Name: Annie Gorski
Activities: Cabrini Theatre, Psychology Club
Musical: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Role you've ever played: Olive Ostrovsky in Spelling Bee
What is your role in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”? Can you talk a little bit about it?
I am playing the role of Hedy La Rue. She is very over the top in everything she does. Hedy has so many levels to her. I've never had a role like her before so it's been a challenging road up to now, but everything about it has been so much fun. Becoming Hedy was, and is, such a process. She's a blast to play and I am so excited and honored to bring Miss Hedy La Rue to life.
What are you most excited about for opening night?
For opening night, I think I'm most excited about bringing this show and these characters to life for an audience and being able to bring them into this amazing and bright little world that we have all been living in throughout this entire rehearsal process.
Have you always been interested in theater? What’s your journey been to the Cabrini stage?
I have been interested in theatre ever since I was younger. I remember going to every show that my sister did when she was in high school. Watching her shine when she was acting and performing; her happiness on stage, just made me want to do it even more. I was very lucky to have the journey I had coming to the Cabrini stage. At my high school we did two shows a year, one fall play and one spring musical. By the end of my high school career I had been in all eight productions and played roles all over the board; from funny to serious, young to old, lead to ensemble. All that prepared me for being here at Cabrini.
What’s the most challenging part of being involved in theater?
The most challenging part of being involved in theatre is probably how time consuming it is and how difficult it can be. It’s not something you can leave at rehearsal. You take it home with you, in the car and on vacations or on breaks with you. It’s constant. For example, if you have a weekend where you miraculously don't have rehearsal, you still have to review your lines, your blocking, your music, your harmonies, your dance steps, your entrances and your exits and what your cues are. Plus on top of the technical stuff, you have to remember who you are in the script, who your character is. And at rehearsal, you have to leave your own personal problems and emotions at the door because none of that matters. What matters is your character because from the time rehearsal starts to when it ends, that is who you are. It’s challenging, but so rewarding.
And the most fun?
The most fun part about being involved in theatre is that it's like being in a big, crazy family. It's my home away from home. While leaving your personal life at the door can be hard and sometimes not something you can do, it's also the biggest relief. Being able to put your phone away and step into a world where you're someone completely different is something so special. From the costumes, the hair and the makeup, the lights, the excitement, the music, the dancing and the stories being told, all the way to the people you are doing that all with. That’s what makes theatre fun… to me, nothing gets better than that.
Personally, what’s the best part about being an actor, especially one that performs live?
Personally, the best part about being an actor that performs live is the audience. Nothing beats having a live audience because they give you the feedback of their emotions in that moment. Whether it's laughter, gasping in shock, applause after a song or even crying. That’s the best part for me. Everyone has their own struggles and when people come to see a show, they also want to be able to leave their problems at the door and as an actor, I get to help them do that. As an actor, I have the ability to take an hour or two of someone’s time and make them feel something. How amazing is that? I will never let go of that. That is the reason why I do what I do, besides loving to perform.
Who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences are my sister, Stephanie, and my high school director, Kathleen Ruttum. They taught me everything I know. They pushed me to believe in myself, to be strong in what I do and to never give up, not only onstage but offstage as well. But I’m also so blessed to have the new influence of my current director here at Cabrini, Kait Finnegan. She has now taken me under her wing and is continuing to challenge me to grow as an actor on a collegiate level.
If you could play any role in musical history, who would it be? Why?
If I could play any role in musical history it would definitely be Elphaba in Wicked. I am obsessed with the role and the music in that show. Elphaba is such a theatrical and dynamic character and there’s so much background to her story. Plus Idina Menzel is phenomenal and to build the vocal strength to be able to confidently play her role of Elphaba and sing those songs would be an incredible accomplishment and a dream come true.
Photo taken by Theresa Paesani