Hoffman: Tell me more about your experience wearing the costume for Madame La Bouche in Beauty and The Beast!
S. Schneider: This costume is the most elaborate I have had in all my time of theater. It is heavy, on wheels, and it takes two to three guys to lift it high enough for me to climb in from the bottom. It is sometimes warm inside, so the costumers put a little battery powered fan to keep me cool. For the most part it is not difficult to maneuver but it does get my heart pounding with how fast my feet and legs have to move!
M. Hoffman: You received your Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance in 2015. What does it take vocally to perform night after night in a show!
S. Schneider: As a vocalist, each performance has to be taken seriously. There are many things that can be damaging to the voice that are done without knowledge. I work my hardest to stay hydrated, healthy, and above all, I make sure I’m not over using my voice with everyday life with a lot of talking, whispering, or singing in the car. I focus on warming up my voice everyday and I only sing music that keeps my voice fresh and ready for the hardship of the performances.
M. Hoffman: I enjoyed the antics of your character in Beauty and The Beast. Tell me more about playing The Wardrobe/Madame La Bouche.
S. Schneider: This role, while small, has a lot of depth. All she wants is to be human again so she can get on stage and perform! (She and I have that in common!) What I LOVE about this character is that she is a diva. It is a lot of fun being able to portray an opera star because I aspire to do that very thing. And the intensity of her passion drives me forward to the end where she can revel in that first high note of being human again!
M. Hoffman: Do you have any advice you would want to tell those wanting to study voice or get more involved in theatre?
S. Schneider: When it comes to those who have even the slightest interest in singing or acting, do it. Take the leap and make your dreams happen! I started at the age of twelve and will never regret one single audition. Being able to follow your passion is one of the most satisfying experiences and don’t ever let yourself stand in your way! It will take hard work but there is something far greater in your achievement!
PHOTO CREDIT: CHRIS WOOLEY HEADS AND TAILS PHOTOGRAPHY