Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Amanda Harrison

I have no idea who Amanda Harrison is.

I'm hoping she's not involved with the whole Federation thing. I'm a bit tired of all that.

You know what's the worst thing about Federation? I don't know if I should capitalize the word or not! I have really been struggling with that the past few days.

I'm wondering if any of you noticed. Maybe you guys are just as confused as I am. Maybe you noticed and were just trying to be polite.

I don't know. Although I'm always okay with people correcting me, so if you see a mistake....tell me.

Amanda Harrison might be an actress. I say that because the upcoming names on the list are actors and actresses. I sometimes add names in spurts. One day I added a bunch of acting people. Another day I added a handful of spiritual-type people. And then there was the day I added corporation folks.

Harrison might have been a lone add-on though.

Well, I should shut up and go see already.

Awesome!

She IS an actress. But she's not a film actress. She's a theater actress.

She plays Elphaba in Wicked.

I'm very excited about this post now.

I LOVE Elphaba.

It's funny because I just wrote about her on Facebook. Someone asked me which fictional character I would be. I wasn't quite sure if she meant which character reminds me most of myself, or which character I'd most WANT to be.

Elphaba is definitely the one that reminds me of me. She's unpopular. That's me. She's idealistic. That's me. She gets herself in trouble by having strong viewpoints. That's me.

Sadly though, I don't have green skin. I don't have magical powers. I can't fly. Actually I can...but only in my dreams. Does that count?

It might be hard for me to love Harrison, just because I'm so attached to Indina Menzel as Elphaba. I get attached to having certain people play certain parts.

But MAYBE my heart will open up to Harrison. You never know......

Let me stop rambling and start reading.

Lord Wiki doesn't give any of her birth information. He says she grew up in Bangor, but there's a Bangor in New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania. Isn't there a Bangor in Maine too? Maybe it's Stephen King related?

Yeah. I just googled. That's where he lives.

Lord Wiki says young Amanda went to school in southern Sydney.  Sutherland Shire. So that may be a clue. Is Bangor near there?

I'm looking at Google Maps now.

Yep. Bingo. Sutherland Shire is near Bangor.

The school she went to was called Menai High School.

In the late 1990's, Harrison took some acting classes. Then she was cast in Sunset Boulevard.

I used to have that soundtrack, the one with Glenn Close singing. At least I think Glenn Close was in it.

Lord Wiki says I'm right. Here's a video of her singing.

I guess Harrison took the acting classes after she was already performing. The classes happened in 1997 and her first professional play was Aspects of Love. That was in 1993.

I used to have the Aspects of Love soundtrack too. I love the song Love Changes Everything. I think it's one of the best love songs ever.

Harrison was in Les Miserables. Yeah. I had that soundtrack too. I think I actually had multiple versions of the soundtrack...even the French one. I love a lot of songs from that, but this one is probably my favorite.

Here's a piece of trivia. The woman who does Cosette on the Broadway soundtrack is the one who plays Pocahontas in the Disney film. What's her name again, Lord Wiki?

Judy Kuhn...and it turns out she just did the singing. Someone else did the talking part.

I just realized the Les Miserables clip I linked to features Lea Salonga. She's awesome....one of my favorites. She another who does both Broadway and Disney. She sings for Mulan and Aladdin's Jasmine.

I feel I'm ignoring Harrison a bit. Sorry. I'm just so excited about all this musical stuff!

I'll get back to her though. She was in other plays as well. I won't go off on tangents with all of them.

She did get some awards. Maybe I should mention those. Well, one was a nomination, but she didn't win. That was for Oklahoma. Then she won a Robert Helpmann award for Leader of the Pack. I've never heard of that play. I wonder if it's good.

In 2000, she made her West End debute. She was in Mamma Mia! She played Ali. I'm not even sure who that is. Is it one of Sophie's friends? Yeah, Lord Wiki says it is. I don't think it's that big of a part...at least not in the movie. Maybe in the play it's more substantial.

Harrison was later in another West End musical called We Will Rock You. I've never heard of that one either. I'm feeling out of touch here.

Lord Wiki says it's a musical featuring music from Queen. Well, I guess I should have assumed that from the title.

Harrison did the show in London, and then she came back and did it in Australia. For her performance, she received a Helpmann nomination.

Here's a clip of the Australian version of the musical. I don't think that's a Queen song though. I'm confused.

