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susan head

How is this character like you? Different?

Someone (okay, almost everyone) has told me, “Susan, you ARE Hubert.” If I tell you I am a lot like Hubert, then I will be admitting to being less of a good actress. Hubert (and I) would never do that. Hubert likes to help people but is also ambitious. Her type-A personality frustrates her with her dear friend, Reverend Mother who never does things the way she would, aka the right way. We’re both snarky, eye-rolling, good women with a servant’s heart.

What do you love about this character?

She wants to be on stage just as much as the rest of the girls but she is worldlier and on some level knows the amateurishness of what they are doing.  She is embarrassed and tries to bring it up a notch which only frustrates her more. She can’t find the beat, longs to be able to sing Gospel and leaves it all on the stage.

What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?

Hubert has parts in 9 songs and is in most of the show. When I played her in 2013 it was my biggest role ever. The biggest challenge was learning the part well enough since there is no sneaking a peek at the script back stage in between scenes. And then there’s the dancing; I am not a dancer, neither is Hubert but we both try really hard.

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?

All my absolute favorites would give too much away; but my 6th favorite is “Sister Julia….Child of God.” …which is a running joke that the audience sometimes doesn’t catch –so there is your spoiler.

Besides you, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?

With only 4 other counter parts I could easily say any one of them.  I’ve done the show with them before and Rebecca is the one who has the audience at her Brooklyn Hello. She usually plays the sweet soprano lead of the show who has the prettiest dress and gets the guy, not a nun who can hot-wire a car. I love watching her transform into the naughty Sister Robert Ann.

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

It’s a 3-way tie between Amnesia, Robert Ann and Rev. But anytime I imagine myself doing another part I think, “but who would be Hubert?” and I get extremely jealous and know I am exactly where I want to be.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would love to write comedy on a team or for a show.

I want to travel but with someone else making all the plans.  And let’s throw in that they would pay for it while we are at it.

If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Someone who is like a young Carol Burnett, Candace Bergen or Dixie Carter: maybe Tina Fey or Kristen Wiig. Yes I am going to be thin in the movie version!  Hey, it’s my fantasy and oh yes, they would have to be able to be awkward.

When did you first perform?

I sang in acapella chorus in high school but was too scared to do a solo. Also in high school I was in the Greek Chorus in Antigone and did ensemble in exactly one musical—South Pacific. I was on the debate team at Cal State Fullerton. I then worked on a cruise ship for a year as Social Hostess and got a lot of time on the microphone and led karaoke weekly in 1991. My first return to the stage was 18 years later as chorus in My Fair Lady where our director Dawn was Eliza Doolittle. I have done 21 shows since then.

Who do you look up to (as an actor/director/etc.)?

I love watching old episodes of Carol Burnett. I recently read her biography and she worked hard. She has amazing comic timing and except Jim Carrey no one has as many “faces.”

What’s your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?

Reading on the beach under an umbrella after a 5-mile barefoot walk in the wet sand.

Who’s the funniest person in the cast in real life?

It’s a close tie between Lanette and I. Do I get to make faces?

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?

I help my husband David run a Financial Advisory/Retirement Planning business. I have two teenage girls, 18 and 15 who I wish needed me more; two twenty-pound Bichon mix dogs who are needy; I see lots of movies, read 4 books a month and lead a Fitness Accountability group.

If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next?

The question is what 5 shows and the answer is, Dolly Levi, Madame Thenardier–Les Mis, Martha–White Christmas, Ruth–Pirates of Penzance, Mrs. Meers–Thoroughly Modern Millie, Grandma in Pippin. The list is longer; aren’t you sorry you asked?

What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage / the curtain goes up?

I hum to clear my throat, make a silly face as no not take myself too seriously  then maybe take some Lamaze-type breaths while saying “hee hee hee, who who who,” take a huge yoga breath, put a smile on and hope no one can see me tremble.

On the Edge Theatre Productions at the Laguna Hills Community Center is delighted to present onstage in February a musical comedy that will tickle your funny bone – NUNSENSE opens Saturday, February 7 and runs through Sunday, February 15, 2015.

Female cast includes: Lanette Gutman from Mission Viejo, Susan Lopez from Laguna Niguel, Kerry Hedley from Irvine, and Rebecca Rubino and Teri Griffin from Lake Forest. This cast performs Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. (doors open for this performance at 1 p.m.); Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.; and Feb. 15 at 5 p.m.

Male cast includes: Roger Sloan from Mission Viejo , Doug Harris and Alex Delahunty from Laguna Hills, Jeff Olsen from Austin,Texas, and Parker Griffin from Lake Forest. This cast performs Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.; and Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.

Performances will be held at Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Seat reservations can be made through February 4 by calling 949-707-2692 or emailing dwalezak@ci.laguna-hills.ca.us. After Feb. 4, tickets can also be purchased at the door.

More information about On the Edge Theatre Productions go to www.otetheatre.com.