K&D: Do you remember the first time you sang in public? What did you sing and where?
NW: When I played Peter Pan at Pine Grove day camp at 10 years old.
K&D: Has any singer or artist or songwriter really made in impact on you and your singing/performing?
NW: Defiinitely Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey… I remember being 8 years old and listening to the Bodyguard soundtrack on repeat, imitating Whitney’s riffs,listening to Hero, and singing non-stop around the house
K&D: You’ve been called a youtube sensation. Discuss.
NW: It’s really a crazy how it happened actually! It wasn’t like I decided to put videos up on Youtube and say, “Hey Guys! It’s me Natalie”(like Miranda haha)… I was just performing a song from Dreamgirls at a casual school function, when a freshman decided to video tape it and put it up onto Youtube(which no one really knew of at the time in 06). Before I knew it, the comments were flooding in! I attribute the amount of views to the fact that the Dreamgirls movie was coming out that same year, and whenever people would search clips from the musical, my video would come up! Soon after, my Penn State senior showcase video was put up, and then I really started to get a following.
K&D: Weirdest youtube (or real life) creeper story?
NW: Fortunately, I haven’t had any horrible creeper stories. But I CAN think of one particular story that actually still makes me laugh out loud to this day. So, I was being a desk monitor for the Penn State auditions in New York City. I headed to the elevator to go downstairs and in the hall this boy was warming up. I said, “Are you auditioning?” He said, “Yea, are you?” I said, “Oh, no, i’m just a monitor for the Penn State desk”. He looks at me long and hard, and inquisitively says, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Natalie Weiss?” I immediately laughed and said, “I am”. He PUSHES me back and says, “GET OUT!” (like Elaine on Seinfeld!) HAHA I couldn’t believe instead of just saying, “Are you Natalie Weiss” he actually phrased it the way he did. I think I made his day! He was in complete disbelief.
K&D: You are constantly working with new and emerging writers for musical theater. Is there anything you’ve learned from specifically working with new writers?
NW: I have loved working with new writers! Something that I have learned from working with so many, is that every single composer or team of composers has a completely different way of working. While some are classically trained pianists, many of them have actually never been trained to play the piano, can read music, or know theory at all, yet their writing is so brilliant. Coming from a classically trained piano background myself, I can only imagine how much harder that must be to actually get your music transcribed onto paper exactly how you want it. Somehow, they find a way!
K&D: Do you have and advice or lessons you can share with other actors who may be interested in getting into musical theater?
NW: This business is extremely difficult. Not only do you have to have the talent, drive, look, etc, you have to be able to network. People usually say, it is ALL about who you know! If you are up for a role, and are absolutely 100% perfect for it, yet the director has already worked with the girl you are up against, they will probably call them up first because they KNOW they are good to work with. Also, some actors go from 6 figures a year to unemployment. That is mind boggling. If you are able to deal with that inconsistency but are able to find other ways to supplement your income while keeping yourself sane with side projects, by all means, DIVE IN!
K&D: Which of your performances (that can be found on youtube) are you most proud of?
NW: HAHA thank you so much for phrasing it like that and not, “Which one of your youtube performances…” Many people to this day that hear that I am a “Youtube Sensation” often think that I upload a video and say, “HEY YOUTUBE THIS IS MY PERFORMANCE FOR YOU” as opposed to be live performances that happen to be recorded and put onto the site. Anyway, I would have to say that I am most proud of…. maybe….. Big White Room, or The Wizard and I (in the orange dress).
K&D: Who would you love to share the stage with someday?
NW: I would say Beyonce, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Sara Bareilles, or Justin Timberlake
K&D: If you weren’t in theater or the entertainment industry, what would your dream job be?
NW: Possibly a makeup artist, or, WAIT, a professional poker player!!!
K&D: Craziest celebrity encounter?
NW: Well, I think I have a few, if you have a second to read ha.
#1. I was waiting for an elevator to arrive at my floor. It finally opened for me to walk on, and I see a bunch of people waiting inside, including Chris Noth(BIG from Sex And the City) sweating and all from working out. Instead of just quietly walking on, like I hadn’t recognized him, I word vomited, “You’re… great” and walked on. He goes, “AND sweaty!” Oh God, it was embarrassing! haha
#2. This was more of a technological encounter: My parents called me in my dorm room sophomore year of college from a concert they were at. They said, someone wants to talk to you. Someone gets on the phone and says, “Hey, it’s Kevin Spacey”. In disbelief, I said, “Dad, stop it, not funny”. He says, “No really it’s Kevin Spacey, how are you Natalie?” So inside I’m flipping out that my dad would put my idol on the phone to talk to me, but we talked for about 5 minutes about how I was also an actor and he was super sweet. It turns out my parents went to see him in his promotional concert for the movie, “Beyond the Sea” and after the show, he was by himself smoking a cigarette outside so they decided to tell him I was a big fan and if he could call me that would be awesome!
K&D: What’s your favorite stupid Youtube Video?
NW: Probably “Shane Sings 5 Octaves”! gotta love me some Shane
K&D: What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?
NW: Eek. The list is endless! Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Fruit Loops… ALL THE HEALTHY NON-SUGARY ONES clearly!!
K&D: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
NW: Time Travel seems pretty cool!
K&D: What are the top 5 most played songs on your iPod?
NW: “Get Out” By Jojo, “Stay” by Katie Thompson, “Gavin’s Song” by Marc Broussard , “Between The Lines” by Sara Bareilles, and “Don’t Stop The Music” by Rihanna
K&D: Favorite childhood Halloween costume?
NW: My mom made me a literal cardboard cut out piano with a bloody hand, etc, and made me the Goosebumps book, “Piano Lessons Can Be Murder” . Brilliant
K&D: Favorite non-curse word?