BWW Interview: Megan Hilty Talks About Her Upcoming Tampa Cabaret, Career Advice and Motherhood

BWW Interview: Megan Hilty Talks About Her Upcoming Tampa Cabaret, Career Advice and Motherhood

Broadway's Megan Hilty took some time to answer a few questions for BroadwayWorld prior to her upcoming concert Sunday, April 22, 2018 at the Straz Center in Tampa.

Known for her iconic roles on Broadway as Glinda in Wicked, opposite Idina Menzel and as Doralee in 9 to 5 The Musical, Megan has made guest appearances on many television shows, including Bones, The Closer, Desperate Housewives, and Ugly Betty. Miss Hilty was also the pipes behind the singing voice of "Snow White" in Shrek the Third, the "China Doll Princess" in the animated feature Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return and the voice of "Rosetta" in the Disney Fairies series.

(I will confess, The Pirate Fairy is my favorite. You should watch it sometime.)

Fans will remember her in the cast of NBC's Smash portraying "Ivy Lynn," running neck and neck with Katherine McPhee's character "Karen Cartwright" for the lead in a musical about Marilyn Monroe.

(NBC! Please bring this show back!)

Here's what the lovely Miss Megan had to share with us.

When did you know you wanted to pursue acting and singing professionally? Who or what was your source of inspiration?

I grew up singing at every possible moment - I probably drove my family crazy! It wasn't until I saw the touring production of Jekyll & Hyde that I realized that people actually sang for a living. I remember sitting in the audience and being so excited and I knew that I wanted to make other people feel that way too.

You cross so many performance mediums, TV, stage, films, animation; do you prefer working in one medium over another?

I just love working, in general. I have to say, though, that animation is so much fun! I love it so much and I'm always so grateful for the voice over work that I get to do.

Is there a character you have yet to play in which you would like to bring to life?

Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd.

You have taken some time out of your busy career to have 2 children. How has motherhood changed your life priorities and career focus?

Everything has changed. Mostly, I find myself constantly asking myself if a job is worth spending time away from my kids.

What have you learned from your children that surprised you?

To slow down and enjoy every possible moment. That was hard for me before I had kids. Now I am painfully aware of how quickly time is passing and I don't want to waste a second of it.

Career advice for girls looking to follow in your footsteps?

Anyone who wants to go into this business, you have to know that it is incredibly difficult. You've never "made it". Even when you're in a Broadway show, you're still hustling to figure out what the next gig is. Once you've landed the next gig you have to hustle to get the next one - and that cycle never ends. You also have to be ready to deal with a LOT of rejection. A LOT. If that doesn't scare you, I have two pieces of advice: 1)do everything you can in the beginning & 2)be nice to everyone.

What do you hope to bring to the stage in your concerts?

The whole point of cabaret/concert performances is for the audience to leave feeling like they've gotten to know the singer on a deeper, more personal level. There is no character to hide behind, no set or fancy costume - it's just me. So, to answer your question, I'm just bringing myself, a shiny dress and a bunch of stories and songs that I love. Oh... and Matt Cusson... I'll bring Matt, too! He plays the piano (and sings) like no one I've ever heard... so, you're welcome, Tampa!

What is next for Megan Hilty? Any upcoming projects you would like to share?

I've got a bunch of concerts coming up and I'm about to announce a couple of really exciting new projects that I've been working on... but not yet!

(Aww, she's such a tease. I'll see if I can pry out any more info when I publish my review of her concert.)

Although I am saving a lot of what I am going to say in my review of Megan's show, I will say this; I have seen Megan in cabaret settings in New York and what she mentioned in this interview about the point of cabaret being an intimate evening with the performer is so true. Cabaret artists have a way of interacting with their audience, telling interesting stories, often by poking fun at themselves, and making you feel you've made a friend. Each time I have seen Megan, that is how she left us feeling. I love the art form of cabaret for that very reason. There are no costumes to distract you, no grand lighting or sets to overwhelm you and no characters to hide behind. Cabaret is raw talent. And not everyone can pull it off, especially when it comes to connecting so personally with an audience. If you want to see cabaret the way it was created to be, and performed by a consummate pro, meet me in Tampa at The Straz. You'll see what I mean and you will have made a new friend. Her name is Megan Hilty.

For more information about the Straz, visit www.strazcenter.org.

For more information on Miss Hilty, visit www.meganhiltyonline.com.

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