Centre stage with Mary-Anne Wright

With a captivating onstage presence and a wicked set of acting chops, it’s no surprise that this very dear friend of mine is a wonderful stage actress who will do nothing but delight you with her big voice and impish sense of humour. 3 After lighting up South African stages two years ago, Mary-Anne decided to pack up her humble beginnings and Honours BA Dramatic Arts Degree from the university of Witwatersrand, and move to New York City to further her studies and begin a career in musical theatre. Since her time in the Big Apple, along with belting out a few famous numbers in NY favourite, ‘Cranky Cabaret’, she has also become a member of the theatre company “Theatre For The People” and performed in Isaac Byrne’s ‘Hazard a Little Death’ (Which ran as a part of the Planets Connections Festivity.)

Her journey has been no walk in the park, but Mary-Anne wouldn’t change her job for the world.

1. How does the entertainment industry in NYC differ to the work back at home?

The theatre world back home is a lot smaller than in NYC. When I walked into an audition in South Africa I expected to know at least someone behind the desk because it is such a close knit community. NYC is a little different. It is very big and almost every person you meet is an actor or an aspiring actor. It can be a little daunting at first but it helps to remember that everybody feels that way and what is true for both communities is that, despite the outside appearances, they both have a strong sense of love, a shared passion for the craft.

2. What onstage character would be your dream part, and why?

I have a few, generally I gravitate towards roles in darker or more dramatic musicals/plays because I love their raw honesty. I feel like we spend so much of our lives hiding our truth/ darkness from the world because we have been taught by society to feel like those parts of ourselves are not beautiful or worthy but in these roles you have to be honest, vulnerable, real and exposed. The magical thing is that on stage somehow that vulnerability can be appreciated as beautiful. Some of these roles would be: The Mother in Next to Normal (for when I’m older), The baker’s wife in Into the Woods, Violet in Violet, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Alison in Look Back in Anger. 

3. Besides performing, you are also a keen playwright. Tell us a little about that.

Yes, in South Africa I wrote and Produced a show called ‘Once Upon a Boundary Line’ which was performed at POPart Performing Arts Center and I am currently working on two plays and a possible mini-series. My main project writing wise at the moment is a play called ‘In the Wake’ which I am hoping to premiere in NYC later this year and also possibly take it back to South Africa. I have always loved writing. I think most actors could be great playwrights because those that do the work know how much imagination and emotional preparation goes into preparing to perform a character; you build lives and scenarios that aren’t part of the script all the time. I spent most of my youth daydreaming and creating these stories that I loved and at one point I thought maybe it is selfish of me not to share them.

4. Any advice to young actresses wanting to make a move to the Big Apple?

Take it one step at a time. Always be humble, friendly and courteous (even though those aren’t the common traits for NYC). One of the big things I realized is that, that guy/girl that looks a little run down and is irritating you on the subway may just be a top producer or director. That woman you are bragging to may just be performing on Broadway. We are never greater or less than anyone else I really think that is an important thing to remember. Connections are important, the life is hard, there will be a lot of rejection don’t take it personally. You have to want it more than anything because you will have to sacrifice a lot to reach your dreams but if you can not exist without getting on that stage, if you can’t sit in a Broadway show without tearing up purely because of your overwhelming passion for it, then this is the life for you and there will always be a way.  

5. Where can we see you perform next?

Currently I am rehearsing for a show called ‘Jury Duty’ in which I play a prosecutor Linda Marks. The show will be directed by JD Lawrence and performed at BB Kings NYC. (There are even talks of taking the show to Vegas, as well as a possible national and international tour.) I am also rehearsing for ‘The Boston Tea Party Opera’ which will be presented as part of the Fringe Festival, in which I will be playing Ruth Otis.
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FANS OF NY THEATRE: Keep an ear out for this lovely lady’s voice, and go watch one of her shows. You can thank me later.

Bisous!

Zozette

The Midweek Marshamallow: Internets pt 2

Hello again,

I know I’ve done this before, but I just can’t ignore the fact that people keep ending up on my blog after typing in very unusual Google search terms. Google searches that really shouldn’t be bringing them here.

I suppose that I should really be using these terms as a guide. I’m obviously not giving the people what they want.

*Sigh* Let’s give this a bash, shall we? *INITIATE FEEDBACK MODE*

1.  “Sparkly capsules poop confetti”

Um. I think you need to take a long, hard look at yourself and ask your inner-being whether this was what you wanted out of life. Is this the person you wanted to become? Do you feel as though you have been utilizing your time well? I hope this response has helped you find what it is you were “searching” for. ie: Not sparkly poop.

2. “Famous people scratching crotch”

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Enough? Not enough? More?

3. “Naked hairy man from Honduras”

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You’re welcome.

Bisous!

Zozette

Desperately seeking comfort food?

Hello there, everyone.

Well, more specifically, hello to all the single people out there.

