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Friday, August 27, 2010

So, this happened, too!

I hope you've all been sufficiently delighted and/or weirded out by the video pastiche I posted two days ago. If you didn't think I was capable of such senseless tomfoolery, boy, weren't you surprised.

Related tangent for a hot second: Isn't my sister the Ultimate Bomb Digs? I wholeheartedly concur, tenfold, with all the nice things people have had to say about the Little Bonus Ricci. She is an extremely talented singer and performer, and also a genius, and also might be the best human ever to live. Stop me before I start to brag. In all seriousness, thanks for all the complimentary comments. We so appreciate your support! (And if you liked "A Thirty-Eight Song Medley," do send it along to your friends! Our goal is to take over the world, through the power of song.)

Okay, back to my favorite topic: Me. Allow me to direct you to an interview with Yours Truly (that's right, from now on I'm going to capitalize all references to Myself) that's just been featured on the WICKED News site Innuendo and Outuendo. It's basically a fun li'l summary of the content we've covered here on Unnaturally Green -- a retrospective, if you will. Which is apropos, in a sentimental way, because both WICKED San Francisco and my WICKED Blog are, well...going to DIE!

(From whence I shall be reborn in a new, invigorating, me-in-NYC-doing-theater-but-also-other-things Blog, whose title is yet to be announced. So be forlorn not! Many more hijinks are in our future!)

Anywho, click here to read my interview, or click on "Read More," as I'll paste the full text on my blog after the jump. Enjoy!
Today, we are excited to share an interview with Felicia Ricci of the San Francisco cast of the show, which closes on September 5. Ms. Ricci is currently the standby for Elphaba in that production, having previously been in the ensemble and an understudy for the role. As we’re sure you know, she also runs a blog about her experiences in the show, called “Unnaturally Green”, which you can click on to check out. Tomorrow, we’ll have an interview with the standby for Glinda from the production, Libby Servais. For today, enjoy this wonderful interview with Ms. Ricci!
What were some of your favorite shows that you did in college? What did you learn from those experiences?
I did a ton of plays and musicals in college, most of which were student-run. Being a non-theater major, I had to learn by doing. Student-run productions often presented many logistical challenges, but made me appreciate the value of collaboration and cooperation among a company of people. My two favorite shows were probably “Assassins” (I got to play a Charles Manson fanatic!) and “The Last Five Years” (which had lots of challenging singing, and felt like vocal boot camp).
What was your audition process like for “Wicked”? How many times did you try out?
I got really lucky and had to audition for “Wicked” only one time in December 2009. The whole audition/callback/hiring process was barely week long! Talk about a huge life change in a short amount of time.
What was your reaction when you found out you had been cast in the show?
I actually had a fitting before “Wicked” officially hired me; they wanted to make sure they could costume me from the resources they already had. So finding out was a bit of a process: all during the fitting I was bursting at the seams (figuratively, not literally (or else they wouldn’t have hired me!)) but I couldn’t truly celebrate until I had heard official word. Official word came later that day, while I was taking a walk with my best friend from growing up. We both started screaming and doing a celebratory dance.
Who was the first person you told that you had been cast? What was his/her reaction?
As I said, I was with my best friend at the time when I got the “you’ve been hired!” call. After that, the first people I called were my boyfriend (who was ecstatic!) and my mom and dad (who were also ecstatic!). Then, as the day progressed, I literally made a million more calls and pulled people aside on the street to tell them I’d been cast in “Wicked.” Just kidding about that last part.
What was the most difficult part of your initial rehearsal process for the ensemble? What about for Elphaba?
Rehearsing for the ensemble is insane because it’s just you and the dance captains and you have to imagine that all the other cast members are with you. And for the first few weeks you don’t rehearse onstage, so you have to also imagine the set, lights, costumes, etc. It’s all about using your imagination. With Elphaba it was similarly challenging, but what was extra taxing was that I was performing in the ensemble in the evenings and learning Elphaba during the day.
What was your first performance like? How would you describe it in one word?
THEMOSTFUNEVER.
What was your reaction when you found out you had been moved to standby?
More screaming, celebratory dancing.
What was it like to ride the “Defying Gravity” lift for the first time? Is it difficult to sing while riding it?
The first time I had to ride ‘n’ sing was during my put-in rehearsal, which was four days before my Elphaba debut. It is indeed tricky, because, while flying, you have to stand on this tiny platform with your feet glued together, and you can’t shift your stance. So my trick is to tighten my butt really hard and stay grounded. And, if all else fails, adrenaline kicks in and does most of the work.
What is it like to go on mid-show as opposed to for a full show? Does it make it difficult to really “get into the character”?
Yes, it is much harder, because you have to fill in the early part of Elphaba’s journey in your mind and sensory memory. Definitely more of an uphill battle. But certainly not impossible.
Have you had to change any daily habits to protect your voice and body while in the show?
Yes, definitely. I am way anal-retentive about my vocal regimens these days. Top four daily habits are probably: 1) lots and lots and lots and lots of water (I’m serious: LOTS), 2) use a Neti Pot at least once a day, 3) sleep with a humidifier on, 4) vocalize daily. And then, if I’m feeling under the weather, I supplement my routine with other stuff, like tea with honey, or hydrogen peroxide gargling, stuff like that. Is this TMI?
Have you witnessed – or perhaps been involved in – any onstage bloopers or mishaps that you’d like to share?
Oh, hellz yeah. The first time I went on as Elphaba (which was mid-Act I), while crossing upstage to the Defying Gravity lift, I got my broom caught between two set pieces and broke it in half. I performed the song holding just the broom’s tip, which looked like a dustpan duster.
We have been following your blog – “Unnaturally Green” – what have you thought about the fans’ reaction to the blog?
Hey, thanks for the plug! I am psyched that fans are into the blog! I began writing it back in January on my plane ride over to San Francisco from New York City, and it’s chronicled my entire journey in “Wicked” thus far. Honestly, it started as something that was purely for my own amusement — maybe also to amuse the occasional bored friend or family member — but it certainly has caught on in ways I never imagined! I think “Unnaturally Green” appeals to a wide readership because it not only divulges behind-the-scenes tidbits from the Wonderful World of “Wicked,” but also dispels a lot of mystery about what it’s like to work in a professional Broadway company.