In 2007 and 2008, Harrison was in Miss Saigon. I love songs from that too. Harrison played Ellen. I'm not sure who that is.

Lord Wiki says she's the American wife. Does she sing at all? Okay. Yeah. Lord Wiki says she does have some songs.

Harrison's role in Melbourne's production of Wicked began in 2008. This is the one that also stars Anthony Callea and the late Rob Guest. Well, of course it no longer stars the late Rob Guest. He's been replaced.

The show is soon going to move from Melbourne to Sydney. Yikes. I was planning to see it when we went to Melbourne. I guess we'll have to change those plans.

For her portrayal of Elphaba, Harrison was nominated for both the Green Room Award and Helpmann award.

Well, I'm done with Lord Wiki.

I shall look elsewhere now. I'm not sure how much will be out there. I might have to spend most of my time playing on Youtube.

Here's an article about Harrison on a We Will Rock You website.

She was born in Sydney.

She had very little formal training. She spent six weeks at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, but quit after six weeks.

I personally think formal training is often overrated.

It seems Harrison agrees with me. She left school because she was offered a role in Sunset Boulevard. She says, I figured, why spend three years learning something I had already been offered to do. Nothing is better than on the job training as far as I’m concerned.

Amen to that.

When she auditioned for Mamma Mia, the final auditions had to be done in front of the real ABBA people. Wow. That would make me nervous. No actually...auditioning in front of ANYONE would make me horribly nervous.

Here's a Sydney Morning Herald article about Harrison.

They give me an age. She was 31 in 2006. So now she's about 34.

Harrison is a self-confessed dag. What's a dag? I have to go look that up.

This dictionary says it refers to someone who isn't neat and stylish. Well, that's me most of the time.

She has worked with Hugh Jackman before.

That's about all I'm getting from this article.

Well, I think I'm going to just go and play on YouTube.

Here's Harrison singing "The Wizard and I". I love this song.  And I actually like it with her singing! I'm not sitting here wishing she was Indina Menzel instead. They sound very much alike though.

The lyrics of the song are absolutely brilliant. I especially like the last minute or so...great irony.

Okay. Amanda Harrison is AMAZING....at least with that song.

Beautiful.

Here she sings with Lucy Durack....one of the best songs ever. "For Good".

I am SO impressed.

I never thought I could love anyone in these roles besides Menzel and Chenoweth.

Lucy Durack sounds like she was about to cry at 1.45. I can't tell if she was really crying or faking it. This is the same part in which Chenoweth's started crying at Menzel's last performance. What is it about that line?

Actually, I just watched it again. I kind of think Durack is faking it....well, acting, I should say.

Here's As Long As Your Mine--Another Wicked song. It's the romantic one.

Here's a behind the scenes of Wicked video.

Here's an interview with Harrison and Durack.

They say the rehearsals for Wicked were done in three weeks. Wow. That doesn't seem long at all. I wonder how long most rehearsals last.

Wait. They had two weeks of tech (not sure what that means) so there were five weeks in total.

People from the American production came to Australia to help them.

The interviewer asks if anything has ever gone wrong...set problems or messed up lines. I think that's a great question. I love stories about that. Helen Reddy had a great one in her book. She broke a glass on the set. She had to work it into the scene. She ended up sweeping up the glass, but it messed up with timing and everything. Still....she managed to do okay with it.

Anyway, what does Harrison and Durack say about that?

Well, they have a good one. There's a scene in Wicked where Elphaba and Glinda have a fight. They slap each other. There are sound effects to go with the slaps. Durack messed up the timing. The slap sound came at the wrong time. Then she and Harrison started giggling.

I'm liking Harrison. I like her sense of humor.

Here's Harrison's part in the Rob Guest Memorial. This is a Jewelchic video. Jewelchic reminds me a lot of one of our family friends.

Here's an interview on David and Kim.

They say they perform the play eight times a week. Five nights and three matinées. Wow.

They get Monday and Tuesday off.

Still. It sounds exhausting.

Harrison says she has a toddler. I can't imagine having to balance theater and motherhood.

She talks about how she tries to save her voice and has a no-talking day. The husband takes care of the baby. He's a stay-at-home dad.

Harrison said the green make-up went into her ear. The doctor saw it when she went for an exam.

Here's the cast of Wicked singing a Christmas song.

All right. I think I'm actually tired of watching videos.

So I'm going to say good-bye now.
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