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BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

The beloved actress presents her online concert for the Irvington Theater for three days beginning March 4th.

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

There is a song that was cut from a famous Broadway musical that starts out: "A fella loves to be with a Funny Girl." It isn't just the fellas that love to be with Christina Bianco, who, incidentally, has played in that same famous musical. People love hanging with Christina, not just because she is funny, but because of all the parts of who she is. This singing actress is one of the most dedicated artists in show business, she is on a constantly evolving quest to learn and do more with her art and with the community around her. A significant part of Bianco's mission statement is the giving of her talent in the assistance of others. Through online shows, Ms. Bianco has provided entertainment and inspiration to audiences around the world but she has also raised funds and awareness for those in need. Her latest venture is a three-day live-streamed film benefitting the Irvington Theater, beginning March 4th, and fans are thrilled to have a chance to see her in action once more.

When not focused on her art, Christina Bianco also uses the social network to stay in touch with her public, and to be a community leader, shining a light where she can, offering wisdom and opinions on a variety of important topics, and bringing a much-needed levity with her humor, her baking, and pictures of a precious pooch.

Interested to learn more about her upcoming show screenings, I chatted with Christina about impressions, confections, and Parisians, and I found out that this funny girl is a female of many fascinating facets.

This interview was conducted digitally and is reproduced with minimal edits.

Name: Christina Bianco
First Cabaret Show (Title, Year, Club): 'Small Wonders', 2008, The Laurie Beechman Theatre
Most Recent Cabaret Show: 'First Impressions' debuted at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and continued as a 12 city UK tour.
Website or Social Media Handles:
@XtinaBianco1 on Instagram / Twitter. @TheXtinaBianco on TikTok.

Christina Bianco, welcome to Broadway World and thank you so much for chatting with us today.

Last fall you live streamed your show ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE - how do you like the virtual entertainment scene that was born out of the pandemic?

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco I think how the performing arts community managed to consistently keep creativity & content flowing this past year is deeply inspiring. As artists, we had to push ourselves to think differently and release content in new ways. And that's really never a bad thing! My husband Billy and I decided we wanted to do live stream events from home so learned how to do it. We wrote and created video sketches together that pushed our technological (& video software) knowledge. There were a lot of bumps but because of what we'd learned, when Irvington asked if we could film a concert for them, we were able to offer a 3 camera shoot in their beautiful venue. We had the gear and the skills to do it and the confidence that we could edit and mix it ourselves. I never thought we'd do any of this, but we're glad we challenged ourselves and we're thrilled with the outcome.

You are a famous impressionist - have you ever clocked how many you can do?

I'm always asked this and I really should have an answer. Including cartoon characters, I'll estimate that it's close to 200. When someone asks for a list, I send one but always let them know it's not complete. It's always a work in progress!

To what would you attribute your knack for impressions - is it something in the ear, is it in the voice, or are you an incredible student of people and what makes them special?

According to my parents, I always had a good ear for picking up music and voices. As a very little kid, when I'd sing along to whatever was playing, they'd often hear me take on the tone or style of that particular artist. My mom reckons that Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz was my first 'accidental' impression. I honestly did it naturally! I wouldn't burst into the room excited to share my new Reba McEntire impression, they'd just catch me singing 'Here's ye one chaynce Fayncy don't lemme Dueaaaaoowwwn!' When I started singing in public for school or theatre auditions, I remember my mother telling me "don't sing it like the recording honey, sing it like you.' Back then I thought she meant the phrasing! But now I realize she meant not to impersonate the vocalists. As I got older, I realized impressions weren't something everyone could do and that it was indeed something that entertained people. So I played with a few more voices. Those few led to a few more, and so on. A LOT happened in between but today, I am indeed that person who hears an interesting voice and immediately tries to 'break it down' in my head. I've become a total vocal geek!

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE is having an encore performance online. What led to the decision to bring the film back for three days of additional screenings?

Back in November, the Irvington team and I expected most viewers to be American, as that's where most of the promotion was being done. But I'm fortunate to have built large followings in the UK, Australia, South Africa, and France - and we ended up receiving many messages about how the show wasn't airing at an ideal time for international viewers! So we decided to revive the program and make it time zone friendly - allowing those with tickets to stream the concert any time they'd like, over a 72 hour period.

Tell me about the Irvington Theater.

Why tell you, when I can show you! While I was filming the concert, we shot a tour of the theatre explaining its history and why it's so special to me. (embarrassing photos of young Christina included!)

It was only a short time before the New York City lockdown that you returned to Manhattan after a whirlwind trip to Paris to do one of the greatest roles of all time. It must have been very difficult to go from one extreme to the other.

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco It was a total shock to the system! We closed Funny Girl on March 7th, I flew back on the 9th and NYC started locking down on the 11th. In less than a week, I went from playing a dream role, in a dream location, doing photo shoots in fancy outfits, enjoying fine dining... I'm deeply aware of how obnoxious this all sounds ... to being 'stuck' in a studio apartment for months on end. At the close of any long-running show, there's usually a mourning period for the cast and crew - but there's also usually something new to look forward to! The sharp change from overactivity to complete inactivity did not sit well with me at first. Plus, I was an emotional wreck because we were IN A PANDEMIC so I was scared for the world. So I took time to be sad and veg out, which is rare for me. But it was necessary. And I enjoyed spending some long-overdue quality time with my husband and dog. I'm still enjoying and appreciating that! It's the one good thing to come out of this otherwise difficult year.

Put a picture in my head of your experience in Paris with Fanny Brice.

I hope you know what you're asking .... Settle in.

