PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Annie's "Grace Farrell," Brynn O'Malley

By Matthew Blank
30 Oct 2012

How you got your Equity card: A summer season at the MUNY beginning with Side By Side By Sondheim
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Sweet potato tempura roll from Kodama. Never gets old.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Coffee dries out my chords so I guzzle unsweetened green tea---straight up, strong. The more it tastes like dirt, the better.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Always depends on the show. Right now for Annie, it’s running my entire show in my dressing room before my first entrance so I don’t miss any changes or notes. I like to be able to act when I get out there—not be stressing about adjustments.
Most challenging role you have ever played: Gabriella in Boeing-Boeing...just because it was so different from the parts I usually play. I didn't have a bag of tricks already assembled for her. I had to start from scratch.

Also, teaching myself an Italian dialect was a minor headache.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Long story short: when I was in the Broadway company of Wicked, my wheelchair malfunctioned during Elphaba's "spell" in Shiz. I was rapidly propelling downhill on the raked stage towards the pit facing backwards when I felt my back wheels hit the edge of the stage and start to go over.

THEN--Jayne Houdyshell--like one of those moms that lifts a semi off her baby--leaped forward, grabbed my armrests, and wrenched my chair back up onto the stage. Super-human strength!

Saved my life.

Worst costume ever: Whisk Broom in Beauty and the Beast, no contest.

Now, I'm not knocking the costume design, it's just that I made my debut in that show during it's 10th enchanting year on Broadway and let's just say it had seen better days, particularly the purple leotard foundation that had been worn by so many girls before me.

I know this because their name-tags were still sewn into it, one on top of the other, forming a stack so thick it looked like a deck of cards.

I'm saying it smelled.

Worst job you ever had: I was a tour guide on the “Sex & the City” Tour my first 4 months I lived in NYC.

I woke up one morning and realized I was participating in a waking nightmare and...just...didn't get out of bed.

I left 47 tourists waiting on a bus and was promptly fired. But I got a piece of my soul back that morning.

Did you grow up a fan of the "Annie" movie? Of course! I definitely used to know every word.
Does Twan Baker have any upcoming gigs he'd like to plug? Indeed. My sweet little munchkin is making his Broadway debut next week in Annie. He is featured in the Lower East Side transition, and his mother is played by Sarah Solie. Jerry Marshall (Production Props) may be the best sport in the business.
If you could trade roles with anyone in the cast for a week, who would it be? Well, listen, this question is lacking a lot of specifics. When I magically trade roles do I also get to trade talents?

Because, if so, I would switch with Jeremy Davis just so I could experience what it's like to dance like that for a week.

But if this isn't a package deal, I want to play Punjab.

Some of your favorite screen/commercial gigs: I shot a commercial campaign last spring and part of it was a print ad. I spent the day in 10 very expensive, very fancy designery "looks" and I got to buy at a discount and/or keep a LOT of the clothes... which was great because I hate shopping.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Either Mrs. Lovett or Mama Rose... I still have some time to make up my mind, right? Right?
Leading man role you'd like a shot at: Harold Hill....since I was 14. I'm off book. Just lemme know.
Something about you that surprises people: I'm not Katy Perry.
Something you are incredibly proud of: I'm not Katy Perry.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I still haven't finished “The Wire.”
Career you would want if not a performer: I am so jealous of and fascinated by any writer on a great TV show.
Three things you can't live without: Green tea, my DVR, and my flat iron (I have curly hair and the beast must be tamed)
"I'll never understand why…" ... "Lost" isn't still on TV.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Do everything you can within your power to be prepared and ready to audition, rehearse, and perform at the highest peak of your ability so that you can walk away from every scenario--good or bad---feeling confident and proud because your end of it was covered.

So much of this business is completely out of your control, and it's easy to drive yourself nuts trying get a hold of it, like trying to grab a fistful of water. It's a waste of time and energy. Work your butt off, prepare, treat your body with care and respect, be professional, and focus. Everything else is somebody else's problem. Let them lose sleep over it.