We caught up with Jenna Robinson Child about her latest stage engagement in Annie.
Q1: How has it been working with a dog during rehearsal and live on stage?
It has been one of my favourite things about rehearsals! We have had such fun with all the dogs we’ve had during this process, starting with Gucci in rehearsals in JHB, and of course Flirt and Chippy during our JHB season, and now with Hobbs and Bentley in Cape Town. Each one has had their own charm and character. I must admit though, Flirt is my favourite by far!
Q2: After so much work in theatre, what draws you back to the stage time after time?
It is just that – the stage. There is simply nothing quite like it. All the hard work and hours you put in during training and rehearsals all become worth it once you step foot on the stage. It’s a very special place. Performing every night to a grateful, generous audience is what keeps me hooked. There’s nothing better than doing what I love most in the world every night – I’m very lucky and so grateful.
Q3: What is your pre-show routine?
My pre-show routine includes all the usual prep most performers have to do before a show I guess, but I like to get to work a bit earlier so I can get going with my pin curls as they take me forever! Once that’s done we have our company warm-up which includes a physical warm-up and vocal warm-up. From there I generally do my make up and mic checks and start getting into costume. We only perform our first ensemble number 20 minutes into the first act of the show so it’s important to keep warm and moving my body side stage before my first entrance. An integral part of my pre-show routine includes the consumption of sweets too!
Q4: Having worked in both lead and ensemble roles, which do you enjoy most?
I have mostly worked in ensemble roles during my career and have understudied lead roles. I have been lucky enough to play some of the parts I have understudied too which I am so grateful for. I absolutely love being part of the ensemble – we get to work hard and dance lots which I love. In Annie, I am an onstage swing which has been a really good experience and a fun challenge. Being able to learn more than one persons track in a show is a skill I am grateful to be learning on this contract.