Kevin Ray Johnson
I would like you to meet the wonderful and talented Erin Driscoll. Erin can currently be seen playing the role of Cinderella at Ford’s Theatre which runs until May 22nd. Erin also appeared in Ford's Theatre's production of Violet where she performed the title role. The first time I had the chance to see Erin perform was when she played the role of Hope Cladwell in Urinetown at Signature Theatre in Virginia (A role that earned her a Helen Hayes Award). Throughout the years, Erin has become a real staple in the Washington DC Theatre scene, and everyone who has seen her perform can attest that she is truly worth the price of admission. I am very honored to have the chance to interview her.
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?
Haha! Pretty early on, I knew I wanted to perform. My parents have pictures of me as a toddler "putting on shows" on the living room coffee table.
Where did you study? Are there any mentors that genuinely helped make you the performer you are today?
I studied Vocal Performance with a concentration in Musical Theater at James Madison University. As far as mentors, two people come instantly to mind. One was my high school choir teacher Elaine Stanford. She believed in my talent when I was going through awful adolescent stage fright and pushed me to sing in front of people again. The second was Andy Leech at JMU. Again, another teacher who believed in me and pushed me to take on more challenging material. He also really gave me the advice that I still use today in my career. He taught me that simple storytelling is the most important part of musical theater.
Congratulations on performing in Into the Woods at Fords Theatre. This will be your third time performing in Into the Woods. What would you say draws you to the show?
Thank you! Yes, this is my third time doing Into the Woods. My second time playing Cinderella. I don't think I can pinpoint one thing that "draws me" to this show. It is so many things. The fact that the score is by Stephen Sondheim is a huge draw. There are so many strong, complex characters and a lot of them female. The overall themes of the show tackling huge moral dilemmas, death, parenthood, and love are always a draw for an actor.
Are there any shows (other than Into the Woods) that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart?
There are so many it is tough to choose! I will always have a special in my heart for the first professional show I did which was Urinetown. It was one of those shows where all the stars aligned. Amazing cast, great direction, and just a great production. I will always love how challenging playing Violet in Violet was at Ford's Theater.
What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business?
This business is tough. Your job is to audition. You will hear "no" more then you hear "yes." You will not make much money. If you want a career in this business, you have to love it and know you cannot do anything else. Also, make sure you are you. What makes you different and unique than the hundred other people auditioning. What makes you uniquely you. Figure that out and show that to the people for whom you are auditioning.
To learn more about Erin's current production of Into the Woods at Ford’s Theatre make sure you visit – www.fords.org