Q & A with Liz McCartney when she starred as Carlotta from 6 Dec 2010 - 9 Jul 2011 in the Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera playing at the Majestic Theatre
Place of birth?
You now live in?
Bloomfield, New Jersey.
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
The Boston Conservatory.
As an actor, do you have a preference for stage, tv or film?
I would love to do more TV and film, but I've sort of fallen into a stage career primarily.
Your first stage performance was?
Do you mean as a professional? ...it was a show called She-boppin', about four girls in a beauty parlor in the 1960's. It was how I became Equity. When I told my Mother that I was so happy because I was getting my Equity card she said "Oh, Elizabeth, not another charge-card!".
Career highlight to date?
So many...maybe one of the most challenging and fulfilling roles I've played is Florence Foster Jenkins in Souvenir.
What roles would you most like to play?
Of course, Mrs. Lovett and Mama Rose, but I've always wanted to play Nancy in Oliver and probably a surprise to people... Anna in The King And I.
Whats the best advice you have ever received?
Just recently my friend Michael Kubala said "Just breathe, everything is better with a breath."
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Again, I've had several. I have fallen MANY TIMES on stage but the most embarrassing was in South Pacific. I was leading all the nurses downstage center through all the See-Bees and I tripped...on NOTHING...fell flat on my face dead center and could not stand up. I was pretty bruised, but my pride was the most injured part of me. The good thing was I was still fairly new and I got to know everyone very quickly after that!
What is the most annoying part about your job?
The stairs, although I don't have as many as the actors on stage left, there are still alot of stairs every night, and my costumes are infinitely heavier than I remember.
Briefly tell us how you become involved with Phantom?
I was rehearsing for an industrial that I was going to perform on my vacation from Les Miserables, and I heard that Phantom auditions were downstairs, so I ran down, sang the cadenza, got a callback and got a job on the first national tour in 1996... even though a friend of mine told me to never audition like that again.
Briefly tell us about the character you play in Phantom?
I am the Opera Diva. I have a slightly different take on the role, not really being an opera singer, some of my vocal imperfections lend to the "fading diva" who's afraid of losing her position to a younger girl...something I can identify with.
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I design costumes and I have recently started composing, so if I hadn't become a performer I would have been in this business somehow.
Who are your favorite actors/actresses?
I have so many favorites, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Judy Dench, Kate Winslet. And actors Alan Rickman, Kevin Klein, Colin Firth...and so many more.
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favorite movies?
Because I have two children the last two movies I saw were Tangled and Mega-mind...loved them both.
Favorite TV programs?
Modern Family, Raising Hope and I am a Law and Order addict.
Do you have any hobbies?
I write, I compose, I make jewelry, I sew and I bake.
Do you have any superstitions?
As an actor I've learned never to plan too far ahead, because shows have a way of not happening...so I'm superstitious about telling people my future plans.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
Chocolate, my ipod and my cell-phone.
What are your future plans?
I do have some, but like I said before that's my biggest superstition.