Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spotlight On...Chelsea Picken

Name: Chelsea Picken

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Education: Ball State University, musical theatre

Select Credits: Television: "Saturday Night Live". Theatre: The Full Monty (Pam Lukowski), 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Rona), Songs for a New World (Woman 2)

Why theater?: Theatre is impressionable and romantic- from every angle. There is something so special about giving in to the world the play as an audience member and as an actor. It's escapism when you really need it and really want it. It's those moments when you are in Times Square at 10:15pm and the streets are crowded with children who just saw The Lion King and they are curious and funny and changed.

Who do you play in World Famous?: I play Mila, an extremely grounded aspiring Opera singer and musical theatre  actress. Her pop culture and serving skills are sharpened when she's employed at World Famous, a chain restaurant in Times Square.

Tell us about World Famous: World Famous is about surviving the survivor job, about pursuing your dreams without sacrificing your dignity. It's a realistic peek into how difficult it is to balance job and career in New York.

What is it like being a part of World Famous?: This is a brand new play and we were fortunate enough to have our playwright, Tim Murray, in the room with us every rehearsal. The script continued to evolve and shape up to cater to the actors' strengths. Our cast is talented and fearless and have a midwestern mentality that has gelled beautifully in this setting. I feel very lucky. The marriage of brain (from director, JV Mercanti) and heart (from writer, Murray) has made this a project that I am very proud of.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: You know that moment in Newsies when they are singing "Once and For All" and the set starts to move down stage and the music is swelling and everyone is a hero? Yeah, that. What: New York City. Who: Patti Lupone, Tina Fey, Mae Whitman, Mike Birbiglia, Mo Farah, Paul Rudd.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods and Cordelia in King Lear. And the Engineer in Miss Saigon, but I'm always typed out. I don't get it.

What’s your favorite showtune?: "Why We Tell the Story" (Once on This Island), "Sunday" (Sunday in the Park with George), "Who Loves You" (Jersey Boys), "The Music That Makes Me Dance" (Funny Girl). And a thousand more.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Aaron Sorkin. Tracy Letts. Steve Martin.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: "I Know All the Lyrics to Will2K by Will Smith" starring Scarlett Johansson as Chelsea Picken. Because we are actually twins in real life. #sisters

What show have you recommended to your friends?: All the Way, Les Miserables (meow Ramin), Heathers: the musical.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: "
Without You" feat. Usher by David Guetta.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Easy. "The Bachelor", "The Bachelorette" and Chris Harrison. I'm committed to all of it.

What’s up next?: Training for the New York City marathon! And booking Into the Woods and King Lear. Obviously. And then Miss Saigon because I'd make an great Engineer.

For more on Chelsea, visit and follow her at cppicken on Instagram and beanpicken on Twitter