Thank you Lauren for meeting with me! Lauren is a part of the new Broadway production of Spring Awakening, which takes the idea of communication to a whole new level. This show features deaf actors who sign ASL, their speaking/singing counterparts, and some who do both. I had a chance to chat with Lauren Luiz, who is making her Broadway debut. Lauren is the voice of Thea and Melitta. She is so captivating and charming to watch on stage. She is also the sweetest person ever and extremely friendly to all her fans at the stage door.
Joy: What was the first Broadway show you saw? How did that inspire you?
Lauren: My first Broadway show that I saw, you mean like in legit in New York, was “Catch Me If You Can” when it was in previews with Aron Tveit. It was a really fun show. It was the choreographer from Hairspray all of the numbers were really cool and the whole lighting was really colorful but I think, I don’t know,when I go inspired I always listen to like recordings and numbers. I was alway into Broadway so much longer before that, the first show that I saw was “Into the Woods” and that’s been my favorite musical ever since.
J: I love that show also. How old were you when you saw your first show?
L: I had to have been like my first Broadway show in New York or very first show like musical that’s ever been done Ever? I think I saw Into the Woods and it was outside at the Rose Garden and it was cool. It’s on Oregon so it’s like everything has to be connected to the earth and like it was in this really cool place in Portland called the Rose Garden and it’s like huge just piece of land hat’s just filled with all different types of roses and then the middle of it has this amphitheater.
J: Like Shakespeare in the Park?
L: Yes, kind of. It was kind of like Shakespeare but they did Into the Woods, and it was just so great and the environment like that and I haven’t seen it this.
J: That’s how I saw it. It was in a park?
L: It was outdoors?
J: Yes, outdoors.
L: I think I must have been like ten or eleven or something and then I think I was fifteen or sixteen the first time I came to New York with my dad.
J: That’s cool.
J: I have lived here in New York all my life.
L: I really love New York. New York is really fun.
J: Stay, don’t go back.
L: I want to stay but like the idea of staying there oh my gosh it’s hard enough being here with the job like as surviving here with the job but I can’t even imagine. I have so much respect for actors who live here that like, you know, they’re constantly grinding because it’s a hard city to live in.
L: It’s a really hard city to live in.
J: I don’t find it hard.
L: You don’t? Well you lived here all your life. I lived on the west coast, your know, where everything is very come as it is, You know like very chill and this is definitely you have to work for what you want.
J: Can you describe your character in the show? Was it difficult getting into character when you’re playing half of a person?
J: No, the Thea?
L: Well, my character name is actually Melitta.
J: When do you actually play her?
L: Now that I moved dressing rooms so now I sit with Amelia every day and that makes it a lot easier to get into character just because we already have an awesome relationship. But now it’s just we can very easily just sink into our relationship as sisters because our relationship is very much like sisters in real life as well, so the more time that we spend with each other the easier it is to get into character I think.
J: That is good. You guys are so fun to watch because you guys like move together like the whole time?
J: I also find it really cool that, in general, everyone moves together because and half of them can’t hear and everything.
L: They are all really smart people and, you know, and they all have a lot of music in their bodies and they have an understanding of music. Even if they have never heard music before they still understand the beat and rhythm and flow of music and that helps a lot.
J: What do you find the hardest part in the show besides that?
L: Probably just learning about a different culture and feeling ignorant. I think is really hard because I’m the type of person who really likes to pretend that she knows everything all the time and so going into an environment like that where I literally know nothing.
J: You didn’t know sign language?
L: I didn’t know any sign language when I came into the show.
J: You seem like you’re a pro now?
L: Thank you. I still feel like an idiot. I love sign language and I love talking to people about sign language. I love teaching people.
J: The only thing I know is it’s an awesome show. Cell phones, when the uses them audience does it ever bother you? Do you ever have a moment when you want take someone’s phone?
L: Like I don’t know usually when I see I usually see them up in the mezzanine, and I can’t go up there I’m like not going to yell at them from the audience and it’s frustrating like but it’s also like I don’t know there is nothing I can do. At first I w