"I don't sing because I'm happy. I'm happy because I sing." - William James

I decided to take a cue (okay, blatantly steal) an idea from the blog of actress-singer-coach Erin Cronican, and filled out my own responses to the Playbill.com series of interviews in wich they ask well known theater performers about themselves. Consider this a draft for the actual Playbill.com interview…

Oh, and it’s Erin’s Birthday today – Happy Birthday Erin! I’m stealing from you!

Full given name: Sierra Aviva Rezendes Rein

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Zodiac Sign: Aries

Audition song: Either “Children of the Wind” from Rags or “Old Fashioned Love Story” from Wild Party, or “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King.

Special Skills: puppetry, playing the ocarina.

First Broadway show ever saw: Either Beauty and the Beast or An Inspector Calls – field trip in High School.

First West End show: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, with my Dad.

If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?: Evita.

Current show you have been recommending to friends: Avenue Q

Favorite show tune: Just one?!? Picking out of a hat…”Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl

The one performance – attended – that you will never forget: Patrick Stewart’s one-man version of A Christmas Carol. Taught me how the choices of one actor can tell an ensemble of stories in one show.

MAC or PC?: I’m a MAC baby from time immemorial.

Most played song on your iPod: I switch out my music so often, but I love the soundtrack to the Japanese anime TV shows Cowboy Bepop and Ghost in the Shell, so the theme songs to those pop up a lot. I listen to a lot of podcasts, too.

Web obsession: Besides Facebook, I love Twitter and my Google reader feed.

Last book you read: One of my husband (Pete Nicholls)’s many first drafts. I’m also reading Paul Russell’s “ACTING: Make It Your Business” and Bonnie Gillespie’s “Self Management for Actors.”

Must-see TV show: I’m digging “Dexter,” but also “Dr. Who” and “Mythbusters” for my geek side.

Performer you would drop everything to go see: I’d have to agree with Erin -Bernadette Peters, or Patty LuPone.

Pop culture guilty pleasure: Hm, I get my guilty pop culture trash fix listening to the Kevin and Bean show on KROQ via Podcast – a habit I formed in my Los Angeles years.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned: I remember having “Great Space Coaster” on LP, but that was a kid’s gift. First tape was probably “True Blue” by Madonna, or “Sports” by Huey Lewis and the News.

First stage kiss: Asher Lyons as Horace Vandegelder, and me as Dolly in Hello Dolly, High School. He was a childhood friend, so it was like kissing my brother!

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Playing Eva Peron in a High School production of Evita – so many wonderful costumes, and we had a female Che!

Favorite pre-show/post-show meal: Pre-show, I like soup or a simple nutrition bar, tea. Post-show, it’s probably either a spinach salad (with bacon) or a hamburger.

Pre-show rituals: Ideally: hour and a half early, spend time warming up and putting on makeup – the more I see myself putting on makeup, the more I see the character emerge. I love easing into a role, but I know that I can zip into it with a 1/2 hour call too.

Worst costume ever: I think I’ve blocked them all out, and I typically don’t complain about costuming. I’ve had some that don’t fit too right, or kept catching on the scenery. But I’ve made them all work!

Who would play you in the movie?: Christina Ricci, before she lost all that weight.

Worst job you ever had: Working at at clinic taking care of dogs with disabilities or physical issues. I just wasn’t prepared to handle dogs (I’m a cat person).

Leading lady role you’ve been dying to play: Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Kate/Lucy the Slut in Avenue Q.

Favorite team/athlete: Oakland A’s

How you got your Equity card: I understudied and then took over the role of the Second Soprano in Master Class at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles. The gig was three weeks long, but I performed right at the turning poing of 80+ performances, so the entire cast had to be offered their cards. I was already 35 points in EMC, so I said yes. Kind of came as a surprise when I got the envelope of application papers in the mail!

Worst onstage mishap: Doing a costume change in Evita in High School – offstage, I couldn’t get one dress off (zipper stuck at my hips), so I just folded the upper torso down, put my ACT I finale dress over that (luckily it had a large skirt) and went on anyway.

TV or commercial gig you most enjoyed: doing stand-in work on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I got my SAG card, the cast & crew were so friendly, and the on-set catering buffet was unbelievable.

Three things you can’t live without: music, some sort of computer, and sushi.

Artist you would most love to work with: Patrick Stewart

“I’ll never understand why…”: some people choose to spend their lives criticizing the lifestyles of others, and trying to litigate against them.

Cheers,

Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James