Today, we are thrilled to share an exclusive interview with Alexa Green. Ms. Green was a member of the San Francisco company of the show, where she performed in the ensemble and understudied Glinda (a role which she performed several times). Prior to this, she was in the same track in the Los Angeles company of the show. In April, we published this video of her performing “The Wizard and I”. Check out the fabulous interview below! Thanks, Alexa, for your willingness to participate!
What was your first professional acting job, and what did you learn from it?
My first professional acting gig was the national tour of SCROOGE: The Musical. I played Martha Cratchit and had a glorious time out on the road. I learned how to balance schoolwork and performing and how to understudy a leading role. I worked with an incredible cast; I tried to soak up everything I could about show business!
How did you come to audition for “Wicked” and what was your audition process like?
My first Wicked audition was a month after I graduated college. It was an appointment for the singer swing/Nessa cover in the Broadway Company. It was SO fun because I got to sing the Nessa material and dance for Wayne Cilento! It was narrowed down to three of us and I didn’t end up getting it but at the end of the audition they asked if I could come back tomorrow with the Glinda material and poof…! The rest is history!
What was your reaction when you were told you had been cast in the show?
I was home alone when my agents called me and put me on speakerphone and told me the fantastic news. I asked them to cover their ears so I could scream! I was simply elated to have the opportunity to perform in Wicked!
What was your first performance in the ensemble like?
It all went by so fast! It was extremely special and sort of felt out-of-body. It was moving and emotional and for me, was a wonderful accomplishment. Everything you practice by yourself, in a room with a piano and the dance captains finally comes to life! The orchestra, the costumes, the lights, the audience it’s all a brilliant blur and then after it’s over you get to do it again the next day! My mom also came out and surprised me for my debut, so that was extremely exciting and rewarding!
Does performing the show eight times a week take a toll on your body? If so, how do you combat this?
In the beginning it does, however after a while your body sort of attunes to the rhythm and pace of the show. Your body starts to gain muscle memory and your voice gains strength and flexibility. Our job as performers is to take care of ourselves outside of work so we can do our job to the best of our ability eight times a week! For me this means lots of sleep, water, and physical activity to stay in the best shape and health possible!
What was your rehearsal process for Glinda like? What about your first performance?
My Glinda process was a little bit different than most because I came into the company when we were closing LA. It wasn’t as rushed as most understudies are because they had a lot of coverage at the time. I came in pretty prepared and knew most of my songs and my lines before I even entered the company. When we got to SF is when I started rehearsals and getting to go on. I was extremely ready for my first performance and felt like I had really had time to flesh out “my” Glinda. It was honestly a dream come true! I had watched Kristin come down in that bubble when I was in high school and said one day I want to do that and there I was. It was a beautiful moment and something I’ll always remember.
When you perform as Glinda, is it hard to suddenly tap into the high soprano required for the role, or does it come back naturally?
I love this question! I actually sing high soprano in the show nightly and also sing some of the Glinda notes as well so they are usually there! It’s pretty nice to get to use that part of my voice on a daily basis because I get to practice just by singing my normal vocal track in the show.
What is the hardest part about performing in the ensemble? What about as Glinda?
I don’t really think anything is “hard,” maybe challenging. The most challenging thing about being in the ensemble is keeping the story fresh every night. There are a lot of people who are seeing the show for the very first time and it is our job to create this world and tell the story for them. I love being able to sweep them into our atmosphere and take them away! As for Glinda, I would say taking her journey is so incredibly challenging and rewarding, she grows up in the course of three hours! She experiences a whirlwind of events and as an actress, taking her journey is extremely vulnerable and thrilling!
How often do you rehearse the role of Glinda now that the show is up and running?
We usually have an understudy run-through every couple of weeks, where all of the understudies and swings rehearse the show and get to practice their respective roles. It’s actually really fun because you can experiment and try new things!
We published a video in April of you performing “The Wizard and I” – and it was fantastic! Could you ever see yourself performing as Elphaba? What about Nessarose, or later in life, Madame Morrible?
Thank you! It was so much fun and was for such a good cause! I would LOVE to play any of those roles in the future! I definitely see myself as Glinda but if the opportunity came along, why not?! ☺
What are some dream roles you’d like to play some day?
I have a couple of favorites that I would absolutely love to play! Dot in Sunday In The Park With George, Evita, Audrey in Little Shop, Clara in Light In The Piazza and Nellie in Floyd Collins.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors and actresses?
Be patient and persevere. This business takes time, and patience is key. Go out and audition, take class, learn everything you can. You are always a student. Never ever give up. It could happen overnight or it could take a while but eventually everything falls into place. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself. You have what it takes so go out and share it with the world.