DIVA TALK: Catching Up With Venice Star Jennifer Damiano

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31 May 2013

Damiano with Adam Chanler-Berat in Next to Normal.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Question: You mentioned that the character you're playing is one who had to grow up fast. I wonder if you relate to that because you were performing on Broadway in high school…
Damiano: Yes, absolutely I feel that way. I know a lot of kids grow up in the business, whether it’s from the time you’re literally a baby to around your teens. But growing up on the stage is a little bit different. The schedule is a little bit different. It’s kind of a rare place to go through some of your teenage years in, but when I look back, I think it’s kind of exactly how I think it was supposed to happen for me, but it’s hard when you have to save your voice and all your friends are going out. I know a lot of younger kids at work deal with that, so it’s hard, but I know how to take my time and kind of have a second to myself because I know that’s really important. After Spider-Man I had time before treading back into the business with Venice. I think the concept of growing up too fast these days is so subjective, but obviously I wouldn’t have had it any other way than having grown up doing these shows and working with these amazing people.

Question: You’ve really gotten to be part of not only high-profile productions, but groundbreaking work like Next to Normal.
Damiano: It’s crazy because when I was doing Next to Normal at Second Stage, no one really knew what would happen. What I love about Venice is that it is just like a lot of those shows, completely original and completely unique. And it's new, so new, and we need new musicals, really different ones that can resonate with people, especially young people, in the way that Spring Awakening and Next to Normal did. I think I’ve been really lucky to be a part of things that have been able to move people so greatly.

Question: I wonder if you’ve given any thought to putting out your own solo recording.
Damiano: I’ve thought about that — I think everybody thinks about that. In the past it’s been that I’ve just been busy doing shows, and I want to be able to focus [on a recording]. But now that I have some time to think about it, it’s kind of crazy that I haven’t! I really should. It’s possible that I will—I just want to make sure it’s the right kind of music and right kind of thing that I would feel good about putting out to the world. I’d have to think pretty hard about it, but it’s definitely a possibility in my future.

Question: What kind of music do you gravitate towards? If you were to sing non-theatre music or give a concert, what kind of music would you like to perform?
Damiano: I listen to a lot of Indie or rock music. Female artists I love the most are Fiona Apple, Paramour and Regina Spektor—those girls that really write amazing songs themselves, and they’re younger and cool. I’m not quite sure I could ever write songs like any of them, but if I could, I would. [Laughs.] I think the normal [artists]… I don’t listen to anything that unusual.

Question: Do you have other projects in the works or are you just focusing on Venice at the moment?
Damiano: I’m just focusing on Venice. You never know what can happen at any second. It’s definitely worth my time, and being at The Public is an amazing experience. I’ve never worked there before, and I’m just so excited. I hope everyone is as excited as I am!

[For tickets phone (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.]

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to agans@playbill.com.

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John Gallagher Jr., Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele and Stephen Spinella
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