BWW Interviews: Emily Behny as Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Emily Behny’s life is straight out of a fairytale, just like the character of 'Belle' she portrays in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. This touring role was her first professional job after graduating from Ball State University in Indiana. Behny attended a large open casting call and landed the role of Belle, which signals her incredible talent.
I caught up with her recently for an interview and I am looking forward to seeing her perfomance in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, June 26-July 1, 2012. Tickets are onsale now at the Blumenthal Box Office (704) 372-1000.
LAW: What city are you in today?
EB: I’m in Washington D.C. with the show. Yesterday I went to Woodley Park Zoo. It was great.
LAW: How long have you been on tour with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?
EB: I’ve been on tour for fifteen months.
LAW: How long will the tour continue?
EB: I’ve got five weeks left. July 22nd the tour ends.
LAW: What was the audition like to get the role?
EB: I went to a big open call at 7 a.m. There were hundreds of actresses there. I was number 191 in line. The audition was quick. We could only sing eight bars, not sixteen, and my voice cracked. The director was nice and let me do it again. The audition was in October. I didn’t hear anything until January.
LAW: How did you prepare for the role of Belle?
EB: I read the script as much as possible. I broke down the script, analyzed the character and I worked on the songs.
LAW: What part of Belle is closest to your personality?
EB: Her quirkiness,… her love for books (pause), her willingness to stand up for what’s right, even if it’s not popular.
LAW: How does an average day go while you are on tour?
EB: Press is in early morning. Unless there’s a rehearsal, I usually have a day free to explore, to see new places and catch up on life things. Catching up on life things can be difficult while touring.
LAW: What has been the most memorable experience being on this tour?
EB: One thing we get to do is to meet children with terminal illnesses. I met a girl with a degenerative disease, she could only turn her body to the left. She couldn’t speak, but I could see she took in everything. That was very memorable meeting her.
LAW: What has been the worst experience being on tour?
EB: Not being home for Christmas. And a few times, the long hours on the bus to get to a city.
LAW: Have you ever been to Charlotte?
EB: ‘Never have. I’m looking forward to it.
LAW: What has been the most fun professional job you have done?
EB: This one! ‘First job out of college. This takes the cake. It's pretty amazing.
LAW: Where were you born and raised?
EB: In a tiny town in Indiana. I’ve always been a singer. I was in THE KING AND I, in the sixth grade and I was in high school theater, but, it wasn’t until my junior year in college that I realized this is what I wanted to do.
LAW: Where do you live now?
EB: New York City.
LAW: What’s the favorite thing you do when you’re back home?
EB: I love to walk and explore the city. I love to walk in Central Park.