BWW: Interview: Media's Anita of WEST SIDE STORY VICTORIA GUITERAS MAYO
We caught up with this original Springfield Pa. resident who seems to have live arts in her family. (Mom (director/choreographer), Dad (opera singer), Aunt (actress).
Pati Buehler: Victoria, like many little girls you were dancing at 3. Did your performing family encourage you to continue this pursuit or was this your own passion?
Victoria Mayo: I basically grew up in rehearsals sitting under the production table watching my mom direct, and loved every minute of it. Once I started to get up on stage myself, excluding the wondering living room productions my siblings and I would put on, I was hooked. My parents always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do. Theater felt inevitable and just right for me.
Vitoria has a long resume of work including a history with the Media Theater playing "Tracy" in their Hairspray, "Rose Fenny" in a recent production of Dogfight and now Anita in West Side Story. This is Victoria's second time with the modern Romeo & Juliet story as she also played Anita in the Ocean City Theater Co. Production.
PB: Tell us about Media's West Side Story and working with the incredible Dann Dunn and Jennie Eisenhower?
VM: It has been a whirlwind of a process for this gigantic show, and Dann and Jennie have certainly been our stable and driving forces during it. If one was rehearsing in studio A the other was rehearsing in studio B, so it never felt like we were all standing still. Dann and Jennie are just wonderful people inside and out!
Victoria has played some truly fun roles such as "Doralee" in Riverside Center's 9 to 5 and "Lady Of The Lake" in Spamalot where she won a Broadwayworld.com award for "Best Actress in a Musical", as well as one of the daughter's in Bristol Riverside Theater's Pirates of Penzance which I enjoyed. How do you prepare for these "spirited" roles?
VM: I love big personality rolls like those! Doralee was the first time I had to really study someone else, Dolly Parton, due to her being so iconic. That was a fun process for me just to try and sound like Dolly and pick up her mannerisms. Most of the time character choices are unplanned and discovered in the rehearsal process. My silly daughter in Pirates came to be about a week into rehearsals from accidentally messing up some of the choreography in the same spot every time, but they loved it so much it stuck! You go big until they tell you to tone it down... haha.
Victoria's energy is likely enhanced by her 'second' career teaching dance fitness classes with her company CFIT in Springfield with her sister.
But for the next few months she will be signing "I like to Be In America" in Bernstein and Sondheim's wonderful West Side Story which plays at the Media Theater, April 19 through June 11. For more information about Victoria visit her website www.victoriagmayo.com For more about the Media Theater visit www.mediatheatre.org
Headshot Photos by JC Images and Stephen Elledge
Production Photos: Courtesy www.victoriagmayo.com