Checking in with Steph Finn

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Checking in with Steph Finn

 What are you working on right now?

I am about to start Cabaret at Four County Players, and I’ll be playing Sally Bowles.
 
Tell us about your day job.
I work at Bittersweet Clothing in the Glass Building. I love it. I’m basically there every day, sometimes half days, sometimes full days. I’m into clothes and fashion, so putting together outfits and dressing mannequins are really fun for me. And I like interacting with people. As an actor, interacting with people is essential, and having that as a constant presence in your life is a great way to learn.
 

Steph Finn says her favorite actor is Gary Oldman. “He’s a total chameleon, which I love. I don’t think he’s had the same accent in any two movies.” See Finn become Sally Bowles in Cabaret, which opens March 5 at Four County Players.

What is your favorite tool of the trade?
I don’t know that I have any specific tools. My favorite aspect of acting is being able to delve into somebody else’s mind and connect with the other people who are on stage with you. That’s really valuable for an actor to be able to do, because they really give you everything you need to work with.

Tell us about a big idea that you’re carrying around with you.
One thing that I think about a lot is finding a way to put on shows that we all love and have heard of, or have seen in some random way—shows that not many people have heard about, but we know are impactful and that we would love to put on. The challenge is finding a way to do that, because we know they wouldn’t air in the big theaters, because they’re too abstract or small or whatever. I would love to get people together who are inspired by whatever piece they have found, even if it’s just for a weeklong rehearsal period, and just put it out there. 
 
Locally, who would you like to collaborate with?
I’m really excited about working with people in the cast of Cabaret who I haven’t worked with yet, particularly Linda Zuby and Francis Dean. Amanda McRaven has actually just come back to town, and I’ve worked with her before, so I’m excited about working with her again.
 
Have you traveled recently?
This past year I haven’t left town, but previously I’ve gone to Edinburgh with Live Arts, and that’s been amazing. I was part of the group that goes over to run the American High School Theatre Festival, which is part of the Fringe Festival that goes on there every year at the end of July and the beginning of August.
 
Who is your favorite artist outside your medium?
My favorite creative artist at large…sentimentally, one of my favorite artists of all time is Ben Folds. I sort of put in him that category because I think he does more than tell music: He tells stories, puts on amazing performances, so he’s someone who comes to mind.
 
What music are you listening to lately?
I listen to a wide variety of things, depending on what kind of mood I’m in: Roisin Murphy, who is an Irish singer, and I’ve actually been listening to Lady Gaga, because I think she’s brilliant. And I’ve got a deep and abiding love for The Decemberists.
 
Guilty pleasures?
Probably British television. I actually love this really dark show called “Wire in the Blood,” based on a mystery novel about a forensic psychologist. It’s very much a murder mystery, serial killer kind of thing, but the guy who plays the lead is a brilliant actor, and it’s really well done.
 
What would you say is inspiring about Charlottesville?
There’s such a mass of amazing, talented people in this town. I feel like every conversation I have with people that I work with and people that I know is really inspiring, and based in a desire to create. I love being around that.
 
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