Friday, July 12, 2013
Spotlight On...Haely Jardas
Hometown: Fort Myers, Florida
Education: BA Theater Performance from American University
Select Credits: Dizzy Miss Lizzie's Roadside Review Presents: The Brontes (Anne Bronte, NYMF 2013); Guys and Dolls (Miss Adelaide, Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre); The Who's TOMMY (The Acid Queen, Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre)
Why theater?: When I was a kid I was always in trouble because I couldn't sit still and I couldn't shut up. I started performing and it was like something started making sense. I keep doing it because when I don't I start to get itchy and lash out at strangers on the Metro.
Tell us about Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue Presents The Brontës: The first time I encountered DMLRR was as an audience member in the 2012 Capitol Fringe Fest. It was easily the most fun I had ever had at a theatre performance. They created this absurd world that sucked you in and slapped you in the face with outrageous characters and gripping original music while telling you you the (true) stories of the Bronte siblings. Steve McWilliams and Debra Buonaccorsi are DMLRR, they write/compose/produce and then bring in other artists for each show. Working with the creators is both terrifying and surreal, it's unlike anything I've ever worked on before.
What is it like being a part of Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue Presents The Brontës?: I came into the process after the rest of the cast had been doing the show for over a year and had performed the show already at several venues (including the Kennedy Center). I was literally the redheaded step child of The Brontes. But there hasn't been one moment where I've felt unwelcome. They also never expected me to replicate what Laura Keena did with the role before me, they told me to just be Haely. And Anne Bronte. And a few other characters.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Big lights and spectacle are all great fun and I'll go see them any day, but I love watching new, unfinished theatre that's in a random basement somewhere where the guy at the card table who sold you your ticket is also selling PBRs out of a cooler. I love having the freedom to create something new that takes people in and makes them think something besides "Oh, well-that was fun I guess..." that's what the movies are for. I'm always inspired by those who are unafraid to tell their own stories, no matter how unglamorous. I find myself more interested by memoirs and pieces based on true events and real people. And then on the other side of the spectrum I also love absurdism and farce. I'm a little all over the map, but I think part of being an artist isn't boxing yourself up.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: My favorite shows like Hedwig and The Pillow Man or Complete Works Abridged don't really have roles that are right for me, which kills me. I would love to play one of Nicky Silver's women (in any of his plays really) he writes these over the top, contradictory hate-'em-but-love-'em characters that I just love.
What’s your favorite showtune?: "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" hits pretty high on that list. I have a copy of the 1988 Broadway Recording with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn and when Sweeney appears on the stage I always feel terrified. I think that's what good theater should do, it should shake you.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: That list is awfully long, but John Cameron Mitchell is up there.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Well, if they wouldn't let me play myself it would probably end up being someone like Amy Adams or Jennifer Lawrence or a puppet with red hair. It would probably be called something like "Who The F*** Moved My Rubber Snake? (And other stories)" You know, simple and straightforward.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a show that I know most people will enjoy. I think it has all the elements of a great show but doesn't try to do too many things to be a crowd pleaser. It's funny, but grounded.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Television. Oh god I love television. Netflix is always up on my laptop and I watch the good the bad and the trashy.
What’s up next?: The week after NYMF I'm flying to Prague with a team that is working on a drama with music called Signs of Life. The show takes place durring WWII in the gheto of Terezin in Prague. I'm the videographer on the project, so instead of performing I'll be getting some beautiful shots of the Czech Republic that will hopefully lead to a documentary project on the lives of those in Terezin durring the Holocaust and how art affected their lives. It's a total 180 from The Brontes, but I'm excited.