Monday, November 12, 2012

JKTS CHAT: A Little More with Chaplin's Wayne Wilcox

If you've seen Chaplin (if you haven't, get to the Barrymore Theatre!) you know that it is a pretty physical show - and not just for Rob McClure.  Like most actors, Wayne Alan Wilcox has his pre-show rituals and prep.  From what to eat to the mental exercises to the backstage fun, and, yes, the physical warm up, Mr. Wilcox shares his full regimen that gets him ready to take the stage at each performance.

Thanks, Wayne!  I am exhausted just reading it!

WAYNE WILCOX: I eat what our fearless leader (Warren Carlyle) says is a "light and nutritious" meal.  Usually grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and baked potato. Think pre-game meal. Sometimes I go to my favorite place in midtown, Joe Allen, and have their chicken salad.  It's great there.

After that I get to the theater way before the show, and I drop off my stuff in my dressing room, say hi to Jim my dresser, and head to the house.  I climb the stairs to the back of the mezzanine, skipping every other step, to get some blood flowing.

QUICK NOTE: I go to the gym, and I love it.  But, for me, I have to go way before I head to the theater.  Especially if I'm doing cardio.  Your body needs to recover from one workout so you can do another one (the really big shew). At the gym, I spin and I do a class, 30/60/90 by Kristi Molinaro at Equinox.  She kicks my ass and I love her for it. Beat me up, woman. Just go ahead and beat me up. 

Once I get to the box in the back, I close the curtains and I start my warm up. Breathe people, breathe!! It's all about your breath.  

Step 1: Back in the dressing room

Step 2: Put on the make-up
Step 3: Enjoy some soothing tea

Back in the dressing room, I sit in my comfy little chair with my Charlie Chaplin pillow, and I write in my Sydney journal.  It's part of keeping the show fresh. I learned how to do it in school at Boston University.  Mostly, I write fictional day entries from Sydney's perspective.  It's a trick to get more thoughts and ideas behind the lines that I say on stage. It's the intentions and the thoughts we think on stage as actors that make the lines land on the audience. Acting or Singing or dancing, doesn't matter. It's what you are thinking that makes all of that translate to an audience. It's powerful stuff, the difference between an audience understanding what you are doing onstage, or being left flat.

Then, I put on the make-up (i'm a novice, trust. But, I'm getting better).

Once all that's done, and I'm dressed and ready, I put my throat coat tea in my little tea cup and saucer and I head down to the orchestra pit and say hi to the band.  They're in the basement in a tiny room, and I think they get lonely. Also, they adore me, and I go there for my daily ego boost.  "Oh, Wayne. We love you, Wayne. You're the best performer that ever lived, Wayne". You know, just modest, not bragging, not egotistical boost-y stuff at all. Tee hee.

I stretch some more on stage before we start.  

Oh, wait.. I love this part.  At the very start of the show I do my little dance for everybody.  If you've seen Chaplin, then you know this. The top of the show opens with a big downbeat (Timpani, every string and wood and brass coming down heavy at once, it's beautiful) and I do my best Flashdance moment at the exact time the downbeat happens. I do it for my fellow Chaplin-ers.  They love it. I think. 

Or they just think, "Oh Wayne. He's just a little touched, is all". 

Read Part I of this interview HERE.

Read Part II of this interview HERE.

Before you go...

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...have you checked this month's BROADWAY BOY, DROOD's WILL CHASE?  He's a pretty amazing guy!  CLICK his picture in the right hand column to find out more! 

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