Taylor's Angels had the pleasure of interviewing the beautiful Laura Osnes, who plays Sandy in the Broadway production of Grease. You will be surprised to see how much this young actress has accomplished in her career and how she is living out her dream.
TA: Tell us about Laura ! Where are you from? When did you become a triple threat?
Laura: I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I started taking dance lessons when I was five and did my first show in second grade. I was a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz! My parents encouraged me to follow my dreams and I quickly discovered that theater was my passion. I started taking voice lessons at 12 and continued to do shows professionally in Minneapolis until I graduated high school. I knew performing was what I wanted to do, so I went on to study musical theater at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point for a year. Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to be a famous Broadway actress, when I grew up. It's such a blessing to be living my dream! I never guessed it would happen so soon in my life and through a tv reality show.
TA: If you weren't singing, dancing and acting what would you be doing?
Laura: Hmmm.... Like I said, this is what I've always wanted to do. But if I wasn't performing, I'd probably be writing children's books or running a dance studio.
TA: We have read that your aunt made sure you auditioned for the Grease reality show. How was that whole experience for you? What was the best/worst part of being on a reality show?
Laura: I was playing the role of Sandy in a regional production of Grease and first heard about NBC's " Grease- You're The One That I Want" in the newspaper. My aunt found out audition information on the Internet and I soon found myself in LA for the cattle-call audition. Doing the reality show was such a crazy experience. I feel like I learned and grew so much, both as a person and as a performer. The best parts were getting to work with so many professionals and sing on national television! Also, the contestants got along surprisingly well and I still keep in touch with almost everyone from the show. All of us will forever have this special bond of going through the reality show experience together. The hardest part, besides the stress of such a competitive atmosphere, was being in a long distance relationship. At the time, my fiance was back home in MN during the taping in LA, so we were apart for three months.
TA: How did your experience on this reality show prepare you for Broadway?
Laura: The reality show was much more stressful than the Broadway experience. I grew up doing theater, so for me, performing on Broadway has a sense of familiarity to it. However, having to sing for millions of people, on tv, being judged on my personality and my talent, learning how to "work the camera" and trying to be a class-act on television all at the same time was a juggling act , to say the least! I challenged myself to be the best I could be when I competed on the reality show. I feel like my confidence, my endurance and my talent developed. That definitely helped prepare me for the 8 show weeks and critic's reviews of Broadway.
TA: What other acting roles have you had? What have been your favorites? Did you ever dream YOU would be on Broadway?
Laura: My favorite roles: Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz", Peter Pan in "Peter Pan", Sandy in "Grease", Chava in "Fiddler on the Roof", Zaneeta Shinn in the "Music Man", Princess Jasmine in Disney's "Aladdin". And YES, I always dreamed I would someday be on Broadway!
TA: You are living your dream. How has your rise to fame affected you on a daily basis? What is it like having a "fan-base"?
Laura: It's crazy knowing I have fans across the country and I'm so thankful for them!! They really did help my dream come true by watching and voting for me week after week. I've met so many people at the stage door who have come to New York just to see Grease because they voted for me on TV! Luckily, I am still able to have a private life and rarely get recognized on the street. It's a good balance because I know I have so many supporters who will continue to follow my career, but it's not like I get followed by paparazzi.
(photo by: paythedevil)
TA: How long did it take to put this productions together? What is your favorite scene from the play? How many costumes changes does Sandy have?
Laura: We had four weeks of rehearsal in the studio space and two weeks of tech rehearsal on our stage at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, which is a typical rehearsal process for a Broadway show. In addition, we had a month of preview performances, where the show was still being changed and altered before our official opening night. My favorite scene is "You're The One That I Want" because I get to let go and be someone completely different and sexy! We have the most fun in that number. I have 10 costumes, actually, all of which were made specifically for me. I have a dresser who steams all of my costumes before each show, helps me get in and out of everything, and makes sure I look just right before I go on stage.
TA: We have learned that you and Max Crumm (Danny Zucko) will be leaving the show soon. What is next for Laura?
Laura: Max and I leave the show July 20th because our contracts are up. It will be sad to say goodbye to Grease because it's been a huge part of my life for the past 2 years. I plan to stay in New York and keep doing theater, maybe branching into tv/film at some point. But it will be nice to have a little break too, and take some time to relax in August.
TA: How has Taylor Hicks changed the part of " Teen Angel" from others who have played the part before?
Laura: Having Taylor in the show is so fun. He's really down-to-earth and has made the role his own. In fact, they designed a completely new costume for him when he joined our show. The music director changed the number so Taylor could play the harmonica during the song. He riffs the number into a blues piece and the crowd always goes wild for him.
TA: You and Taylor Hicks were both on reality shows. Have you had a chance to compare notes with him on this?
Laura: We have talked a little bit about our reality show experiences. He told me he wishes he would have done American Idol earlier to jump start his career. He's excited for Max and Me since we got "our break" at such a young age. We both believe that God has opened these doors for us for a reason and it's awesome to be doing what we love. Neither of us would have guessed it would happen, especially through reality tv shows.
Taylor's Angels wishes to thank Laura for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish her the best in her future endevours and hope to see her career continue to grow!
Written by: Taylor's Angels
Pictures: Laura Osnes
Tags: Taylor Hicks, American Idol, Soul Patrol, Taylor's Angels