"One Short Day": A Candid Chat With Wicked Co-Stars and Friends Lindsay Mendez, Derek Klena and Katie Rose Clarke

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02 Aug 2013

Clarke in Wicked.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Speaking of nerves, do you have any parts in the show you are nervous about — when it comes to the technical aspect? Flying in by bubble, taking flight at the end of Act I…

LM: Do you even think about it anymore?
KRC: Not the bubble anymore, but after all this time, there's this one entrance that I still hate because I fear for my life. I have to come down stairs in this giant ball gown… My dresser is laughing, because I always get caught on something!
LM: I saw you get caught the other night!
KRC: One part, right when I get on the top of the staircase to enter on the stage, there's no railing, and my dress gets caught, and it pulls me back, and I feel like I'm going to fall every time. I think about every night how I would play it off.
LM: I would help you! I will totally help you if you need help… Before we even started rehearsals, the [creative team said], "We want you to come in and get in the levitator to see how it works," so I flew. I hadn't even started rehearsal yet, and I [thought], "There is no way I'm going to be able to do this." It is so scary to do it with lights on and with people [watching] — when you're not focused on what you have to do. I was terrified. And, now I don't even think about it. I think about singing and the broom — not dropping the broom — and that Act I is almost over! [Laughs.] You're so in the moment, and it just happens. I don't think about it at all anymore — ever. Except I had some problems with it for a while — maybe my fourth and fifth week I was having some issues — so then I was nervous for it every night, hoping that it would work because one time it didn't work, and that was awful.

You didn't go up?

LM: I didn't go up: Plan B. But that hardly ever happens.
KRC: Someone gets on the loudspeaker: "Everybody, it's Plan B. Tonight's a Plan B." Everybody knows what they're supposed to do.
LM: Yup, I Plan B'ed. I Plan B'ed my third weekend.
KRC: What about you, [Derek]? Are you scared of [entering on] the rope [in Act II]?
DK: No. There's certain times… Because I wear this big wool suit, half the time I'm really sweaty, and my hands get sweaty, and I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to hold on [to the rope] because I hold the gun [in my hand], too. But now I've figured out a way to hold the gun and get it so it's solid.

Is it a special time to be in the show right now because Wicked is approaching its tenth anniversary?

LM: Yeah, it's really exciting. It's an honor to be here this year and to be celebrating such a huge, huge moment for this incredible show. The show deserves it. It's so well-kept, and I'm so proud to be in it — I know we all are. It's such a great story, and it's really so magical and so well done. It's really cool to say we were a part of it this year, I think.
DK: Even now, it's so relevant and so modern. It fits in. It's ten years old. You look at other shows that have been around for as long as Wicked has, and you see how amazingly well-kept [it is]… It looks like it could have come out this year, and it could have fit right in. It's kind of bizarre how it [remained so] timeless.

(Playbill.com staff writer Michael Gioia's work appears in the news, feature and video sections of Playbill.com as well as Playbill magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @PlaybillMichael.)

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