I know that you are not really looking forward to Valentine’s day this year, and I know that the love-bird parades fluttering about the whole day are going to make your gag-reflexes kick in. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this.

If you are not looking forward to a day alone, I have managed to rustle up a few suggestions to make this day a little easier (and simultaneously more sad) for the single gal/fella out there.

1. A Boyfriend pillow.

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Look at that manly arm! Find this hunk for sale on Amazon. Also available in girlfriend material. (Haha – See what I did there?)

2. A cardboard cut-out of Jon Hamm

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This lady has got it right! Papercuts aside, this date is wonderful company and easily stowed away when not in use.

3. Microwave dinners for one

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Sonia really looks like she knows how get the party started. Oh boy.

4. This musical compilation

On a serious note: Beyonce made millions of dollars singing about being single. (Nevermind that fact that she wasn’t actually single at the time). Grab a box of chocolates and stay in for a Community/New Girl/Super Fun Night marathon.  The single life ain’t that bad y’all.

Bisous!

Zozette

Shut up and listen: Girls who read

Hello world.

Here’s a little something to take you into the weekend with a smile on your face.

Mark Grist is his name, and he is a teacher-turned-poet/battle-rapper. His prepubescent opponents show up in trackies and snapbacks, while Mark arrives in a crisp suit – his deadly wit lying in wait. What follows is a rap battle of note, sending all of his competition off with their tails between their legs.

As well as his epic battles, his poetry has garnered quite the following on Youtube. My favourite (shown to me by my mother – Thanks mommy!) and the video that you need in your life today, is a poem called Girls Who Read. Insightful and sweet, and a slap on the wrist for every chauvinistic pig you know.

Happy Friday!

Bisous!

Zozette

Weekly wisdom #1. Use it. Don’t use it.

Hi, I’m Zozette.

I once collected over 100 Spice Girl stickers. (and I still have them somewhere.)

I like stationary and board games more than I like some people.

Really sad movies make me cry.

Really happy movies make me cry even more.

I’ve had this weird love for Elijah Wood ever since I watched him in Flipper, age 7.

I’m more likely to pick tea over an alcoholic beverage.

I own far too many things with Mickey ears on them.

I do none of these things because I am an ironic hipster.

If you don’t like me because of any of that, well then you can probably just bug off.

Why do people care so much about what others think? Why can’t we just hate what we hate, and like what we like? It’s so weird. One thing I’ve always been good at – is being myself. Sure, sometimes I’m in a situation where I feel the need to impress a stranger – but I will never stoop to the level of pretending to be someone I’m not.

Does this mean that sometimes my family worries about where my place lies in this world? Yes, probably. I worry about that sometimes too. Does this mean that I only have a handful of proper friends? Yes, but they’re pretty freaking good ones. Thing is; there are loads of interesting, accepting, lovable people out there. They’re just a little harder to find in this world of pretentious, self-absorbed twits.

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I’m terrible at a lot of things. Sticking to diets, sweat-inducing sports, containing my sarcasm, and constructing intelligible sentences in front of potential “suitors”… but if I can impart any piece of advice to the people out there on the internet reading this, it’s that you should never feel pressured to be like anyone else. We are all different for a reason. Never feel like an outsider, because you get to a point in life when you realize that the world is full of outsiders – some you’ll get along with, some you won’t – and the people who don’t want to be around you, aren’t worth the effort anyway.

Bisous!

Zozette

In fact, gingers have more soul than the rest of us.

Yes. They do.

– And I know that my argument needs to be succinct, if it is to be effective.

1. Carol Burnett – Funniest woman ever.

2. Vincent Van Gogh – Um, “Starry starry night”?

3. Erik Hassle – “Talk about it” – Listen to it. I can’t even.

4. Lucille Ball – Second funniest woman ever.

5. Ed Sheeran – “Give Me Love” – It’s just… It just is. Like. The best.

6. Christina Hendricks – Bodaciousness to the extreme.

7. Florence Welch – Mystic woman of magic and wonder.

8. Ariel – She can sing underwater. ‘Nuff said.

9. Jessica Rabbit – Gravity says that her dress shouldn’t stay up. But it does. It really does.

10. The Weasleys – Can you do magic? No, didn’t think so.

 

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Popular belief: “Gingers” have no soul.

Findings: “Gingers” have too much soul.

Science.

Bisous!

Zozette

Confession

Never will I regret a day more than the time I told my colleagues that I once cried while watching Michael Jackson’s Earth Song music video. (The looks of judgement I received were more than enough to keep me from revealing how many Celine Dion albums I actually owned.)  This is the confession that has haunted me relentlessly over the past few months, and I think it will continue to do so, for the rest of my life. Thank you female hormones for putting me in this uncomfortable position, yet again.

But come on, people!? The elephant just got right up again at the end?!

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Bisous!

Zozette