Colleen is beyond excited to join the Elysium Theatre Company in their Spring 2018 production of Alik! As an actor, Colleen has spent most of her life training to become a truthful artist. Born and raised in Los Angeles, with a brief stint in New York for further learning, Colleen is completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Drama at the University of California just in time to join this wonderful company. She has performed in countless productions, with some of her favorite roles including “I was there,” in The Vagina Monologues, Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, multiple roles in The 15 Minute Hamlet, The Red Queen, in Alice Through the Looking Glass, and The Woman on the Subway, in Edmond. Colleen has performed in several short films, most recently, Archittetura, by Elliot Thompson, and was featured in the documentary, Shakespeare High, about young actors competing in a Southern California Shakespeare festival. She is happy to have found a new home base in ECT, and would like to thank her mother for insisting that she take an uber to the audition when her electric car died.
Tell us about a transformative educational experience.
I have spent an incalculable amount of hours (and dollars) studying acting and how to be the best actor. Every method that I have been exposed to has helped me in some way, but all of that knowledge can really get your head mixed up when you’re trying to live truthfully in the moment. I recently took part in the charter class of “The Science of Acting,” (The Ihrig Approach) and felt like I really had a breakthrough, but when I would get up to perform, I was over the top (acting instead of living). It was the day of our final performance, and I was completely unsatisfied with the monologue I was doing, so at the last minute, I said “Let me do it one more time, and this one’s for me.” I decided to let my subconscious deal with all of the preparation, so that I could just deal with what was happening in each new second. I decided to trust that the lines would be there when I needed them, and in the process, trust myself. It worked. That was the monologue that got me into this company.
What about transformative professional experiences?
I was once playing Gwendolyn, in The Importance of Being Ernest, and I have to admit that I was surrounded by genius in the rest of the cast. There was a moment in the final scene of the play when the whole cast was onstage, firing off jokes, building up the climax, and generally bringing the audience to tears of joy. The dialogue was going a mile-a-minute, and we were really in our groove, when suddenly, a small downy feather detached itself from Lady Bracknell’s hat and started gently floating across the stage. The whole scene came to a momentary stand-still as both the audience and actors became riveted by this slowly descending feather. It lasted a second that felt like eternity. Lady Bracknell then shot a look of bewilderment at me, swiveled back into the scene, and picked up exactly where she left off with all the authority of a theatre god. The audience (and myself) nearly went into fits with hysterical laughter. You never know what infinitesimal incident can bring a performance to life. That’s the magic of live theatre.
Why I do what I do...
Because it feels like flying.
What about ECT inspires you?
The amount of trust and camaraderie that I have seen in just a short amount of time within the Elysium Conservatory Theatre are truly inspiring. This kind of environment is the perfect earth, water and sunshine for the seed of art to grow. Aaron Ganz then creates a space for each actor’s potential to be treasured and nourished by fearless challenge and mentorship (which I totally dig). Also, in my experience with acting, instinct is king, and I am grateful to find a place that gives due reverence to instinct in the artistic process.
Where have you traveled? Where would you like to visit?
I have been to Hawaii and a lot of National Parks like Yosemite, Sequoia, and The Grand Canyon. For my next adventure, I’d really like to see some places outside of The US. It’s on my bucket list to go to Japan, Russia and Brazil (because I can’t get Jurupinga anywhere in The US and it’s bringing me down).
My favorite "day-off" event would be...
Read a book, play video games and eat. Catch a movie if there’s something good out. Just glorious.
If I had one million dollars I would...
Pay off my debts, invest some, donate some, buy a small cottage and find a job... One mill is like half a mill in this economy...
Did you know...
I have a series of photographs called #cutecouplesinnewyork on Instagram from when I was living in Brooklyn. I would spend time taking candid pictures of couples. Like a ninja. These pictures always remind me how beautiful people are, and how so many different people can actually have a lot of similarities. Everybody wants love.