PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Silence! The Musical Star Jenn Harris

Cue and A   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Silence! The Musical Star Jenn Harris
Jenn Harris, reprising her acclaimed performance as Clarice Starling in Off-Broadway's Silence! The Musical, fills out's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Jenn Harris
Jenn Harris

Harris has appeared Off-Broadway in Modern Orthodox (Lucille Lortel Award, Theatre World Award), New Jerusalem, Mercy on the Doorstep and Ashley Montana...

Other theatre work includes Pageant Play, The Heidi Chronicles, Blithe Spirit, God of Vengeance and The Understudy.

She has been seen onscreen in "Confessions of a Shopaholic," "Gayby," "30 Rock," "Bored to Death" "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: CI."

Full given name: Jennifer Lee Harris
Where you were born/where you were raised: Plano, Illinois
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius/air sign. And an astrologer recently told me that I'm "very Aquarius and very airy."
What your parents did/do for a living: My father was a truck driver and now buys and sells British cars with my uncle. My mother is a seamstress and manager of a travel agency.
Current audition song/monologue: I have nice, somber "Bui-Doi," Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive," and "Glitter in the Air" with props, but I have to allow clean up time.
Special skills: Motorcycle license, fire breathing, crying hysterically while making everyone very nervous for my life.


Something you're REALLY bad at: Sitting still. I am a puppy on this planet.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Either Carousel or Oklahoma!. I couldn't tell.
If you could go back in time and catch any performance, what would it be? "The Lily's Revenge" by Taylor Mac, and the original Woodstock.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: My director told me to say Godspell.
Some favorite musicals: Silence! The Musical
Avenue Q
Secret Garden
And the one that goes down when I clean my kitchen.
Some favorite plays: Everything written by Martin McDonagh
August: Osage County
War Horse
Pageant Play
Some favorite playwrights: Martin McDonagh, Matt Wilkas, Hunter Bell, and all of the women who don't get produced who I would put down here if I could get to see their work.
Stage or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: John Ritter, Richard Pryor, The Solid Gold Dancers
Your personal acting idols, living or dead: The 2 Carols: Burnett and Channing
Pepe the King Prawn Muppet
Favorite comedians of all time: Tracey Ullman, Jennifer Saunders, Jack Lemmon, Joanna Lumley, Goldie Hawn...ugh so many...
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:

I saw War Horse in London and cried so hard. Also, my 6th birthday party at Showbiz Pizza - something about huge mechanical animals as a band just doesn't go away?

Music that makes you cry, any genre:

Antony and the Johnson's version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." "Drops Of Jupiter" by Train makes me cry in that slow tear feel-for-me kinda way, but please don't print that.

MAC or PC? I try not to own anything that is PC.
Most played song on your iPod: "So Alive" by Love and Rockets
"Drop it Like it's Hot" by Snoop Dog
"Deceptacon" by Le Tigre
"Closer" (the presets remix version) by Kings of Leon - in that order.
Most-visited website:
Last book you read: Ya know, that's a really personal question, but I'll just say that there "happens" to be a copy of the Bible by my bed with pages of my old journals inserted every other page, and it's BLOWING MY MIND!
Must-see TV shows:

"True Blood"
"Downtown Abbey" And, you guys... Jessica Lange is NOT KIDDING in "American Horror Story" Run. Don't walk.

Last good movie you saw: "Drive" was really good.
Some films you consider classics: All of Madonna's films and "The Bodyguard"
Performer you would drop everything to go see:

David Pittu. He's EVERYTHING to watch! Also, Bridget Everett, this FANTASTIC cabaret performer/artist who I have the pleasure to join at a monthly gig called "Our Hit Parade" at Joe's Pub. Quite honestly, ALL the artists that perform there inspire the shi*t outta me. A MUST see show!

Pop culture guilty pleasure: Going to work in the East Village
Favorite cities: New York, Amsterdam, London and I'm gonna add Oslo even though I've never been. Those are my blood people.
Favorite sport/team/player: Figure Skating/Team America/Nancy Kerrigan
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Jesus Jones
My own mix with lots of stickers on the case
Warren Zevon
First stage kiss: Well... it was more like a make out. Annie Get Your Gun in high school. Is a kiss even in that script? Whatever...
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. It was my first play in high school, junior year. She's a stripper so... naturally.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: I was 5. My family was on its annual trip to Daytona Beach. We got into the hotel and turned on MTV. The Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)" came on. I stared at that TV for 3 minutes and 35 seconds... knowing what I had to do.
How you got your Equity card: God of Vengeance at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. I played a hooker in the family brothel. I'm seeing a pattern here...
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: I just got turned onto the soup at B&H on 2nd Avenue! Also, Angelica's Kitchen on 12th Street, and some Liquiteria Juices around the corner.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Coconut water, but the kind that doesn't taste like sweat.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Lots of stretching and loud music.
Most challenging role you have ever played: The angel Gabriel in the 2nd grade... brutal.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: How do you mess up something that is already a total disaster area with crime scene tape already present?
Worst costume ever: Junior year prom. You guys... you guys.
Worst job you have ever had:

Okay, they told me I had to sit at that cubicle and call all those people on that list and ask for their money. I literally ran out after 2 1/4 hours, leaving a note that said, "I'm sorry, but I can't do this." They owe me $15.

Some favorite screen/commercial gigs:

I filmed my 1st feature with my best friend this summer, called "Gayby." I also did an E*Trade baby voice that aired during the Super Bowl. Can we say "MADE IT!"

Who have you played on "Law & Order"? What editions? Played a waitress, Didi, on "Criminal Intent." On "Law & Order" (the basic one) I played a Crystal Meth addict in a halfway house crying about my murdered dad... WERK!
Something you are incredibly proud of: How my family is raising my nieces.
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I'm sorry but I forgot your name...
Career you would want if not a performer: A drummer.
Three things you can't live without:

My friends/family, my Piaggio, Spotify. Ya know what else has changed things entirely? Those magic eraser things.

"I'll never understand why…" ... I CAN'T GET IT OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Words of advice for aspiring performers:

Go. Full. Out. There are people who have been hired to edit, mold, light and costume you. Leave your insecurities at home and bring your entire self. I've given some wild and super wrong auditions in my life with many more to come, but if I've brought my imagination full tilt, I never leave feeling like an ass.

If you can't entertain yourself, how are you gonna be able to share? And get out and SEE ART. See shows, see performance art, go to concerts, galleries... be an audience member first. It's the best gift you can give to yourself, other artists and your own work.

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