Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stephanie Wahl!


"Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you" Ralph W. Emerson

 Happy Sunday from Palm Springs! 

I hope this finds you all doing well. I am having a wonderful time here in Palm Springs and reconnecting with great friends...and making some fabulous new connections. Yesterday, Dori Berenstein's documentary screened here at The Palm Springs Film Festival! The audience response was incredible. Next stop, The Paley Center in Los Angeles. The film will open in select cities on the 20th. 
My friends in New York will have to wait till February 3rd. The opening has been delayed to accommodate more screens! I see an Academy Award for this film! I have an interview this afternoon for my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT tomorrow! 

You'll have to wait for that...but you won't have to wait to join in my celebration of Stephanie Wahl. 
I "met" Stephanie due to a blog I did a few weeks ago on Danny Goggin. She is currently starring in Nunset Boulevard in Detroit. But she took a few moments for this blog interview. Ladies and gentlen, let's celebrate Stephanie Wahl.

 
What was the first live show you remember seeing?

I actually started performing on stage at 4 years old, and that is the first show I remember.


Where was this?
 I was Gretl in "The Sound Of Music" in Baltimore, MD.

Were you exposed to the arts growing up?
 My Mother, Sister and I were part of a not-for-profit theatre company for almost 15 years in Baltimore.  And Baltimore is a great cultural city.  
Also, my mom would wake me and my sister up sometimes to watch old movies and musicals on tv.  I think I was the only 2nd grader whose favorite movie was "Vigil In The Night!"

Tell me about your first time on stage?
Well, I learned the part in 2 days (it was just Gretl after all!) and my mom tells this story that she was watching in the wings (she was Mother Abbess) with the director and tears were running down my face on stage.  The director kept asking why I was crying and my mom had no idea so finally when I came off stage and they asked I told them I had to cough and I knew you weren't allowed to cough on stage.
 
First professional job?
"My Fair Lady" at a local dinner theatre.  I was 16 in the chorus and Lady Boxington.  I got $15 a show and extra money when I worked the dessert station before the show. 

Your thoughts on Arts in Education
I'm disgusted when funding is cut.  It's such a vital part of our humanity and personal expression.  It helps children find a voice, an acceptance and an outlet for their creativity which, I feel, helps them to be more confident in the field of study they finally choose.

What makes you cry out of the blue when you see or hear it?
Other people crying, and the last scene of "Cinema Paradiso."  I tell myself everytime I see it I'm not going to cry...then I always do!


Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing’s Foundation For The Arts)
She's an American icon.  Even if you don't know much theatre, you probably know Carol Channing.  She has drive and perseverance and great comic timing.

I’m campaigning for Carol Channing to receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honor in 2012. If you agree that she should receive this honor, can you say why you think this should happen
 I mean the possibilities for a fabulous Hello Dolly production number should be reason enough!
 
Most recent appearance
I'm currently performing in Danny Goggin's "Nunset Boulevard" as Sister Leo at Meadow Brook Theatre in Michigan.

Next appearance
The Unemployment Line.  So anyone reading this, I'm available!

What is your biggest success in Show Business
Personally, I just finished the one woman show "A Woman Of Independent Means." It is a wonderful tour-de-force and the amazing author, Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey was in the audience cheering me on every night.  Commerically, I was a Radio City Rockette for 4 years.

What was your lowest low and how did you surpass that
 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and soon after divorced and had to move in with my mom in a 400 sq. ft. apartment.  It's gonna sound sappy, but love got me through.  Love from my family, friends and remembering my love of life.

What one change would you like to see in today’s industry?
Not needing a "name" in order to finance and sell a show.  There's lots of great talent out there that goes unseen.
 
Who are your TOP FIVE models and influences as an artist
 Jinkies!  Ok here goes:
Meryl Streep, Barbara Stanwyck, Katherine Hepburn, Vincent VanGogh, the 1988 London cast of "Les Miserables"

What do you think ultimately made you become a performer? 
 My soul.  It's what I've wanted to do my whole life.  Only financial difficulties have made me doubt it.

Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?
I'm happy with my life but I always want to keep learning and growing so I could always be doing better! 

Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?
Again, I'm sure you'll find this disgustingly 'Polyanna' but I always just wanted to be happy.  And, yes, I am.

What do you do to remain positive when life's hiccups get you down?
Drink heavily!  No, seriously, I think that's the hardest part of our business is staying positive through the lean times. I get a lot of support from family and commiseration with friends and try to remember the tide will turn, eventually! 
 
How on earth do you reach theatregoers now that newspapers are obsolete and there are so many channels on TV you can’t pick the right ones to advertise on and with the web being so hit and miss.
Oooh, thank god I'm not a producer!  But sometimes good ole word of mouth is the best advertisement.  Especially on social networks.

A genie pops out of the lamp, he grants you three wishes. What are those wishes?
Oh, now the easy questions!  I don't know!  Uh, Happiness for my family, Happiness for my friends, Happiness for me. (well you asked!)

If you could travel anywhere in the world and spend some time there, where would you choose, and what would you do?
So many places!  But I think Paris and I would see, eat and drink as much as my wardrobe would allow!

What would you ask God if you could right now?
Do you find it tough being you?

What is the last stage show you saw.  Local or professional.  
 "Seminar" with Alan Rickman.  Absolutely wonderful!

 
What book is on your night stand right now? 
"Altar of Bones" by Philip Carter.


                                   

‘Nunset Boulevard’ arrives at Meadow Brook Theatre

Thank you, Stephanie Wahl for the gifts you give the world!

NO COPY WRITE INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
Follow me on Twitter If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at www.RichardSkipper.com

with Bambi Jones, also in Nunset Boulevard

                                   Tomorrow's blog will be...A VERY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!



Here's to an INCREDIBLE today for ALL...with NO challenges!


Now, GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE!

 Become A Facebook friend of mine!

Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING  and HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS


TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED TODAY!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
Stephanie Wahl in A Woman of Independent Needs

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