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"Getting to Know You" with Tawni Bridenball

WESTMINSTER, CA - "Mary Poppins is such an extraordinary role, and I'm so happy to play her alongside some of my dearest friends. This character and show will certainly be an unforgettable moment in my life," actress Tawni Bridenball says about how she feels playing the iconic role of Mary Poppins.

Most recently seen as Cinderella in the Rose Center's holiday production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Tawni, no stranger to the Rose has also been seen on the RCT stage as Hedy la Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Ayah in The Secret Garden, and Appassionata Von Climax in Li'l Abner.

More from our interview:

We auditioned a lot of talented actresses for the role of Mary Poppins, is there something you did to help you get in the zone at the audition?

BREATHE!!! I have to remind myself to breathe constantly.

What attracted you to being an actor and performer? I’m naturally shy and introverted so theatre and performing is where I really get to let loose and be my authentic self.

What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor? Playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival when I was 17 years old.

What is the most frustrating part of being a performer? Getting sick! I have a terrible knack for getting sick the week of the show. I’m prepping by taking aggressive amounts of vitamin C. Knock on wood I make it through tech week without getting sick!

How do you handle rejection? Feel all the necessary emotions and then thank myself and the situation for teaching me valuable lessons!

Is there anything that motivates you as a performer? The feeling of being on stage doing what I love is enough to motivate me. Dancing and singing are unparalleled joys in my life and I am so blessed to have the ability to do so.

Do you have a dream role that you're dying to play? Oh goodness, I have way too many. I would really love to be Velma Kelly in Chicago. The athleticism in her dancing would be SO fun to challenge myself with. The songs are amazing too. Second, would be Christine Daae from Phantom of the Opera because the vocals are insane and so fun.

Is there anything you're doing to help you prepare to take on a role like Mary Poppins? Connecting with my cast and crew and making the chemistry unique and authentic.

How important has your training been to get you to where you're at? I think training is absolutely imperative, especially training in your weakest areas. For me, that was dancing, so when I got into college I dedicated myself to at least 20 hours a week of all styles of dance so I could be a well rounded performer and absolutely fell in love.

Has there been a role you’ve really enjoyed playing? I think the most fun I have ever had in a show was playing Judy Turner in A Chorus Line. Again, being able to dance and have fun on stage was SO exciting. Because the nature of the show is so intimate and raw, it opened the cast up to having fun and not really “acting” onstage. Rather, we just existed in the characters.

What is the hardest role you’ve ever played? The hardest role I’ve ever played was Sally Bowles. Her song “Cabaret” alone was enough to exhaust me for hours afterwards due to the extreme emotions I’d have to experience each time I performed it.

Do you have a favorite actor or performer you aspire to be or look up to? I LOVE Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the Rain, I’ve always loved her sweet sounding voice and watching her tap around so effortlessly.

Is there a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t be aware of? Most people, especially in the theatre community, I think would be shocked to find out that I’m naturally very introverted. Any advice to other actors or aspiring performers? KEEP AUDITIONING. I got rejected 19 times before I was finally offered a dream job of mine. Never ever give up if it’s something you’re passionate about.

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