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco I was an overwhelmed, over-stimulated, overtired, and overfed, happy mess who couldn't believe her luck! Above all, it was an honor to play this coveted role. To me, the role of Fanny is unmatched in musical theatre. You get the gift of playing over a 10-year span and to emotionally cover all of that growth, comedy, and tragedy. Then there's the incredible score...and I was doing all of this with a top-notch West End creative team and cast, in a very large-scale production on the Champs-Elysees IN Paris!

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

I had to do a lot of compartmentalizing. When it came to the show, I knew that no matter what I did, people would be comparing me to Streisand. As someone who grew up idolizing her - even impersonating her - I knew I had to be especially careful about making this interpretation of Fanny Brice absolutely new and my own. So as difficult as it was, I didn't go back and watch the movie or listen to the original soundtracks - instead I studied as much about the real Fanny Brice as I could. I found there were so many similarities between us and that led me in the right direction. Thankfully, audiences and reviewers overwhelmingly loved the production and my performance. Paris embraced this production in an incredible way.

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco This kept another part of me in full promotional mode, doing non-stop tv, radio, interviews, and meet & greets. Then there was a combination of 'tourist Christina' - trying to experience all of Paris with my friends in the cast - and 'tour guide Christina' trying to host and entertain the many people I knew from all over the world who flew to Paris to see me in the show. I loved it all so much but I learned that positive stress is still stress. Toward the end of the 5-month run, I finally took some 'me time' and made sure to calmly stroll the streets of Paris alone, a few times a week. I still can't quite believe I experienced so much in such a short time there. It was absolutely the most rewarding (and exhausting) theatrical and personal experience of my life.

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

Away from the theater and Funny Girl, what was your relationship with France and the French like?

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco I'll admit that I was initially scared. As much as I love traveling, it's never easy spending a lot of time in a place where you don't speak the language. Then there's the stereotype of French people being cold in temperament, and I was even worried about finding the sort of healthy food (I can't run on pastry, butter, and cream sauces). Well, I'm happy to tell you that all my fears were unfounded. I found the people of Paris to be very accommodating with language (so long as you try a little bit of French first, they'll happily speak English), they have the best quality food of all kinds, and as for the people - I can honestly say I've NEVER received such a warm welcome from any city I've performed in. It's a bit impossible for me to separate my being in Funny Girl from my experience with Parisians because that's what brought us together. Even in restaurants, waiters would ask if I was on holiday and I'd say no, I'm in Funny Girl and they'd light up and spring into discussion about the show or the theatre or the arts in general! The French people are openly passionate about what they love and dislike. This makes them wonderful companions for an opinionated, chatty New Yorker like me. Parisians, in particular, celebrate food, music, art, and living life to the fullest. They appreciate their history and culture and want to share it with you. I felt invited into their world. Add stunning views and captivating history... I can safely say that I am very much in love with Paris. I can't wait to return.

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

You have achieved something that many people have attempted unsuccessfully. What is the secret to becoming a YouTube sensation?

My first tip would be to never 'try' to become one! When it comes to making a successful video, I technically did everything wrong. Particularly with my Total Eclipse video. It had a slow start, awful sound quality, was far too long...I didn't even post it at a suggested, 'high traffic' time. The same thing that makes YouTube success so wonderful is also what makes it so frustrating. It's random. There is little rhyme or reason to it. You can do everything 'right' and the video will still likely fail. In fact, the young people driving these platforms tend to dislike polished and professional videos and gravitate toward the more raw, organic ones.

Bottom line - I got lucky. But whatever the reason, I ran with the momentum and that's why people know my name. If you get ANY attention on social media, do whatever you can to make the most of it! Say yes to things, jump into new markets and keep that ball rolling. Anyone can get 15 minutes of fame, but you've got to work to keep it.

Visit Christina's YouTube channel HERE

Does your husband have a favorite impression?

I know he gets a kick out of my speaking impressions more than my singing ones. He loves whenever I do Christine Baranski. A new favorite is Midge Maisel. (I think he'll enjoy her even more when I master a great brisket!)

And you didn't ask this but I will say that he tends to leave the room whenever I impersonate Idina Menzel. 'She's' just a little too loud for his taste!

What's your baking specialty, and did you pick up any new baking skills during the last year?

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco With all my traveling the past few years, I was rarely home in my kitchen long enough to make things consistently. So this year, I made certain things more regularly - like pumpkin bread, chocolate cake, apple tarts & pecan pies - and I'm much happier with the outcome each time. But wouldn't you know it, my building was forced to turn off all gas lines - for months! So I'm currently trying to continue my quest to become a domestic Goddess, via a tiny convection oven. It's annoying but I just bake small items and take it slow. I recently baked and decorated a 3 tier cake, just because I had the time!

Christina, tell me everything there is to tell about Jeff.

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco Awe! For the sake of your readers, I'll just give you a few tidbits!

My little Schnoodle has always been quite the character, with some in the neighborhood dubbing him 'Jazzy Jeff' because he's always got a spring in his step and cartoon-like expressions to match. He loves hoomans more than dogs and gives the sweetest kisses. He's also incredibly stubborn, always hungry, and has a bark that could wake the dead. And at age 11, he's recently embraced his 'grumpy old man' status and will have nothing of skateboarders, children, or puppies. But he's still my baby and my everything.

Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us today and, by the way, Happy Belated Birthday! We are all super happy you were born.

Thank you so much! As I say every year, I'm so happy to have had another trip around the sun - but I'm still not as old as google says I am :)

See the trailer for ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE below and get information and tickets HERE

BWW Interview: At Home With ME, MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE Star Christina Bianco

All photos provided by Christina Bianco.

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