Check out our latest exclusive interview with Merideth Kaye Clark (s/b for Elphaba – 1NT; former ensemble, u/s Elphaba – 1NT) below! Ms. Clark actually leaves the tour today to promote her upcoming album “Shine On”, which will be hitting shelves soon (we will provide purchasing information as soon as it is released). I also had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Clark and seeing her perform as Elphaba in New Orleans – and it’s not an experience I will soon forget! Enjoy her fantastic interview below.
What was your first professional acting job? What did you learn from the experience?
The first job I got paid for was “Beehive” at the Theatre in Old Towne in San Diego, California. I was hired as a “swing.” So I had to learn multiple tracks. It was a great experience- to have to know the show that well that I could go on for different characters. I think anyone who plans on having a career in theatre should spend some time either swinging or being an understudy. It gives you great perspective.
When did you first begin to write your own music? What motivation did you have to write?
I started writing my own music when I was a little kid… I have always been compelled to write music! But, in high school I got a guitar, and that’s when I started writing more. In 2004 I released my first full length album…
What was your reaction when you found out you had been cast in “Wicked”?
I jumped up and down and screamed, then turned in a circle, then ran in place really fast, then called my mom and dad!
Who was the first person you told you had landed a role, and what was his/her reaction?
My mom and dad. Of course they were so happy for me… but I’m not sure they understood how cool it was until they came out on tour and saw the show for the first time.
What was the most difficult part of your initial rehearsal process? What about the process for Elphaba?
The dancing rehearsals were the hardest for me. It had been a long time since I been hired to dance and so I wasn’t in great shape- strength and flexibility-wise. My body hurt for a while until I got used to doing the choreography. Elphaba was a blast to rehearse! But the hard part about learning her was learning how to pace myself so I could perform multiple shows in a row.
Do you have any funny bloopers/mishaps you’d to share?
In New Orleans, I went back for my Emerald city change (the really quick change before “One Short Day” from the blue dress and white jacket into the Defying Gravity dress)- and there was no black dress to change into! They had me take off my white jacket and I just went back out there! Four dressers met me backstage after I ran offstage with the Grimmerie to do the quickest change in history! So for the top of DG I was in the right costume.
What is your favorite song that you’ve written thus far, and why?
Whichever one I just finished. I write based on a lot of personal experience. So I usually feel closest to the music when I am writing about what is happening right now. I just finished the last track of my new album “Shine On.” It’s about being a traveler.
If you could describe your upcoming album in one word, what would it be?