FOLLOW SPOT ON: LESLIE
Photo credit: Phil LeConte

What is your name?

Leslie H.

What is your dream role? Why?

I've played some of my dream roles (the Emcee - "CABARET", Lumiere - "BEAUTY & THE BEAST") as well as some surprises (Ali Hakim, "OKLAHOMA!", the Wolf/Cinderella's Prince, "INTO THE WOODS", Mr. Mushnick, "LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS", MIss Texas, KittyBob Ames - "Pageant"). And, I've proven myself as an Understudy GOD.
Why? Because they play to my strengths. I've been able to get lost in the fun of these roles, and find some part of myself. There's always some social conscience that can be found and humanized.

What is the MOST special of all of your special skills?

Diversity. I'm not just a chorus boy who can kick my face and deliver a laugh. I'm pretty dang good at cold-reading and filling a character.

What was your first big performance opportunity? Tell us about it.

 T*E*X*A*S

Growing up seeing the show every summer, at 20, with ZERO experience, I auditioned.

Mr. (Neil) Hess (R.I.P.) saw raw talent, desire and presence in me. I was cast. After six weeks of two-a-day ballet classes and rehearsal eight hours a day, then six performances each week, a year later I was working professionally.

What is your go-to audition outfit? Why?

Basic black. Can't go wrong. I usually have to come directly from the 9-to-5.

FYI: Business attire (usually a bowtie) does make an impression on an audition panel. Sometimes I will dress for a specific role I want.

What role are you completely inappropriate for that you perform superbly in your shower and car?

Any role Bernadette Peters has done. She's a master interpreter of a song!

Favorite dance shoe?

None. The marlee where I audition most often is all-purpose (i.e. slick and hazardous), so it's usually sneakers. I'll love a pair of LaDuca Roberto Soft Sole Boots (Size 7 1/2), however.

Do you have any sort of ritual before an audition?

Not preparing enough, then getting neurotic about that.

Where did you train in theatre? How has that affected you?

I trained as a dancer. My "training" as an actor has been that of experience.

Favorite musical?

I have no answer to this question. Every show has different aspects that connect to my artistry. And, the face of the Musical Theatre is always changing, which exposes me to new things I possibly didn't know that I'm drawn to.

Favorite straight play?

Why not a gay play?

I appreciate works that challenge, educate and entertain me.

Favorite book?

Again, that word "Favorite". I do enjoy "THE HOURS", "WICKED", "THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY", etc. Each, because they move me in a different way.

Do you have any performers that you admire or look up to? Why?

I leave my options open. I don't like to play favorites.

Who is your favorite non-theatre music artist?

Jeff Buckley, Brandi Carlile, Lady Gaga.

What keeps you sane offstage?

Yoga, working my Program, dear friends.

Worst thing about auditioning?

Expectation.

Theatre is: 

Really, Theatre is Life. My spirit fades when I have to consider the time when I can no longer perform. You know the scene in "A CHORUS LINE" when Paul injures his knee and goes to the hospital? The lead-in to "What I Did for Love" is the line "What do you do when you can't dance anymore?" That destroys me.

Where can people find out more about you online?

No social media. Promise.

 

The Who's Tommy: photo credited to Kirk Tuck.
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