WESTMINSTER, CA - In this edition of "Getting to Know You" we interviewed a couple of young and talented performers from the children's ensemble in Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins - Paige Bridenball and Antonio Lopez.
Performing in her first production at the Rose Center Theater, Paige is "beyond excited to be part of Mary Poppins with this extremely talented cast. I'm loving every minute of it!" Page says during our chat. "Watching other people on stage attracted me to being an actor because I always wanted to entertain people like how the people I watched, entertained me."
Also making his RCT debut, ten year old Antonio Lopez is "excited to be in this production of Mary Poppins!" When asked what made him want to audition for the show, Antonio responded, "My love for singing and dancing in front of other people inspired me to try out. I have a dream that one day I can share my performances with the world so that I can inspire others to do the same."
Excerpts from our interview:
P.B. is Paige Bridenball
A.L. is Anthony Lopez
What do you love most about being an actor?
P.B. - My favorite thing about being an actor is entertaining the audience.
How do you prepare for an audition?
P.B. - I prepare for auditions by practicing a lot, but I make sure to rest my voice because you never want a sore throat during an audition. A tip for auditioning actors is practicing what you are going to say/sing at the audition.
A.L. - To prepare for an audition, I make sure that I know my song really well, and I know how to correctly introduce myself. Whenever go audition for a new theatre, I want to try to make a good first impression.
At such a young age, what do you think your proudest moment has been as a performer?
A.L. - The proudest thing I have done as a performer is when I got one of the lead roles in Annie, my very first musical I was ever in. I know it is hard to get a good role, and I was so grateful for the opportunity
What is the most frustrating part of being a performer?
P.B. - The most frustrating part of being a performer is when you forget your lines in front of everyone!
A.L. - The most frustrating part of being a performer is when we have to wait backstage until we go on, which can take at least a half hour in some situations.
How do you handle rejection?
P.B. - I handle rejection very calmly. I take it as a learning experience and it encourages me to do better the next time!
A.L. - Whenever I get rejected for a role I wanted in a musical, I am at first upset, but then at the next rehearsal, I realize that the role I did get has a lot of good to it, and that makes me happy.
What motivates you as a performer?
P.B. - Seeing people in the audience enjoy the show motivates me as a performer.
A.L. - The performance at the end of all rehearsals is the thing that motivates me most, because I know that I will be able to perform with all of my friends that I made over the course of the rehearsals, and that my family and other people will be able to see me on stage.
What is a role you'd love to play?
P.B. - My dream role is Gertrude Mcfuzz from Seussical The Musical because I’ve always loved the song she sings and the role itself. I think would bring so much joy and liveliness in this role!
A.L. - My dream role is to play Willy Wonka in the musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, because I think that that role would be really fun and in a way, educational, because I would learn a lot of new tricks to bring the role of Wonka to life.
What is your process like in preparing for a role?
P.B. - My process in preparing for a role is practicing the lines and the songs the role sings. A big part of my process is going to every theatre rehearsal, too!
A.L. - In preparing for a role, I learn more about it, then, I memorize my lines.
How important do you think training is?
P.B. - I do think training as a performer is very important. The training I have done as a performer is going to every rehearsal, voice lessons, choir, dance practice, and even just practicing at home! I recommend mostly to practice a lot at home and to go to the rehearsals.
A.L. - I think training as a performer is super important because you know what to expect when you audition and rehearse. You know how to dance, and you can pick things up much easier in rehearsals.
What is the most fun role you’ve ever played?
P.B. - The most fun role I’ve ever played was Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical because there was a bunch of dancing and singing! I also had a lot of lines which was really fun.
A.L. - The most fun role that I have ever done is when I played a zebra in The Lion King. It was my favorite because we got to learn a lot of fun dance numbers, and I got to have my own solo in the song "I Just Can't Wait to be King!"
What is the hardest role you’ve ever played?
P.B. - The hardest role I’ve ever played was also Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical because I was in a lot of scenes. I was singing and dancing in almost all of them.
A.L. - The hardest role I have ever played is the role of Horton the Elephant in Seussical the Musical because I had to memorize all of the lines that he has, which is a lot. I also had to learn how to talk in rhymes and make it sound normal.
Do you have a favorite actor you look up to?
P.B. - My favorite actor is my sister, Tawni Bridenball, aka Mary Poppins! She is my favorite because she sings, acts, and dances beautifully and is someone I look up to!
A.L. - My favorite actor is Lin-Manuel Miranda, because he wrote his own musical, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Not only did he write the musical, he also starred in it. I think that is really cool and impressive that he could do that.
What is a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t be aware of?
P.B. - That I’ve been dancing for almost 6 years!
Any advice to other actors or aspiring performers?
P.B. - My advice to other actors or aspiring performers is to just have fun with what you’re doing and to make every moment last. Fun shows goes by the quickest so make the most out of it!
A.L. - My advice that I have for aspiring performers is to make friends right away, because friends will always have your back, and they will tell you what you've missed if you ever have to miss a rehearsal.