Photo Flash: Faith Prince Visits GUYS AND DOLLS at Placer Community Theater
Normally, the 45 actors in the cast of the cast of Placer Community Theater's current production of Guys and Dolls are the ones on stage pouring out everything they have for appreciative audiences. But on Wednesday night, roles were reversed as the cast sat in rapt attention in the audience. The focus of their attention: actress Faith Prince who came to Auburn to talk with them about her career and to work with them on their acting technique. Scroll down for a photo!
Prince is an actress with a long career on the Broadway stage and in film and television. She has appeared on Broadway in "The Little Mermaid", "Annie", "Bells Are Ringing", and "Guys and Dolls". It was for the latter that she won the Featured Actress Tony Award in 1992 for playing the role of Miss Adelaide opposite Nathan Lane. Despite a career that has taken her all over the world, she was just at home on the stage of the State Theatre in Auburn on Wednesday night.
"She is incredibly down-to-earth and passionate about her job," said Charles Davidson, the director of the Placer Community Theater production. Davidson got the idea to ask Faith to come talk to the cast when he was asked to direct the show last fall. "This is the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Broadway revival," he said. "I tracked down Faith's email address and asked if she would come and talk to the cast. I also knew she is very supportive of young actors, so I wasn't totally surprised when she responded and said she really wanted to make it work."
Prince started the evening by giving an overview of her career along with some funny and poignant backstage stories. She then fielded questions for an hour or more, providing advice on how to making living as a professional actor. "Luck is where hard work meets opportunity," Prince told the group, advice that applies equally in the entertainment business and in other career fields. Dancer Autumn Hardin took that advice to heart. "Hearing this has given me new motivation to work hard and work toward my theatre career," she said.
Placer Community Theatre is made up of volunteers from all over Placer County and the greater Sacramento Region. Although actors of all ages are encouraged to participate, the current production of "Guys and Dolls" features many high school and college-age actors who eagerly asked questions about how to make it in a difficult and demanding career field.
"When I heard that Faith was coming, I was excited but mostly terrified," said actor Luc Clopton who plays Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the production. "But she turned out to be one of the sweetest, funniest, and most down to earth people I have ever encountered. She answered every question thoughtfully and gave some incredible advice on how to move forward and how to be the best we could be on stage while also having fun."
For many of the actors, getting the opportunity to perform for Prince was one of the highlights. Taylor Hart, the actress who plays Sarah Brown and who will be attending the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts in the fall to pursue acting as a career believes the advice will help her now and in the future. "Unfortunately I didn't get to sing for her but I'm proud to say that I made her laugh in 'Havana' (one of the dance numbers). The pointers she gave were great and I can't wait to use them as we build this show into something bigger and better every performance."
Amy Linden was on hand, not only as a member of the cast of Guys and Dolls but as the Vice President of the PCT board of directors. "Faith was beyond generous in sharing her personal career experiences with us," Linden said after the event. "Her grounded insights into the world of professional stage work and tips on creating opportunities to shine as a performer were practical and delivered with a wit, passion, and sincerity that was unexpected, but so welcomed."
Guys and Dolls, the hit Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, is currently performing at the State Theatre in Auburn. Tickets are on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com and at the State Theatre Box Office. Performance times are 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights and 2:00 on Saturday and Sunday. The show runs through August 5. For more information, visit www.placertheater.org.
Faith Prince at the cast of GUYS AND DOLLS at Placer Community Theater