Monday, August 30, 2010

On the Road with Jen Bechter

Jen Bechter who plays the role of Madame De La Grande Bouche in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is our latest blogger! Here is Jen’s Q&A blog entry.

What city are you currently in?
Fayetteville, AR

Which upcoming tour cities are you most looking forward to visiting and why?

Kansas City...because all of my family is coming.
San Francisco...because I’ve never been to the West Coast. (Look out Napa, Here I come!)
Hawaii...need I say more.

What tour stop has been your favorite so far and why?

I haven’t seen much of the U.S., so each city we go to is a new state to see! I really enjoyed Florida. I’m a sucker for the beach. Visiting Dallas last week felt the most like my home town in Kansas.

What music are you currently listening to?
Currently I’m in a jazz mood, so my iPod is playing Jane Monheit.

Name one item you can’t live without while on the road: computer!!! It keeps me up to date with all the ones I am away from.

What do you like to do when you’re traveling between tour stops?

What is your favorite song/scene in Beauty and the Beast?
I really like the letting go scene after Beauty and the Beast. It shows real humanity and heartbreak from all the characters in the scene. We’ve all been there and it is so relatable. It really touched my heart the first time I saw the scene.

Any memorable tour moments (on or offstage) you can share?
I think the most memorable moment happened in the audition room when they told me I got the part. (Yaaaahoooo!!!!)

Name one reason why people should see Beauty and the Beast.
Everyone has seen the Disney animated movie, but to see it live on stage you feel the emotions of the characters, witness amazing singing and dancing, as well as great scenery. It is an experience you’ll never forget!

What inspires you?
I get inspiration from several things. The first being other actors. Watching someone who is passionate and puts in the work to their craft is amazing. It inspires me and reminds me of how much I love the gifts I have. It also motivates me to continually work harder to be the best I can.

Second, I am inspired by my family. We have come through some hard times and yet we always persevere no matter how hard the obstacle. With my mom battling MS and my father in remission from cancer, my sister is really my rock that keeps me strong. We don't take any days for granted and make each one count. My family's strength is my inspiration.

What are your dream roles?
One of my dream roles is to play miss Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas or Doralee in 9 to 5. I have always been an admirer of Dolly Parton. I grew up listening to country music and her songs take me back to fun childhood memories. The characters aren't too bad themselves. I would also include evil characters like Ursula or ones that are larger than life, such as The Queen of Hearts. I’d also love to do anything by Kander and Ebb.

What is a typical day like for you on tour?
If we are talking about a one show day where I have time to myself, I would wake up around 10 to get around and go to the gym. I am on a new motivational kick (we'll see how long it lasts!). Then, I usually go back to the hotel to cook lunch and dinner. I might read a book or watch The Tudors or True Blood. At 1 1/2 hours to show I do my regular voice warm ups before I head off to the show to get ready. If we have two show days or are driving into a show....well, that's a horse of a different color!

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