Louisa Bradshaw is an actress & chanteuse that spans the globe, starring in her own show at the premier Berlin cabaret & varieté venues, BarJeder Vernuff & the Chameleon. In NYC, she has worked with TONY Award-winning director/choreographer George Faison on "If This Hat Could Talk" & recently starred as the "Countess Analise" in the Lissa Moira/Richard West production "Who Murdered Love?" and in Lissa Moira's "Only Love Will Do."
Louisa is currently starring in "Siren's Heart, Marilyn in Purgatory," also directed by Lissa Moira at Theater for the New City in NYC's East Village through October 23 (155 First Avenue, between 9th & 10th Street). Click here for tickets!
For more on Louisa be sure to follow her on Facebook!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Gosh. From the moment they spanked my tuchas, I knew I wanted to perform! My father is a composer and my Oma (Dutch Grandmother) was a singer, so it is in my blood. I am related to Audry Hepburn on my Oma’s side and Sir Francis Drake on my father’s side, so I guess that makes me a pirate and a lady...the perfect combination for a perfomer.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Geraldine Page is my all time favorite and I would love to work with her wonderful daughter Angelica Page...and then of course my unsung heroes...Sheryl Moller and Annie Hubbard who I was in conservatory with...John Gallagher and Broadway’s best kept secret Billy Buell. My biggest dream is to have my own production company much like Charlie Chaplin’s United Artists where the artists come together and create their own projects and are protected under one umbrella. It’s important to me that my brilliant friends get the chance to shine.
3. What attracted you to "Siren's Heart, Marilyn in Purgatory" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I love the whole notion of purgatory, as many people believe that we are all in purgatory...some place between heaven (a place of ultimate happiness) and hell (a place of ultimate despair) where we are learning lessons that will help us become a better person. I was very attracted to the idea of telling Marilyn’s story from this perspective.
4. What did Norma Jean/Marilyn Monroe mean to you growing up and now as an adult? What excites you about playing the legendary Norma Jean/Marilyn Monroe and what makes you nervous? I distinctly remember as a little girl, having completed the entire collection of Bulfinch’s Mythology by the age of 10, praying to Zeus to make me like Aprodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. I always saw Marilyn as this goddess. And now as an adult, I realize that Marilyn was made to be the goddess of Eros (sexual) Love, but I feel that she was longing to be the goddess of Agape (unconditional) Love.
What excites me is the chance to do a mystic healing on Marilyn. I know this sounds weird, but I feel that she was very wounded and it was manifested in the love crisis she played out throughout her life. And I am honored to be able to tell her story from this perspective. What makes me nervous is losing myself in the drama of her life so I have to remember to stay centered in who I am.
5. "Siren's Heart, Marilyn in Purgatory" will be playing at Theater For The New City where you've performed before. What do you like about performing at TNC? TNC is an artists’ theater located in the legendary east village that has spawned so many of our greatest artists. Crystal Field (Executive Director) has maintained the integrity of the theatre, much like Chaplin did with United Artists, by keeping it a safe haven of artistic freedom.
6. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? This rehearsal period has been the most challenging of my life, but it has helped me overcome the greatest obstacles I have ever faced. My favorite place is anywhere where I am calm enough to imagine the character in peace and not be pressured by any outside constraints.
7. Favorite way to spend your day off? My favorite way to spend a day off is connecting with friends and sitting in the sun and breathing in fresh air.
8. Favorite skin care product? Favorite kind of shoes? Tracie Martyn Skincare. It’s on the back of my program. It’s the most amazing thing I have ever used and I will never use anything else.
My favorite kind of shoes are anything comfortable.
9. Favorite website? www.myrocketnutrition.com
10. "Glinda" or "Elphaba"? It depends on the day.
11. What's the best advice you've ever received? Penny Landau says "The first thing you have to do is breathe." And Spencer Tracy said “Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.” Sheryl Moller says “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.”
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Right now I pray every night that Marilyn will come to me. I have her photo over my bed.
13. You've performed all around the world as a singer and actress. How has this experience shaped your performing style and you as a person? When I finished my MFA in acting at the Goodman Threatre School in Chicago, my first professional offer was to do a film about a woman’s descent into madness because of sexual objectification. Ironic isn’t it. This film did not get made, as it was too avant-garde, even by Berlin standards. In Berlin, I was given the gestation period that every artist deserves to find what my voice was to be. I longed to be a serious artist and fled commercialism and found that in Europe I no longer felt like a commodity. This experience gave me the confidence I was sorely lacking throughout my youth. I now feel the confidence to fulfill my calling, if you will, and realize that fame is not what will or ever could have made me happy, but rather this elusive happiness is found only within.