Friday, April 20, 2012

A Girl Wrote It: Sarah Cook, Actor

Sarah Cook is an MFA graduate of the New School for Drama.  Having performed on both coasts, Sarah is pleased to be working with Wide Eyed for the first time.  Recent credits include NYFA film Rage 12 and The Country with Paul Takacs. She likes crosswords and rehearsal.

  • You’ll be performing in Bekah Brunstetter’s Yes as part of our upcoming production of A Girl Wrote It. Can you tell us some of your initial thoughts about the piece? How are rehearsals going? 

I have had the privilege of witnessing Bekah’s work through the New School for Drama collaboration classes, and my initial reaction was glee. She has such a witty voice, and an accessible vernacular, so it's easy to jump into the dialogue and make it your own.  Rehearsals have been a blast; working with Brian and Andrew has been great, and we've been enchanted by the studio spaces this city has to offer. 

  • When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started? 

I had a friend who was auditioning for a show, and I informed my mother that I wanted to audition as well. I auditioned with a song from "Annie" and forgot the words mid-way through the 1st verse. The director practically screamed the lines out to me while pounding out the tempo on his desk with his clenched fist.  After walking offstage, I was handed a slip of paper, congratulating me on being cast in the chorus. Upon receiving the news, I promptly burst into tears...because I did not understand why I had not been cast as a lead.  I figured it was some mistake on the part of the director.  Years later, I still think that was the moment I knew I wanted to be an actor. In any case, that show was called Dorothy meets Alice and I got to tromp about on stage in a foam sandwich board "ace of spades" get-up without pants. I was 8 years old, and I was hooked. 

  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why? 

I think inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere, so I count my whole life as one big creative influence. I moved around a lot as a kid, eventually settling in CA, but there were many disparate experiences from early on that still play a big part in my creative faculties. More specifically, I believe audio books from my childhood have really left a mark on my creative process. Sometimes just hearing a lyrical voice, or words intonated strangely can trigger all sorts of imaginings. I also have a very charismatic mother, who is an unknowingly charming storyteller. I learned the fine art of imitation from her nightly dinner-table conversations. I'd also say that the theatre I've seen, and the people I've worked with have all, in some way, contributed both consciously and unconsciously to my creative process. 

  • What is your favorite part of the creative process before you perform for an audience? Do you have a particular pre-show ritual that you engage in before curtain? If so, can you share it with us? 

I adore rehearsal, and especially table work. It's often the only time I get to be really cerebral and geeky, putting on my critical thinking brain and talking about story arc and structure and objectives and motivations...all that actor-y stuff.  As far as pre-show rituals go, I often find that simply sitting in front of the mirror, and putting on makeup or getting the full costume zipped up really lands me in character.  Other times, listening to thematic music or doing a short physical warm-up will help me focus my energies. 

  • I believe this is your first time working with Wide Eyed. We’d like to get to know you a little better. Could you tell us a little bit about what you like to do in your spare time? 

In my spare time, I love to read, sit in the sun (when it's available), or visit with friends.  Spontaneous adventures are always a go for me.  Being from California, I miss being outdoors year-round: I like running and swimming and...sorry, but I feel like this is a dating profile all of a sudden.  Um... in my spare time, I daydream a lot. I'm often caught off-guard meeting my friends in the street because I'll have a weird expression on my face, and then I'll have to try and explain that I was just contemplating what it would be like to have to hike a mountain in a corset. 

  • Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Care to share with us? 

I'm currently working on finding an apartment since my lease is up.  If you have any leads, hit me up.

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