This past week I talked to Sonya Venugopal, one of the stars of the upcoming spring musical Footloose. She opened up about her past experiences in the spotlight, the ups and downs of rehearsal and what she loves to do when she’s not singing and dancing. Her spunky charm and warm personality are evident in person as much as they are on stage. Having performed in last year’s musical Little Shop of Horrors, Sonya will be gracing the stage once again as Ariel, the lead female role, this spring. Stay tuned — this is a must see performance!
HC: How long have you been in doing musicals?
SV: I have been doing musical theatre since I was about 8 years old. So 11 years now.
HC: Oh wow, that is some serious dedication, so, what did you do first? Dance, sing or act?
SV: I started with dance competitions when I was 6 years old. My favorite was tap because the group I was in was with all of my best friends at my studio and we always won.
HC: Which one is your favorite?
SV: I don’t think I could pick a favorite. I miss doing dance, since I don’t get to do it anymore, at least not like when I was a kid. I love to sing as well.
HC: How has it been working with the cast?
SV: This cast is awesome! Everyone is really supportive and willing to do pretty much anything for one another. I know it sounds cliché but we have become a close-knit family.
HC: How has it been working with Kyle (her co-star who plays Ren)?
SV: Kyle? Ehhh. Just kidding. It’s really awesome working with him. He is super talented, and committed to the show. I would not have asked to work with anyone else. I can’t wait for the performances.
HC: Did you know him before?
SV: We both have different stories for this. We were in a class together last year winter quarter and I sat like one seat away from him. But we were never introduced. He actually introduced himself to me at callbacks and everyone thought it was funny that we had never “met”.
HC: Had you seen Footloose before? The musical? The movie?
SV: I had seen the musical and the newer version of the movie. I should probably watch the older version because apparently Kevin Bacon is genius.
HC: So, with the 2 movies being very different, in terms of the classic and modern Footloose, how would you describe this year’s musical direction? What era is it taking place in?
SV: This musical is kind of in between the time periods of the old and new versions. The director has chosen to set it in the year 1995. So it is interesting to act like we are in that specific time period since we are playing high school kids, and I was only 2 years old in 1995.
HC: What do you think has been the hardest part of the show?
SV: The challenge in this show has been to stay in character during all the rehearsals. Everyone is just so funny and great to be around, that sometimes it is hard to focus.
HC: What is your favorite scene?
SV: My favorite scene in the show is when the trio and I sing “Holding Out for a Hero” and it becomes a dream sequence. It is so much fun.
People Call Me: Sons (pronounced “Sewns”). I don’t know how to phonetically spell that.
Favorite Musical: I don’t really have one. There are too many really great ones. I would say the musical I am in tends to become my favorite.
Favorite Song: I really can’t pick favorites. I will sing anything.
Favorite song to sing in the car: Something like Adele or Alicia Keys that is crazy hard to sing. That way people don’t hear when I totally rock out.
Favorite food at Benson: BREAKFAST. I get the same thing everyday—2 eggs over easy, bacon, and avocado. Yum.
Heels or boots: Boots.
Guilty pleasure: In-N-Out.
Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis: MILA all the way. Ethnic girls.
Action or drama: Action.
Favorite hobby: Doing musicals. Or taking photos.
The show starts May 31st! Tickets can be purchased at the box office on Wednesday-Friday (3:30 PM-6:30 PM) or online.