Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meet the cast of #blessed: Danielle Carr

As we move in toward #blessed, the first show of our second season (running October 17th - November 2nd at the Evergreen Theatre), we thought it might be fun for everyone to meet the cast. Check out the blog every Monday and Wednesday for Q and A's to help you get to know our company a little bit better!

Danielle Carr - Mother Parnelle

Hello! What's your name, and what's the role you are playing in #blessed? 

My name is Danielle Carr and I am playing Mother Parnelle.

Where are you from ? What do you consider to be your hometown?

Well I was born in Dallas, TX, but I was raised in Memphis from the time I was a year old, so I would definitely consider Memphis, TN to be my hometown.

What first drew you to acting?

I was always a performer as a kid. I sang in choirs and I loved getting on stage for school plays, so it was always a natural progression. There was a community production of The Princess Bride at Ewing Children's Theatre, so I auditioned for that, since it was my favorite movie when I was eleven, and I got cast as Vizzini in that, so I got to be the little Italian man [laughs]. After that, I just never really stopped. I think what drew me to it is that as a kid I wanted to be everything. I never really wanted  to, you know how some kids are like "I wanted to be a veterinarian my whole life" or "I wanted to be an astronaut my whole"?  I wanted to be absolutely everything, and acting seemed like the way that I could do that. That I could live every single thing that I ever wanted to do.

Where did you receive your training?

My training I received from the University of Memphis. I have my B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from the UofM. I graduated magna cum laude.

Who were your mentors? Who do you admire and look up to, either on-stage or in all aspects of your life?

Definitely my parents, and specifically with my acting mentors I look up to Anita Jo Lenhart and Sarah Brown. They were my teachers in college and have continued to inspire me throughout the years. Personal life mentor is definitely Angela Massengale.

What's your favorite part of the theatrical process?

I love the moments when you finally get it. Where you're trying to figure out a character and you can't crack them yet. It's always an organic process and with a director like Matt, he really helps you into a situation where you can explore and explore and try, and fail, and it's fine, and then there's finally that moment when you get it and you're like, "This is what they're doing, this is why they did it. It's not about what I think it has been about. It's something completely different." It's those moment of clarity within a character. That's the best part for me.

What's your least favorite part?

Memorizing lines [laughs]. Definitely memorizing lines.

What are some of your favorite past roles?

Most assuredly Titania and Hippolyta from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I loved doing that show. I also really loved Juror #4 in 12 Angry Jurors. I got to do that show in college and it was definitely a favorite.

How would you define your style. What do you like to focus on as you prepare a character?

I would define it... I don't know if there is really a word, but I definitely like to focus on back-story because it's the choices that you make leading to the moment that you step on stage that define who you are there in that present moment. So back-story is always very important to me. It doesn't even matter the role, I like to know where they are coming from. Every single time I step on the stage I like to know where they've been and what they've been doing.

When you're not working with Threepenny Theatre, how do you spend your time?

I work at Germantown Community Theatre. I love it there! I also read a lot, and I love to sing.

How do you like the Threepenny process?

I love it. I love the Threepenny process. Like I said earlier, Matt is really able to guide you on the path to where you feel comfortable enough to explore. You don't ever feel like you're going to be judged for trying something different, and it's that comfortableness and it's that level of being able to be creative that is so enticing and so freeing.

The "Big" Question: why do you continue to do what you do onstage, and once you are all said and done, what would you like to have accomplished with your art, not just in this show, but in your life?

I continue to do what I do because I love it. I don't want to do anything else. I want to be an actress. I want to perform, and I can't see myself not performing. I do other things in my spare time, but it's always about this. It's always about performing. That's why I keep doing it. With this show and with acting in general: I've always wanted to make people think. I've always wanted to entertain people to where they don't just leave a show having had a good time, but also leave a show with something really in their minds. Something that they really enjoyed, that really stood out to them, and so I want my own acting to be really thought-provoking, to open people's eyes.

Anyone you'd like to send some love out to?

My parents and my family. My friends Elaine and Angela, both Angelas, Drew and Chris. Everybody in Threepenny and everybody at Germantown Community Theatre. I love everyone [laughs].

Always be closing. Any final words to people about #blessed?

Come see it! It's going to be a great time. It's going to be so funny. You're not going to know what hit you.

 And to wrap up, some quick-fire "Inside the Actor's Studio" questions!

What is your favorite word? Fish.
What is your least favorite word? Moist
What turns you on: creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Discovery
What turns you off? Close-mindedness
What sound or noise do you love? City-scapes, the sound of the city at night.
What sound or noise do you hate? Tapping, people who tap their fingers on things
What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt? Publishing or editing
What profession would you not like to do? Anything to do with government.

Finally, if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
"You did a good job. You did the best you could."

Thank you, Danielle. Check the blog tomorrow for a video interview with Danielle and Jared. and check the blog on Monday for a new interview!

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