Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Spotlight On...Megan Reilly

Name: Megan Reilly

Hometown: Princeton, NJ

Education: I studied musical theater at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and received my BFA.

Select Credits: I spent this past August at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Baby Wants Candy performing their signature, improvised musical show as well as a written, parody musical called Thrones! The Musical in which I played the role of Daenerys Targaryen.

Why theater?: I have always been drawn to making people happy whether that be through a kind gesture or a ridiculous joke. Comedy, in particular, gives me the ability to spread joy in a way that speaks deeply to my soul. I also love knowing that I have the ability to empower other women to be funny. Women are funny! Women are fierce! We should all be building each other up. Dreams can come true, you just have to freaking go for it.

Who do you play in ANYBODY: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera?: Since every show is different and we have no idea what the show will be until we are doing it, there are no real "roles" in Anybody. I am one of the improvisers and take on whatever role, or roles, I find essential to the narrative we are telling when we are finally telling it.

Tell us about ANYBODY: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera: Believe it or not, everything about this show is created entirely on the spot. The rapping, the dialogue, the dancing and the music. We begin the show by getting the suggestion of a historical figure or icon from the audience and then we perform an hour long, narrative hip-hopera about that individuals life. I love this show because we do whatever we can to honor the time period that this person lived in. We also get as much accurate information about their life as possible to tell a genuine, honest, grounded story with our wild and wonderful North Coast flare. Have you ever heard of that little old Broadway blockbuster called Hamilton? Well, this is basically like an improvised version of that show but the historical figure changes night after night.

What is it like being a part of ANYBODY: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera?: I do not think I have ever connected with anything as deeply as I connect to this show. Well, maybe burritos but when it comes to artistic expression this show takes me on a journey to places within my heart and mind I didn't even know were there. Jody Shelton, our director, pushes us as a cast to dig deeper emotionally, musically and mindfully. This is the kind of show that has you in side-splitting laughter one minute and then on the verge of tears the very next. It is playful, it is silly, it is heartfelt, it is honest. This show takes the magic of theater to a whole, new level since everything we create has never been done before and will never be done again. I am so freaking proud to be a part of this cast. I believe in this show so much and it is a privilege to be able to bring it to life.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I have been in love with musical theater for as long as I can remember. I grew up in New Jersey and every Christmas my parents would bring my sister and I into New York City to see a Broadway musical. This trip was always the highlight of the holidays for me since it set me on the path that has gotten me to where I am now. I honestly don't think there is anything quite like an overture starting in a Broadway house. I cry every, single time! I am also obsessed with rap music. It inspires the heck out of me and nothing makes me happier. I love the unapologetic swag and I try to bring that into my life and my own art.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: I know I should have an answer to this question but honestly I am just dying to be someone who can eat a bacon, egg and cheese bagel every, single morning without it plumping me up.

What’s your favorite show tune?: This is totally cliche but "On My Own" from Les Mis is a song that made me fall in love with singing.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:  I want to collaborate on a track with Drake. I love Drake. Drake is BAE.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The movie would take place later in my life and I would be played by Meryl Streep. It would be a tale of reflection on the reckless and wild youth that once blossomed like hot summer within my soul and my loins. It would be called "Life of the Party."

What show have you recommended to your friends?: One of my favorite musicals of all time is Aida. The music, the story, the dayum! I think everyone should see this show. I also think everyone should see the movie Blades of Glory because it is so dumb and funny and Jay-Z and Kanye sample some dialogue from it on one of their songs so like people should get on that train.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: What is this iTunes you speak of? Spotify all the way, BB! Just kidding...I am not sure I know what my most played song is but my go to, pump up JAM is HYFR by Drake featuring the one, the only Lil Wayne.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Ordering a decadent meal on Seamless, eating it in my bed and then immediately ordering another decadent meal on Seamless all the while pretending that the first meal did not happen.

What’s up next?: I am a lucky lady who gets to travel the world making up musicals and spreading joy, so I am up to a lot of that in the coming months. I am also buckling down and working on my alter, rap-ego La Dynasty. Be on the lookout for my debut music video! I hope to get that out to the world before the year ends.