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Feb 11

Interview with Holly Butler of Flashdance

Full given name: Holly Ann Butler
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Zodiac Sign: Pisces

Current audition song/monologue: My book is pretty extensive, but I think the 3 songs I use most are, “Glitter and Be Gay,” “Gimme Gimme,” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”
Special skills: Ballroom dancing, roller skating, dialects, Britney Spears impression
Something you’re REALLY bad at: Any kind of sport
First Broadway show: Cats
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? I would love to see the original Oklahoma and the original Hair.
Favorite showtune: I really love What More Can I Say from Falsettos
Some favorite musicals: Sweeney Todd, Hello Again
One performance – attended – that you will never forget: I’ve seen so many performances that moved me deeply, but I think two of my most recent favorites are Follies and Jerusalem. Follies had such a stunning company of brilliant, seasoned actresses [that] I remember thinking, “I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like this again.” Jerusalem was amazing because of Mark Rylance… I’ve [n]ever seen an actor so committed to his role in a show. That kind of work makes you forget you’re watching a performance, and that is a very special kind of magic.
Mac or PC?: Mac
Most played song on your iPod: Nancy Wilson’s “When Did You Leave Heaven” and My Chemical Romance’s “Vampire Money”
Most-visited websites: Facebook, Twitter, playbill.com, broadwayworld.com, and trashydiva.com
Last book you read: Currently reading Crime and Punishment… On to Gone with the Wind next
Reality TV guilty pleasure: I don’t really watch reality TV, but I do enjoy Top Chef
Favorite cities: New York, Minneapolis, Paris
First cast recording you owned: The first one I can remember listening to over and over again was Les Miserables. I wanted to play Gavroche so badly.
When did you realize you could sing? I was actually tone deaf as a kid… My mom used to say, “Oh, you sound so pretty,” even though I was awful! It wasn’t until I was about 9 or 10 that I started taking lessons and getting better.
First stage kiss: A community theater production of Beauty and the Beast… I was Belle.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: My very first play was Best Christmas Pageant Ever and I played the angel who had to pee… Not exactly a star turn! But I think the most fun was playing Abu in Aladdin when I was about 11.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: I was really young. I don’t remember the exact moment but I was always putting on shows for my parents… I made my dad build a stage in the backyard for me. I started working professionally in TV and film when I was 9, so I’d say I’ve been wanting to do this forever.
How you got your Equity card: Doing a production of Cats in Houston, TX at Theater Under the Stars. I played Rumpleteaser.
Favorite liquid refreshment: anything with bubbles in it! I love champagne… It makes me giggly and happy.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: There are so many! Anything can happen in live theater and frequently does. But my favorite was the mistake of a friend of mine in a show I was in. He was the swing on the tour of Jersey Boys and he understudied both Tommy and Nick. He was on for Nick for a solid week, and then was on for Tommy the week following. His first night on for Tommy he accidentally said two lines in a row, one of which was not his. He said, “Where what?/The million guys,” and then, realizing he had said two characters’ lines in a row, he screamed, “AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH,” in the middle of the performance! Everyone on stage was shaking, they were laughing so hard.
Worst costume ever: I had to wear a really awkward leather bikini in a college production of The Apple Tree.
Worst job you’ve ever had: I’ve actually lucked out… I haven’t had any jobs that were truly awful. I’ve never been a waitress or a temp. Sometimes when I’m unemployed theatrically, I shoe model. It’s not a bad gig… You basically get paid to try on shoes!
Leading man role you wish you could play: I’ve never really thought about it before, but I think it would have to be George in Sunday in the Park with George. What a fascinating character he is, and he gets to sing some great tunes.
Something about you that surprises people: I’m a huge nerd. I read a lot, I was president of the Latin club in high school, I like cartoons. I have a slight obsession with running and vintage inspired clothing. I sometimes wish I could be Ava Gardner. But I think all of those weird things about us as people make us more interesting performers.
Career you would want if not a performer: When I was looking at colleges I briefly entertained the idea of going to school for either Lingustics or Law. Ultimately, I realized the only thing I wanted to do was Act.
Three things you can’t live without: My dog, my family, and good cheese!
Words of wisdom for aspiring performers? Never let anyone tell you, “No.” Just because one person says you can’t do something doesn’t mean everyone else will have the same opinion. This business in particular is especially subjective… What one person thinks is good, someone else thinks is terrible and vice versa. You just have to be persistent and keep believing in yourself.

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