She's A Funny Girl!!
JILL ABRAMOVITZ stars as Fanny Brice in FUNNY GIRL.
I grew up in Morristown, New Jersey. A lovely place. (My sister will mock me when she reads this because I overuse the word "lovely.") Went to Morristown High and had a great time. Did all the school shows and played field hockey - at which I stunk. I'm not one of those people who hated high school. I actually loved it. Then I went to the University of Pennsylvania for college, which I also loved. I Majored in French literature and Psychology. I wanted a liberal arts education.
I'm emotional, I'm expressive, and I have a big mouth and large opinions. But I did have some of those incredible experiences in the theatre that steered me more strongly in the actor direction. I remember when Peter Pan flew out over the audience and I lost my mind. Or when I sat in one of the first few rows of Song and Dance and fell in love with Bernadette Peters. She was so alive and passionate and beautiful and it was a transformative experience going through that journey with her. I cried like a little girl. Well, I was a little girl, but still. I suppose, like most people, I'm still having those experiences, so they continue to make me want to be an actor. Except when I have to audition, then I don't want to be an actor. That's when I dream of being an accountant or a fish. I tell my husband that all the time. I get jealous of fish because they don't have to audition.
Mentors are everywhere. I hate to sound corny, but you get so much from watching people perform. Movies, TV, theatre, everywhere. I saw an actress in a show a few years ago and I remember the power of her stillness - how much command she had when she stood in one place and sang. The entire cast of Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me on Broadway taught me about bringing in fresh ideas every single day to rehearsal. Always throwing a new batch of spaghetti on the wall and seeing what stuck. My high school director, Jane Wintz, taught me about discipline - being on time, shutting up backstage, and not missing rehearsal. A guy I did one day on a film with said to me, "You don't have to look at me just because you're yelling at me." I loved that. Jason Bateman on “Arrested Development” - he is the all-knowing guru of deadpan and perfect timing. So, yeah, I think mentors are everywhere.
I would love to play Cordelia in Falsettos. I would love to do a Christopher Durang play. ANY Christopher Durang play. I would love to pay the Baker's Wife in Into The Woods.
How could I not be a fan of the film? Barbra Streisand is perfection. Brazen and beautiful and on fire - and so impossibly young! I learned of the real Fanny Brice through the show - which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing. I appreciate how theatre can immortalize historical events and characters, and introduce them to a wider audience. Art is a vehicle for history. It electrifies the past.
My favorite moment in this show? “Don't Rain on my Parade”. I love how it sounds like a big LOOK AT ME moment - but it's not. She's on a mission. It's almost a DON'T look at me moment. Like - just leave me alone and let me live my life, make my own mistakes.
I have a lot of writing going on right now - so that takes up a lot of time. Other than that - I like to hang out with babies - there are a lot of them in my life suddenly, including my one-year-old niece. I love hanging out with my brilliant and funny friends - but I haven't done enough of that lately. I love walking in Central Park and going to this killer class called Core Fusion. And I enjoy my fair share of reality television. (Watched The Real Housewives of NYC tonight. Yes I did.)
What music I listen to the most: Tied for first place are Ben Folds and Jonathan Brooke, followed by Shawn Colvin and Stevie Wonder. There are obviously musicals on there - I'd say "The Last Five Years" is in first place this week. I also listen to my husband's (Brad Alexander's) music a lot. And I'm not biased - he's amazing. I listen to my own stuff, too - I'm a lyricist and I'm usually obsessing about something that needs rewriting. I have a lot of genius writer friends who are not famous yet, but will be. So I listen to their music. I seriously listen to my friend Adam Overett's demo on the treadmill.