Christine returns to Parkway Playhouse as the titular role, Amélie!
PPH: How do you vocally prepare?
Christine: Truth be told, I have been obsessed with mixing herbal teas since I was in high school, and for about two years now I’ve been making a special blend that I like to call “throat potion” for myself, and anyone who wants it backstage. I use licorice root, ginger, and mint for flavor, echinacea and elderberry to boost the immune system, and then marshmallow root and slippery elm as pain relievers. LOTS of water is a big must; your chords dry out quick if you don’t keep up with hydration. So that, and the tea are the main things I use.
A new item that I’ve found to be exceptionally helpful is a personal steam inhaler. It helps keep my voice warm, and my nose and throat clear. You can find them at your local drug store, and it was well worth the purchase!
Also, it never hurts to go on vocal rest. Talking is a lot harder on your voice than one would think, and while it certainly requires some creativity when trying to run errands or going about a work day, the results help tremendously.
And finally, listen to your body. If your voice gets tired or sore (and mine definitely did at points) mark it and don’t push things. The voice is a very delicate and temperamental instrument, and it’s important to listen when it gives you those warning signs.
PPH: What is your favorite prop?
Christine: The spyglass! It’s iconic, and fits so perfectly into the pocket of my costume. Kai, the actress who plays Young Amélie, and I share it throughout the show, and I love how it’s essentially an extension of how she relates to the world. As we tell this story, the complex relationship Amélie has with the ability to see, but not engage, is beautifully encapsulated through the use of it.
PPH: What do you like about acting at Parkway?
Christine: I love how when you step inside, you can feel the history of music and art that has seeped into the very walls. It’s a dusty old barn filled with some of my best memories! It’s a unique experience to step on onto a stage with such a rich timeline of performers, and knowing that I’m now a part of it.
The production team is a well-oiled machine in how things get done in a way I have always admired, but there’s also a familial energy here that I’ve consistently felt every time we’ve opened a show. Working as an actor and a costumer, this place sets the bar for professionalism and protected artistic expression.