January and February 2018 have been amazing. We’re fortunate to have a talented team of artists as both performers and crew continue to grow with us (more about our team soon). And, we’ve invited several talented artists to join our family.
The character of Grace has been challenging to cast. She’s bigger-than-life, vulnerable, and gritty. It’s not easy to show the physicality of those emotions live while singing songs as intimate as Goodbye Friend and with as much attitude as I May Be Over You.
Fortunately, Maddie Pfeiffer walked into our lives. She’s an actor and singer now based in Nashville by way of Florida. While she’s both kindhearted and soft-spoken, Lauren Zoeller, Betty Riggs, and Tom Libertiny could immediately tell that there’s a volcano brewing just below her surface. Perhaps it was the way she simply took charge of Gertrude, Lauren’s character, during a scene between the two of them. Yes, she can act. But, there’s also personal passion and rawness the very first time we met her. Belting I May Be Over You with conviction was amazing to witness.
We’re fortunate to have met her. Please welcome Maddie to the role of Grace!
Interview with Maddie Pfeiffer
Question~ What personality traits do you share with Grace?
I think Grace is a Dreamer, a true artist. She imagines and believes in a “bigger, better future”, and is a leader amongst friends. And I’d like to think I share these things with her.
Question~ As an actor, what do you plan to bring to the story of Null Paradox live?
I act out each song when my band (Lions After Dark) and I perform live, so I’ll be harnessing a lot of my personal, gritty and dynamic stage performance to put towards Grace’s intense character. Taking on Null Paradox will really be an exercise for my acting and performance skills and I’m excited to see what this production pulls out of and inspires in me. It promises to be an awesome adventure!
Question~ “I found my purpose in life is to make others happy.” Do you wake up each morning thinking: how am I going to make a particular person happy? Or, is it something more general through your work as an artist?
It’s definitely something engrained in me. It might have something to do with how I was brought up. Both my parents seemed to live to give us access to anything we had interest in and gave my brother and I a lot of space to just be goofy kids. My dad has always been a child at heart and my mom is encouraging and laughs readily and easily. We didn’t know how to work cable TV till much later in our lives and were given Disney movies, musicals and Looney Toons on VHS. There was always a lot of love, theatre and laughter in our household and our extended family gatherings.
Question~ Where did you train for voice?
I was always in all the choirs I could get into but when I finally started getting serious about singing, I took private classical lessons with a local vocal teacher back in my hometown of Hanover, PA. I coupled that with a vocal class taught by one of my public high school music teachers. That was where I got my toes wet in performing solo. Once I transferred to a private boarding school in Oregon, I ended up landing an alto spot in the Jazz Choir, which really challenged me and broadened my talents, both as a vocalist and a pianist.
Question~ What is it about The Sound of Music that you love?
Oh, it’s probably just Julie Andrews. Her charm warms me to the core. But aside from that, the soundtrack is phenomenal. All of the songs are so beautifully written and performed.
Question~ Along with The Sound of Music and Oliver, do you have a special book that you also love?
I don’t know that I have “one book”. I’ve read a LOT of books. But I love Agatha Christie murder mysteries, the Harry Potter series and Gone With The Wind.
Question~ Who is your biggest music influence(s) and why?
Oof. That’s unfair. haha. I have a few. I’ll keep it concise. I adore Janis Joplin for her raw, rock n roll grit, her ability to carry herself with a lady in charge grace and to hang with the boys and never skip a beat. I love Jack White for his weird, bluesy simplicity and teasing charm he carries in his vocals. Allison Mosshart for her playful grit. Robert Plant for his powerful and sexy blues riffs. And Gwen Stefani for her out right, unbridled fun!
Question~ I love, love, love your song and video for Get It! How did you come up with the concept for the video and what’s the story behind the song?
Thank you so much! I appreciate that a lot. The concept for that video kind of just “came to me” one night. The more I toyed with and let the concept marinate, the more it fit the song’s communication. It was a leap for me. I really stepped out of my comfort zone for it. It was done in the upstairs loft of our rehearsal studio, just me and a friend. And for half of the filming process, he just pressed record and left the room to let me have at it. Which helped, because I was able to access and relive the emotions of the song, right down to the snippet of tears – those are real.
Hmm, “the story behind the song”…while I hate to “be that guy”, I’m going to leave the detailed story in the past. But I will say this, it was sparked out of a “final straw” mind set towards a broken relationship, both the song and the video. I was fed up with the whole thing and most of all, how small I made myself, how much I let another and the “negative voices inside” dictate how I viewed myself and my world. Having finally come to grips with all, I finally just said “Ok! Fine! I get it! … but that’s over now. This is MY life and I’LL make the calls.” And I very well did.