6 comments:

  1. THEMOSTFUNEVER < is that a Felicia word??? ;)

    That 38 song melody was amazing! You and Tessa are very talented!!! :)

    The breaking of the broom, what will happen to your souvenier you got from that whole experience?

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  2. hydrogen peroxide gargling-a really good wellness tip and secret(just dont swallow it!!!)

    Fun interview and hope to see you as Elphie soon before you leave!!

    Mitchell

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  3. Great interview, Felicia! Reading it was THEMOSTFUNEVER. I thought I already knew all there was to know about you and Wicked. I loved the tidbit about the fitting before you were officially hired in Wicked. Your vocal regimen was interesting and not TMI at all! ♥

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  4. Actually, I get a kick out of your "acting" with the pitch pipe, or what ever you call that round thing. You are crackafunny in only a few seconds.

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  5. It seems your mission of World Domination Via Catchy Tune has claimed a victim. It's insidious, this song is. I watched it a few times when you first posted and got the first 30 seconds or so stuck on repeat in my head for a couple of days. But then I need to know what comes next so I go back and watch again. And now 40 seconds are stuck in my head....and so on...til a mere 8 days later and I'm at like 90% accuracy. I'm not sure whether to be proud of this feat or slightly mortified at how easily I've been brainwashed. lol

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  6. Hi Felicia,

    I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago. It has been super, super fun (dare I say THEMOSTFUNEVER!) to read your take on all things Wicked. Not only do you have a great singing voice, you also have a wonderfully mischevious writer's voice, too.

    Honestly, most blogs (mine included) are deadly-dull, and I rarely give them more than a cursory glance (especially mine, LOL). Unnaturally Green has been the exception: a must-read, must-laugh, must- tell-all-my-theatre-queen-friends extravaganza of epic proportions.

    I'm bummed out that I never got to see you as Elphaba, but I am certain that there will be many more chances to see you belting out the show tunes in future productions on Broadway or on tour.

    Thanks again for such an entertaining read, and especially for that wacky 38-song medley with your sister. What a hoot!

    I wish you the very best of luck and much success in all your future endeavors. I will keep an eye out for your name on the marquee!

    -John

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