Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spotlight On...Nicole C. Hastings

Name: Nicole C. Hastings

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Education: Barnard College of Columbia University, BA, American Studies

Select Credits: The Second City Touring Company, The Second City's American Mixtape at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Second City Mainstage & etc understudy

Why theater?: The money. Kidding! I had a roundabout path to theater in my adult life, though I did it when I was younger. Simply, this makes me happier than anything else. I have also done a lot of sketch and regular improv in recent years; I love live comedy and the relationship you build with an audience through laughter. Something I specifically love about music improv, however, is that the heightened emotion inherent in music permits some very real, vulnerable moments in addition to the comedy, which -- to me -- results in a uniquely powerful product.

Who do you play in Blank! The Musical?:  The beauty of a show like this is that I will play anyone, and it will be different every night. I may be the ingénue, I may be the romantic lead, or I may be the sassy old British bartender -- or I may be some combination.

Tell us about Blank! The Musical: Blank! The Musical is a fully improvised, narrative musical. More precisely: it's magic. Blank! is six actors, three musicians, and a technical team creating a professional-level piece of musical theater in real time, which will entertain and move you, while having something to say. If the power of theater lies in its ability to comment on some aspect of society today, then this show is the apex of that experience: this is a piece of theater that is happening now and is -- by its nature -- of its time. It's innately present. It's alive. 

What is it like being a part of Blank! The Musical?: It is joy.  There is a very special energy in the room when you collect people who are passionate about this art form -- one that is young enough that we get to help carve its path together. We're all veterans of this art form (music improv) in our respective communities; together, we're working really hard to push previous boundaries about how great it can be.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: It has to have heart.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: The one(s) I'm going to play opening night.

What’s your favorite show tune?: "Still Hurting" (The Last Five Years). My roommate and I saw The Last Five Years when it was in previews here with the original cast, and I still find it extremely powerful.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: For musical theater: Jason Robert Brown. For personal heroes: I would bring Madeline Kahn back and work with her.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Probably Lauren Ambrose. When she was in "Can't Hardly Wait," I had the same haircut, and we looked eerily similar. I'm 5'1" and sometimes a bit of a hot mess, so the movie of my life would be called "Small Disaster."

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I just got into town, so I haven't seen much this time around; however, I'm really looking forward to Matilda, so I suspect I will be recommending that after I see it Wednesday. I'm a Tim Minchin fan. 

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?:"If You Ain't Got Love" by Mason Jennings.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Chocolate and peanut butter combined. 

What’s up next?: We'll see!