PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Big Fish Star Krystal Joy Brown

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01 Oct 2013

First stage kiss: I was Cinderella in my middle-school musical and I had to kiss this boy and it was so embarrassing and kids teased us so much. It was the quickest kiss of my life.
What are some of your most memorable roles as a kid or teenager and how old were you? I loved playing Cinderella. It was definitely a dream. We had a very competitive drama program so around 200 kids auditioned to be in it. I was so honored.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: I was probably under the age of 10. I was singing professionally for the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Children of the Gospel Choir and once I figured out that what I was doing, having all this fun, could be a real job in the real world, it was pretty much a done deal.
How you got your Equity card: Mamma Mia! Thanks Mamma Mia!
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where) A soup from Westerly
Favorite liquid refreshment: Scotch on the rocks
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: A nap
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Ornella in Leap Of Faith. I had to hit a high C and sit on Fs for a long time. It was tough but an amazing challenge. It really made me grow and build my stamina. I believed I could do it because Alan Menken told me I could.
What drew you to Big Fish? After seeing Scottsboro Boys, I just wanted to work with Susan Stroman. I think she is a visionary with an amazing eye for heart and story, and those are the types of projects I want to attach myself with.
What has been the biggest challenge about this project? This is a very big show! I mean, it has a little bit of everything, so having the hundreds of costumes, the lightening fast changes, it can be tricky. But on a more personal level, this role is very different from anything I have ever played before. It’s a wonderful challenge to play against what you are used to and try something else, sometimes that is scary but you can learn a lot.
Most fulfilling or fun aspect about the project: Working with this MEGA team of talent! From the whirling, enrapturing tunes of Andrew Lippa, to the touching and refreshing book by John August or being lead by the fearless and still kind Susan Stroman. Then there is the exceptional cast and really loving coming to work every day.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Oh god! I once said pretty much every word wrong in a song from the show Falling For Eve. It was kind of coherent kind of gibberish… eh, it happens! I'm still sorry for that.
Worst costume ever: Um, the nude scene in Hair… wait, never mind, that was the best costume I have ever worn.
Worst job you ever had: Throwing children’s birthday parties.
Craziest audition story: When I auditioned for Mimi in Rent, I decided to really act it out because I had seen the show a million times so I knew it pretty well. I sang and danced "Out Tonight” all over the room at Telsey.

I was on the floor, on their desk, crawling, purring and completely out of breath at the end from kicking my face as if kicking down the stairs in true Mimi fashion. I thought I was FIERCE! My agent called me and told me that my audition was crazy but they liked me anyway and I got hired.

If you could trade roles with anyone in the cast for a week, who would it be? Norbert! I mean who wouldn’t?? And probably after a week I would want to give it right back because that role is a beast!
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: I am really in the mode of creating new stuff. It is the reason I perform and love this job. It is hard to fill someone else’s shoes and I rather just create a new roles and new moments.
Something about you that surprises people: I have a serious fear of balloons.
Something you are incredibly proud of: I have written an 83,000 word novel that is called “A Girl's Guide to Dealing with the Devil,” and I have started writing a new novel.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I have a 54 Below show Oct. 13 at 7 PM and I want you all to come!!! Bobby Steggert and I will be doing a duet and I will be performing lots of pop and some of my originals! (That is an embarrassingly shameless plug)
Career you would want if not a performer: Philanthropist and wildlife documentarian
Three things you can't live without: Lip gloss, love and laughter
"I'll never understand why…" … people hurt other people.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Travel, love big and hard, be messy but don’t lose yourself. This business is going to be tough. Some days you will be on top of the world and some days you will feel like crap but sustain your sanity by loving yourself, treating yourself right and being honest with yourself. Find the balance. Find the joy in the everyday. Think of an audition as a chance to do what you love, performing. And remember, there is a very big world out there.