Today we are pleased to present an Exclusive Interview with Erin Hasan. Ms. Hasan was part of the Melbourne and Sydney companies of the show, where she was the standby for Glinda. Ms. Hasan is the first cast member from the Australian production of WICKED that we have interviewed! Enjoy her well-thought responses below!
What was your first professional acting job, and how did you get it? What did you learn from the experience?
I had quite a few small paid gigs when starting out. You learn something on every job, as you get more relaxed with everything you do. My first full time paid was WICKED, I learnt everything, I was in the show for so long that it became such second nature to me. I got to play around with the character so much and really enjoy all the layers to what makes Glinda. Our Madame Morrible (Maggie Kirkpatrick) Also became my acting tutor and mentor for the last year of the contract. She taught me so much about stage craft. She was fabulous.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be in WICKED?
My good friend was a big fan of the show. Heard Kristin sing “NOMTW” [“No One Mourns the Wicked”] and showed it to me. I died of excitement when I heard that song and knew I had to do that role.
How did you come to audition for WICKED?
It was hard for me to even be seen for WICKED as before auditioning I’d only really done semi pro Opera. So I didn’t have much of a profile to back me at that time. I did however have the best agent who was my singing coach and his wife and wouldn’t give up until I was seen for an audition. I knew a year in advance that it was coming, I wanted to be in it so much that I took private acting and dance classes kept up my Opera lessons twice per week and learnt how to belt. It was quite a process.
How long was the audition process, and what did you have to do?
My audition process was quite quick actually, I had my first singing audition. I then had the dance call as I believe initially I was being looked at for the understudy not standby. I got cut from the call as I am only a mover not an amazing dancer. They called me the following night to come back and read and sing for Glinda. After that audition I got told to come back in a week for the final Glinda auditions. The day before my final audition I got called saying I was too young. About 5 days later I got offered Standby.
What was your reaction when you found out you had been cast in the show?
Honestly, I couldn’t sleep for a week. I was that excited, it was such a dream role.
How long was your initial rehearsal process for the show? What was it like?
From memory it was 8 weeks. Jemma Rix (Elphaba Standby) and myself would mainly watch the leads being taught everything. Our notebooks were quite full. Writing down every detail that the creatives said. We had private music calls with Stephen Oremus [musical supervisor/arranger for WICKED] and Joel Fram [associate musical supervisor for WICKED] about 4 times per week. It was such a fun process and overwhelming at the same time, as we both went on in previews. So you practically go from a very few rehearsals and tech run to playing the role.
Tell us about your first show as Glinda. Your last?
My first show was like magic, I couldn’t believe how calm I was. I remembered everything and gave the performance everything I had. I was lucky our lead Elphie [Amanda Harrison] was so caring and gracious. I’ll never forget the excitement of coming down in the bubble for the first time, it was wonderful.
My last performance was heartbreaking and beautiful, I luckily got 2 scheduled shows and knew they would be my last. I performed it with Jemma [Rix] as my Elphie throughout our years together we really had become as close as Elphaba and Glinda. So everything was very real and emotional that night. I couldn’t sing a note of ‘For Good’ from crying so much I practically spoke the entire song.
What was your favorite part of the show to perform?
‘No One Mourns The Wicked’ I love that song so much. I loved entering in a beautiful dress in a bubble singing such beautiful high notes.
Did you have to change any daily habits to protect your voice and body while in the show?
Not really I always take good care of myself, you really have to as a Soprano.
Have you witnessed – or perhaps been involved in – any onstage bloopers or mishaps that you’d like to share?
Ummm probably more than anyone lol. I guess the main Glinda bloopers were: The time I jumped so far off the Popular bed for the end of the song that I pulled all of the sheets off had to gracefully put them back on get back on the bed and sing the final “As Me” The audience were in hysterics luckily. Another was in the cat fight scene. I’m always pretty vicious with my wand, but this time I knocked my crown with my wand and smashed it off my head. The Elphie and I could’t look at me after that, as we both were holding back our laughter so much.
Are there any dream roles that you’d like to one day perform?
That’s tough, I’d really like to play Glinda in the US one day, as I’m moving there next year. Rapunzel or Cinderella in INTO THE WOODS. Christine in the original PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Cunégonde in CANDIDE. Anything Rodgers and Hammerstein and any Disney princess if they made anymore Disney Musicals.
What advice would you give to aspiring performers?
Practice really does make perfect. Get lots training with inspiring coaches. Never listen to others doubts in your craft. Accept rejection we can’t be suitable for everything, or look at your skills and see if there’s something you can improve on. You never stop learning we can always improve. Don’t let fear take charge enjoy auditions it’s the time you get to shine at what you love doing. If you can dream it you can be it. Never give up some people are lucky they get it quickly others it can take years. So never compare your career to anyone else’s. It’s good to have a competitive edge but don’t be competitive we’re all there because it’s what we love doing.