Today, we have an interview with a wonderful cast member from the 2nd National Touring Company of “Wicked” – Ms. Jenn Furman. Jenn has been with the show since the 2nd National Tour opened in March 2009 portraying the Midwife and understudying Madame Morrible. She has also worked with Bobby Cronin in developing his original music. We thank Ms. Furman for the opportunity to interview her and hope everyone enjoys the interview!
What was your first professional acting job, and how did you land it?
I did summer stock for a few years when I was in high school and a little beyond. But, my first job out of school (AMDA), was playing Jan in Grease at a theatre just outside of Philadelphia. I just saw the casting notice and went for it 🙂
How did you come to audition for “Wicked” and what was the audition process like?
I’ve auditioned for Wicked many times. It wasn’t until they decided to put up a 2nd tour that they found a good spot for me. I had to do it all for the auditions; sing, dance, read lines. It was always a relaxed atmosphere.
How long and how difficult was the initial rehearsal process for the show?
We rehearsed for a month (I think lol). It was a blast. Finding yourself in a new show, amongst new people can be a little intimidating lol. But, I had a ball.
What was the first preview of the show like for you?
OMG, as soon as I heard the orchestra play the first few notes of the overture, I DIED! It was just a huge whirlwind of music and spectacle for me. It was one of the happiest moments of my life!
How was the initial rehearsal process for Madame Morrible, and what was your first performance like?
Morrible rocks. Getting to the bare bones of such a conniving, manipulative villainess is so much fun! I started rehearsing with understudies from the Chicago company who had already played their respective roles. So, I had some catching up to do! But, the entire team was awesome and supportive. The first time I was on, I was, naturally, a bit nervous. I was onstage with some ferocious talent. But, once I put on those fabulously regal costumes, it just kind of clicked. I was here, doing it. I had a blast and I felt very grateful to have had the opportunity.
Do you have any onstage bloopers or mishaps you’ve been involved in or witnessed you’d like to share?
Well, I did manage to trip on the train of my Emerald City costume during One Short Day. I pretty much wound up completely on the floor. So, the audience could see a flurry of gorgeous green costumes floating across the stage, and one pile of green laying on the floor, scrambling to her feet. It was pretty hilarious lol.
What has been your favorite city thus far on the tour, and why?
Philly! It’s close to my hometown of Trenton, NJ, so I’ve been able to see tons of friends and family. I won’t lie, I miss the days in Jacksonville, though. I miss the beach! Each city held something different for me. It was wonderful to get to see the country.
Are there any dream roles you’d like to play one day?
Lots! I’d definitely love to play Rose in Gypsy. I had the privelege of playing Fanny in Funny Girl about 2 years ago and would love to do it again. Though there’s a slew of shows I’d love to be a part of, I’m always interested in what new material is out there.
We know you’ve worked some with Bobby Cronin. What’s it like to be part of the creative process of writing new songs?
Bobby is a very dear friend of mine and I love hearing his new ideas. His material comes from such a genuine place and it’s been an honor to work with him and watch him work. He’s so committed to what he does, but always makes the proccess so fun.
What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
It took me a long time to learn this: Don’t be afraid of who you are. Love yourself. Love every last thing about yourself. Embrace your nuances; they’re what make you who you are!