BWW Interview: Lyndie Moe as Maureen in RENT on Tour
It's hard to believe that RENT is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. But, from its debut on Broadway to the present, audiences have loved this great show that tackles important issues but at the same time manages to connect with the audience. BWW recently caught up with Lyndie Moe who is playing Maureen in the touring production. Moe shared with us her passion for the musical and why she relates to her character so well.
I noticed you are still very young. And you were still attending college when this opportunity came up.
I was in the process of changing schools (from Rider University in New Jersey) to Temple University (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Then this came up. I was unsure of what was going to happen. I'm just thankful that RENT came along. I'm originally from Wilmington, Delaware.
Tell us a little more about you and how you got interested in performing.
The moment that it clicked for me. I actually remember the specific moment. I was in ANNIE at this theater called New Candlelight Theatre and I wasn't even in the show. They called me because one of the girls was sick and they didn't have anyone and they said, "Can you just come in real fast and run this part?" And I said, "OK, OK." And we were sleeping on the cots and I remember feeling that this was incredible and I think that was the moment where I wanted to definitely try to pursue it.
What were some of your favorite productions you've been in?
Besides this (RENT) because I think this is now definitely my favorite. My senior year show of high school was LEGELLY BLONDE and I really connected with that character. That was probably one of my favorite shows in the entire world. I was with all of my friends and we were all doing what we loved. It was really special. It was at a theater that I grew up in for middle school and high school. It was beautiful. It was perfect.
When did you start with RENT?
I started with RENT this year. This is the first year. The audition process; I first auditioned in the beginning of March. I found out that I got the role the end of June. It was a process.
And tell us more about that audition process for you.
I woke up at three A.M. And I didn't even know about the RENT audition. I was just in college and a couple of my friends (said), "Hey, there's this open call of RENT. Do you want to go?" This is the first open call I've ever done. I was super nervous but I obviously wasn't expecting anything out of it. We woke up at three, we got in line. There was so many people and it was so overwhelming. We all got in groups of like 20. I got a callback the first time and I was just shocked. After that, I got another one. Then I had to do this two hour work session with Joy Dewing along with 12 other girls. Then, there was another and there were four of us. There were four of us left then we didn't hear from them. So I thought, "I'm out of it." Then I was at this music festival and I get a call halfway through that saying, "Hi. We'd like you to come back." So, I had another call back and I just couldn't believe it. Then I did one more callback after that. Then, it was a week later that I finally got the call that said I got it. I was so completely shocked.
You're playing the role of Maureen in RENT. How did you approach this character? Did you allow the originator of this role, Idina Menzel influence you or did you make Maureen your own?
I watched Idina do it. And she is such a role model. She's incredible. She's an amazing actress. But, I think I brought a lot of myself into this character. In "Over the Moon," I'm a huge milk fan. Milk is my favorite drink and Maureen sings a song about milk. So, in "Over the Moon," it was really kind of easy to sing about that. I find ways to make it my own because I resonated with the character. Of course, I think we have some of the iconic moves from the original Broadway production but Arthur gave us a ton of freedom. With that, I think I brought a lot of myself into it.
Do you think you have characteristics similar to Maureen? And in what ways are you similar to her?
Maureen is definitely a goofball and I would say that I'm sort of the same way so Performance?? I make that more of a goofball routine rather than a rehearsed, perfected routine. Maureen is also a huge feminist and that's one of the things that I learned from her. I think I'm more of a vivacious feminist. She doesn't hold back when she hears something that isn't quite right to her which is something I would do as well. That's really important considering the amount of subject matter people debate about today.
What advice do you have for anyone is who thinking about getting into this industry?
I would say stop worrying about what anybody else is thinking or saying about you. All that matters is what you are thinking about yourself and other ways to improve yourself. And bettering yourself. Stop stressing over things that are not under your control. I think everything has a plan and everything will work out alright in the end. You just have to take risks and go for it.
RENT comes to Austin for three days only from October 13-15, 2017. Check out Texas Performing Arts and get your tickets now.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg