Stars Tell All!
Pat McRoberts and Becca Lopez will play Buddy Holly and Maria Elena in BUDDY. I chatted with them recently and here’s the scoop!
Where did you grow up? Can you share a bit about your upbringing.
Pat: I’m from Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s about an hour south of Cleveland (home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where I love to see and study Buddy Holly original guitars, amps, letters and clothing) Big sports town, Canton, so I grew up as a jock. I was always playing ball of some kind since I can remember. I went to Otterbein College, a small, private, liberal arts school near Columbus where I played college football and was a music major.
Becca: I was born and raised in Austin, Texas. My family has lived in the same house since I was born. I left for Cleveland to go to college (Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music). I have a younger sister named Elise who is studying dance in college. When I was little I was extremely introverted so when I told my parents I wanted to start acting they were a little nervous. But I think it has worked out so far! Growing up my parents supported everything I did, I think they are more obsessed with theatre than I am! I was a very busy kid, with voice lessons, play rehearsal, choir, and dance; and I loved it.
What influenced you to become an actor/ musician?
Becca: Well my family is very musical. Both my parents sing, my dad plays the guitar and my mom plays the flute and the piano so music was always a part of our house. But, I started acting when I was eight years old. I saw my best friend in a production of OLIVER and after the show I told my mom I wanted to act. My first show was THE SOUND OF MUSIC, I played Marta. I fell in love with the whole process, and I cried after the last show.
Pat: After college, I worked as an actor in Children’s Theatre and a Renaissance Faire. Then I moved to Chicago where I continued to work as a stage actor at progressive theatre companies as well as commercial theatre productions like PRELUDE TO A KISS with Barbara Harris. Vicky Bussert then cast me to understudy Buddy in Chicago and on the National Tour and I’ve been playing the role, off and on, ever since.
When did you first hear of Buddy Holly? Were you aware of Buddy Holly before you were cast in the show?
Becca: Being from Texas, I certainly knew of Buddy Holly and his music growing up.
But I didn't really get into his music till I was in the show the first time. I did the show before at Carousel Dinner Theatre (with Pat) in the summer of 2006. But I love Buddy Holly's music, it just makes you smile.
Pat: When I was first cast in the show, I was more familiar with other bands covering Buddy tunes like The Beatles: Words Of Love, James Taylor: Everyday, and The Greatful Dead: Not Fade Away.
What guitar do you play? Were you in a band?
Pat: I play acoustic and electric guitar. In the show, I play a 1950's Fender Sunburst Stratocaster like Buddy, but my own guitar is a blonde, Epiphone Sheraton II. Never in a band.
Becca: I don't play any instruments. I took piano in college but I was horrible at it! I dreaded going to piano class everyday! I really wish I could play an instrument but I don't think it's going to happen.
What's on your ipod?
Pat: I have an mp3 player (it’s not an ipod) and right now I have... some Ben Folds, Sting, Miles Davis, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Frank Sinatra, The Wilders, Luke and the CoolHands, Squeeze, Simon and Garfunkel, The Moonlighters, Styx and a bunch of other stuff you’ve never heard of...
Becca: Well I've got a lot on my ipod. But I really don't listen to it that much. But right now I love Ingrid Michaelson, Panic at the Disco, and Sara Bareilles.