PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Chaplin's "Oona," Erin Mackey

By Matthew Blank
September 11, 2012

Erin Mackey, who plays Oona O’Neill in the new musical Chaplin at the Barrymore Theatre, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.



Previous Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, Anything Goes (Hope Harcourt) and Wicked (Glinda).

She made her professional debut at age 12 as Lindsay Lohan's double in "The Parent Trap."





Full given name: Erin Ashley Mackey
Where you were born/where you were raised: Fullerton, California
Zodiac Sign:Gemini
What your parents did/do for a living:Dad is a lawyer, Mom is an artist.
Siblings:Older sister, Liz, and younger sister, Emily.
Current audition song/monologue: I use any excuse to sing "The Light in the Piazza."
Special skills: Singing off-pitch and my "Rambo Dance." For an example of the dance, check out the Anything Goes "That's What Makes You Beautiful" video online. It's in the first 10 seconds or so.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Improvising harmonies. I can learn them, but don't ask me to make them up. Same goes for "riffs."
First Broadway show you ever saw: Annie Get Your Gun
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? The original Music Man and Peter Pan.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Peter and the Starcatcher and Book of Mormon.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: I think "The Sound of Music" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" are pretty perfect.
Some favorite modern musicals: Altar Boyz, Book of Mormon
Some favorite classic musicals: Brigadoon, anything Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Bette Davis and Jimmy Stewart
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: My teacher and friend, Vicki Clark!
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: The Color Purple. I was dating my (now) husband and he just sobbed at the end. I loved him even more for that.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: The Once movie soundtrack
MAC or PC? MAC
Most played song on your iPod: I haven't seen my iPod in years. I think I lost it. I remember listening to "Come On Over" by Christina Aguilera on it a lot though.
Most-visited websites: Food blogs! smittenkitchen.com, 101cookbooks.com and sproutedkitchen.com to name a few.
Last book you read: The third book in the "Game of Thrones" series
Must-see TV show(s): "Battlestar Galactica"
"Mad Men"
"Biggest Loser"
Last good movie you saw: "A Cat in Paris"
Some films you consider classics: "Gone With The Wind"
"Mighty Ducks"
"Homeward Bound"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: My husband!
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "The Bachelor/Bachelorette." I love it so much.
Favorite cities: Chicago, New York, Napa
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: First tape: "The Lion King" movie soundtrack
First CD: Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" album
First stage kiss: My first kiss was on TV! Ah! We did 12 takes or so, so I got some practice.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Peter Pan. I was 14 and didn't want to grow up, so it was very appropriate!
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: My 3rd grade production of Mary Poppins. I was painfully shy, but I wanted to play Jane so badly, so I braved the auditions. It was about then I decided I wanted to dress up and tell stories for my job.
How you got your Equity card: When I was cast in Wicked
Some favorite screen/commercial work: "The Parent Trap" will always be special. I learned all about making movies and went on an awesome adventure.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: I love going to Casellula when I want to splurge after a show!
Favorite liquid refreshment: Ronnybrook Farms chocolate milk
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Doing a short 5 to 6 minute warm up and hearing about everybody's day!
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Glinda in Wicked
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: I threw 2 wands into the audience during one performance of Wicked. My aim was pretty bad.
Were you previously a fan of Chaplin's movies? I didn't know a lot about Charlie Chaplin before auditioning for the workshop earlier this year. I knew of "The Little Tramp" and had seen snippets of movies, but that was about it.
What research went into this role? I've been reading a biography on Oona. Also, there is a great little screen test of her online.
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? Rob McClure, so he could rest!
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Clara in The Light in the Piazza, Julie or Carrie in Carousel and Marian in Music Man.
Leading man role you wish you could play: Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime and Javert in Les Miserables
Something about you that surprises people: Don't know if this is surprising, but I'm totally an introvert.
Something you are incredibly proud of: Going back to school this fall! I never finished my Bachelor's degree and it's a goal I want to accomplish!
Career you would want if not a performer: Astronaut or nutritionist
Three things you can't live without: Graham crackers, Scramble with Friends and my food processor.
"I'll never understand why…" … we don't all wear vintage 20s, 30s and 40s clothes in life. Those were great fashion eras.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: This job is amazing and I love it, but life is way more fun when it's not in the #1 priority spot.