Interview | Rosemary Baird
I Heart Rosemary!! She is one awesome girl and very fun to interview. She looks like Cinderella. She just has that sweet, wholesome face that screams PRINCESS!! But she certainly doesn’t act like one. Very easy to talk with and so nice to her fellow cast mates, Rosemary impressed me from word one.
1. You play Cinderella, a girl’s dream. But Cinderella is such an iconic character. It definitely comes with some preconceived notions. So what are you doing with the character to make it yours?
It has been said before that Cinderella is very quiet and easy to walk all over, but Cinderella actually knows more about what’s going on than what others think. For instance, she chooses to ignore the mean and cruel things that her step-family says to her because they know she will take it or is just too stupid to hear it. But she actually does here it and although she is offended she believes it is better off for her to grin and bear it.
2. Expounding on that a bit, how difficult is it to play a role like Cinderella? Do you find there’s much freedom in it?
I think both Katie and I are trying to find humor in the role! It is very difficult to play a part like Cinderella because it is so iconic and there are many preconceived notions of how she is supposed to look and act. Cinderella is not known for being “funny” character in the show but she is very clever and knows more about what she’s doing than others think. I believe that her cleverness can come off as very funny in a witty sort of way.
3. How is it acting with your fellow Cinderella? Did you guys try to make your interpretations of Cinderella different from each other, or was it a more organic process?
Working with Katie is absolutely fabulous! We have been together for 7 years at PMT. In fact, my first show (which, coincidentally enough, was Disney’s Cinderella) we both played Perla the mouse. This is the first time we’ve been the same part since! We both are trying very hard to play our part our way, but because she is so well known and often stereotyped, there is not much freedom so I think we both play the role similar but each bring something different to the table.
4. Your playing such a romantic figure. What’s the most romantic thing that’s ever been done for you?
Last year, I was dating a boy in the grade ahead of me. During the fall when I was doing Chess at PMT, I got very sick and could barely talk or walk around without a sweatshirt, robe, and blanket wrapped around me. One day, I had to miss school because I was so sick and immediately after school he came over with flowers, chocolate, and hot chocolate and he stayed with me all night watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls. It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me!
5. How are you enjoying working with the Princes Joshua Reardon and Davis Wayne?
I’m having a blast! Davis has been one of my best friends since 7th grade so we have worked together many times but this is a completely different world for us! I only became friends with Josh this past summer during Les Mis when I played Fantine and he was Enjolras but it is amazing to get to work with both of them! Katie, Davis, Josh, and I have all gotten very close since rehearsals started and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with!
6. And you’re surrounded by tons of little kids as your mice! Such sweet girls! I had a blast interviewing them. I couldn’t believe how still they sat and how well-spoken they were! Already such professionals. 🙂 Are those kids as fun as they seem? 🙂
ABSOLUTELY! The girls are a blast to be around! They are so sweet, yet very spunky if you catch them in the right moment 😉 I have always loved working with kids and they are truly a joy to work with! We have so much fun in rehearsals. I can easily call them some of my best friends!
7. Okay, let’s switch gears a moment. You’re just starting out in your career. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned as a young actress?
Confidence is key! One of the hardest things to do as a performer is to tell yourself that you CAN do something. So whether it’s going into an audition, opening night of a show, or just rehearsing your lines you have to believe in yourself that it is possible for you do anything!
8. How would you define the Pittsburgh arts scene?
It’s my favorite thing about Pittsburgh! There is always something “artsy” to do! In a typical day you could go to the ballet, the museum, see a play, or a musical, or even a concert! I feel very fortunate to be growing in a place so involved with the arts. It’s hard to believe anyone could be bored around here!
9. Can you tell me about your experience at PMT? What lessons have you learned there? What do you enjoy most about it?
In my 7 years at PMT, all I can say is that I have no idea where I would be without it. Colleen Petrucci has been my inspiration and role model since the start! She is the embodiment of class, grace, humor, talent, and wisdom. I can’t imagine how many times she has helped me through hard times. My favorite thing about PMT is the ability to work with professionals. My first professional show was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. On the first day, Joseph (played by Dave Toole) introduced himself to me and told me how excited he was to be in the show. Seeing him perform and his love for the theater, I learned that I could do this! It was my calling.
Since then I have performed in 5 professional shows and have worked with many others even in our educational productions. I’ve learned how much you have to trust others. How (especially in this business) it is difficult to find people who you can depend on, who can give your criticism without cutting you down. I am blessed with the friends that I have made because we all truly want to help each other and for everyone to succeed. I’m very nervous that it won’t be like that in the “real world” but I know it’s possible to find people like that.
10. Finally, my end question to every interview: tell me some advice you have for the people reading this interview that want to act and break into the theater community in Pittsburgh?
Just get out there! See as many shows as possible! If you liked it, research the production company and see what you can do to help. Do as much research as you can and don’t be afraid to try many things! Take classes and audition for anything you can. There’s never nothing going on and if you work hard enough, you can do it. Don’t stop until you can tell yourself that you have succeeded.