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  • Natalie Wisdom

Caelan Creaser – Professional Actress.

[Interview Date: November 4, 2020]

Head Handmaiden and Elsa u/s, Frozen First National Tour.

Where were you on March 12, 2020, the day Broadway shut down? And what was the week leading up to it like?

I was on the Frozen North American tour. We were about midway through our performances in Portland, OR. I remember the night of the 11th, we all performed a normal show and went home in anticipation of, if we were going to have a show the next day or not. The following day, we got an email about a company meeting and at noon that day, we were told of the shutdown due to COVID. I remember our cast crying and just sitting in the theater in shock that we had a day or so to pack up all our things, pack up the theatre, and determine where we were going to go back “home” to.

Did you initially anticipate that Broadway and other theatre productions would be closed for this long?

Definitely not. I think most actors truly only expected the shutdown to last a couple months. Looking back at my thoughts about the severity of COVID in March, I was so naïve to how serious this virus is.

What have you been doing over the past year or so to stay sane? What has helped you the most?

I have been trying to stay creative by taking dance and voice lessons from my living room. Definitely not the same, but it helps my longing to be back performing a little bit! I also have decided to pursue my Master’s degree online during this time off. I also adopted a sweet little puppy, Ollie, that has truly been a saving grace and a new best friend during these difficult times.

What has been the hardest thing about the past months since the shutdown?

I think the hardest thing has been hearing just how long we have to wait to go back- and it could even be longer. The summer of 2021 is definitely a long time to wait, but I know that whenever we go back it will be truly magical and worth the wait!

What positives, if any, do you think have come out of this time of quarantine?

I’ve definitely had a lot of self-discovery time, which has been great. It’s been really fun to have time to explore other passions of mine, besides theatre. I’m also back home with my family, so all this unexpected family time is something I am very grateful for.

What is your biggest concern right now?

My biggest concern is that if this shutdown keeps continuing on for even longer than June 1, 2021 that many theatres, Broadway and regional, might not survive the shutdown. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that my tour might be cancelled if the shutdown lasts too long.

What do you miss the most about live theatre?

So many things. I miss performing with other unique, talented, and kind individuals in the Frozen National Tour. I miss getting to step into a different world each night and tell a story to someone who might be seeing theatre for the first time. I just miss singing along with the orchestra and feeling that goosebump-y feeling when the orchestra tunes up before the show starts. I also miss getting the pre-show nerves whenever I would have to go on for the role I understudied on tour. I miss it all.

What’s your favorite theatre memory?

I think my favorite memory would have to be the first Broadway show I ever saw. It was the Pippin revival, I was 18, I had saved up for this ticket and all I could afford was the very back row in the balcony. Yet, I remember sobbing through the entire show, because I was so inspired and blown away.

My favorite performing memory had to be performing Elsa in my hometown of Seattle while on tour. Having my entire family and friends in the audience watching me was surreal. Reminding myself that I was now Elsa, performing on the same stage where I had grown up, going to see Broadway touring shows my entire life was a feeling I will never forget.

What is the thing you’re most excited to do when live theatre is back?

I’m most excited to get back on to tour and see my cast again… and give them the biggest “warm hugs” around! I also can’t wait for our first show back- I know I will be sobbing tears of joy by the end of it!

What advice do you have for young Broadway hopefuls during this time?

Stick with it. Broadway is stronger than we think, and it will come back. Continue to do those living room dance classes, Zoom voice lessons, online masterclasses, and online cabaret performances… One day we will get to be back in person doing what we love.

Lightning Round:

Favorite Broadway Musical: A Chorus Line

Favorite role you’ve played: Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

Dream role: Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (Truly my favorite role ever). Also, Jo in Little Women.

Favorite Movie Musical: Wizard of Oz

Movie that you think should be a musical: 13 Going on 30

Favorite Broadway Theatre Ritual and/or tradition: On our Frozen Tour, we also do huge “Huldra” circle, whenever someone makes their debut! It’s so fun and special!

Favorite Theatre Superstition: Not saying “Macbeth” inside a theatre

Favorite Dressing Room Item: Steamer and Christmas lights!

Rehearsal bag staple: Water, highlighters, Laducas, and lots of snacks. Haha.

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