about certain things. I took a little time to process this, then responded thank you so much for your insight and all you do for the arts!
This was truly a life changing experience. Never in my entire life did I think I would be talking to people who act for a living about a project that I am doing that could potentially get me onto broadway myself. Odyssey has truly changed my life.
Be sure to tune in for more exciting updates including new songs and more pages written on my play!
Thant’s all for now.