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.
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.
Open Mike Eagle Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello) Chicago’s late-but-beautiful bloomer Open Mike Eagle moved to L.A. in his mid-20s, joining underground hip-hop collective Project Blowed and founding the trio Thirsty Fish before releasing his solo debut in 2010. Since then he’s authored an
Legendary duo Robin and Linda Williams (below, left) have played Americana music for longer than the genre has existed. Their musical beginnings trace to North Carolina, where Linda was a school teacher and Robin played full-time on the coffeehouse scene. Connecting through “a robust blend of
Not many people are able to fail their way to success, to turn what ought to have been their most humiliating defeat into fame and profit. Then again, Tommy Wiseau is not most people. A perplexing mix of sincerity and complete mystery, Wiseau gained notoriety as the writer, director, producer
Charlottesville Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a skillfully choreographed, engaging take on tradition for all ages. The story begins when Clara receives a wooden nutcracker as a holiday gift, and it comes to life along with other toys that accompany her on a journey through an enchanted land filled
Local author and historian Andi Cumbo-Floyd came of age on the Bremo Plantations in Fluvanna County. In central Virginia, “there are plantations everywhere, but we don’t call them that,” says Cumbo-Floyd. “We call them farms or estates.” While she knew “people had been enslaved there,” she says
Charlottesville’s Second Draw has declared a new style of acoustic rock it calls “bluejam.” Founded in a raw, energetic style, somewhere between country and jam rock, the group’s self-proclaimed genre blends driving guitar with bluegrass instruments including mandolin, banjo and accordion. The
John Waters is a man of many names. Dubbed the Prince of Puke, the People’s Pervert and the Pope of Trash, among others, the legendary filmmaker has made a career out of his personal brand of quirky, twisted humor. Although best known for bringing Hairspray to the big screen along with cult
“I see like an artist and think like a designer,” says Lisa Ryan about her stylish collages, on view in “Please Don’t Ask It Can’t Be Explained” at Studio IX. Unlike most collage artists, Ryan focuses on formal considerations, rather than narrative. Her work is fresh with an almost total lack
When the six-piece band The Apache Relay quietly ended, brothers Michael and Ben Ford decided to work as a duo, and Airpark was born. One year later, the siblings are creating forward-thinking pop music, mixing vocal harmonies with minimal instrumentation manifested in emotional vibes that
When guitarist and singer-songwriter David Rawlings put together his third album, Poor David’s Almanack, he created a story written in the timeless language of American folk. Blending electric and acoustic guitar with twangy vocals, the album took shape in Nashville, where Rawlings was joined
After releasing a number of songs as a national recording artist and working with Tyler Perry on Madea Goes to Jail, Chad Lawson Cooper turned to theater for a project that combines passion, education and an emotional quest for slavery reparation in Justice on Trial: Black Lives Matter Too.
Sitting on a cushioned bench in the back room of the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Phil Green takes a drag from a hookah hose and exhales a stream of hazy smoke that hangs in the fading afternoon sunlight before recalling an early memory. In that memory, Green’s about 6 years old, riding around in
Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri isn’t the only story about the blurred lines between doing the right thing and making a bad situation worse, but it’s the only one that matters. McDonagh has made a career of pitch-black satires that find the humor and humanity in
Writer and performer Ann Randolph has lived an amazing life. In college, rather than paying to live in a dorm, she lived in the schizophrenic unit of a state mental hospital in exchange for writing plays with patients. She worked the graveyard shift at a homeless shelter for minimum wage for 10
Standing at a waist-high, cork-topped work table in her West Main Street design studio, Kim “Kylla” Dylla measures an arm’s length of white thread and uses her teeth to snip it from the spool. She pinches a curved sewing needle between her silver-ringed forefinger and thumb and slides the
Deirdra McAfee and BettyJoyce Nash first met 10 years ago as teacher and student (respectively) in a creative writing class in Richmond, where they both lived at the time. Nash, a journalist who had recently turned to fiction, was surprised when a gun turned up in a story she was writing. “My
First Fridays: December 1 “Every artist starts with something inside themselves that feels true to them,” says sculptor and installation artist Ivy Naté. “I’m not sure what came first for me…balancing chaos and order, or reinventing the obvious.” “I feel lucky that at times I am able to
Before you ask, yes, you will cry at Coco. No matter how many Pixar movies you’ve seen, no matter how much tolerance you’ve built up to their brand of touching sincerity, and no matter how far into this particular outing you get without shedding a tear, you will have a small puddle at the
After leaving the popular Celtic folk band Solas, John Doyle was in high demand on the music scene. Brought up in a musical family, Doyle gained prominence through his signature sound on guitar as well as his heartfelt vocals and commanding performances. His Irish heritage is evident in his
Everyone loves the classic holiday stories, but, let’s be honest, we’ve seen it all—Christmas past, present and future. Instead of choosing one, the creators of Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) perform every yuletide tale they can muster, flying through costumes and carols,