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"Getting to Know You" with Cheyenne Brown

WESTMINSTER, CA - Cheyenne Brown is making her debut on the Rose Center Theater stage this winter in Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins. No stranger to the stage, Cheyenne's recent credits include Mrs. Wormwood in Matlilda, Young Frankenstein, and Tarzan.

More from our interview:

What attracted you to pursuing a career as an actor?

I think being able to step outside of myself and to be someone else for a limited time.

Has there been an accomplishment as an actor that you're particularly proud of?

My greatest accomplishment as an actor has to be when I was cast as an understudy in a production of Matilda, and had to go on for Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda while the lead actress had an emergency.

Wow, that must have been thrilling, what is your process like in preparing for such a role?

I always study whatever show I'm in very thoroughly. I learn the history of how it came to be and what the original process was like so that I can have as much knowledge going into rehearsals. Once I study and get a role, I dig deep into myself and think about how the character would see the world and express their emotions while still taking into consideration what the director thinks is best.

How do you prepare for an audition? I get together with my vocal/acting coach to over over what song I should use for the audition and how I should approach the song for said audition.

What do you find the most frustrating about being a performer? Not getting a role that you really wanted, but such us the life of being a performer.

How do you handle when you don't get a role you really wanted? I handle it well enough. I try to always put a production first. If I am not right for a role I would rather be rejected for that part and it go to someone who was right for it.

Anything in particular that motivates you as a performer? Seeing my family smile and enjoy what is on stage is really motivating. That, as well as just wanting to improve any way I can.

Do you have a dream role? I have many dream roles but I think one of them is the Witch in Into the Woods as I think it is a fun role and has such diverse emotions throughout the production. From what I am told I have great comedic timing, and for the witch, having that as well as the other emotions is a good thing.

How important do you think training is as a performer? You are always training as a performer. Every show you are in is your training. I took dance classes when I was little and then a few acting classes here and there but I now work with a coach to get better. I would always recommend taking a dance class and to audition to get into as many shows that you can.

Is there a role that you just had the most fun? I have to say that filling in for Mrs. Wormwood is the most fun I have had in a role. She was my first lead and her character is so fun to play. She was the comedic dumb blonde who only cared for herself which is so different from myself.

On the flip side, what is the hardest role you’ve ever played? The hardest role has to have been Mrs. Wormwood, as I only had one night to practice to go on for the original actress.

Do you have a favorite actor or performer? One of my favorite actresses is Idina Menzel. She always seems to show who she truly is in interviews and truly digs into herself for her parts. Listening to Wicked brought me to her but seeing her live in If/Then, made me really appreciate her talents.

What is a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t be aware of? I am autistic. I have Asperger's syndrome, or also known as high functioning Autism and at first glance people don't think that but I do.

Any advice to other actors or aspiring performers? Always keep your head up. Never give up no matter what others think. You are the only one who knows what's best for you so if you want to act, go for it, and seek out others to help.

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