Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Interviewer: Anna Miller, @bwaydrawings
Interviewing: Randa Meierhenry
AM: What is your name and what are your preferred pronouns?
RM: Randa Meierhenry, she/her/hers
AM: What show are you currently in, and what role do you play in that show?
RM: Fiddler on the Roof National Tour, playing Rivka (u/s Tzietel, Hodel, and Fruma Sarah)
AM: What is your favorite song in your current show?
RM: Miracle of Miracles, because I dance backstage to it every night. It’s a song of triumph and joy, and it’s a total bop. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of hearing it. Plus it’s the result of the real turning point in the show. There’s no going back.
AM: What is your favorite show you’ve ever done?
RM: Kate Monster in Avenue Q
AM: When did you start doing theatre? What got you into theatre?
RM: When I was going into middle school, I moved to a new school in a new state with zero friends. I joined choir and at the end of the year, we had auditions for a musical. Somehow I landed one of the leads and fell in love with everything about musical theatre: the storytelling, the music, the community. I memorized every line in the show and would mouth the words offstage with my new friends during scenes we weren't in. I was hooked!
AM: Did you always want to be an actress? If not, what changed your mind?
RM: I was a really shy kid and a bit of a bookworm. So I wanted to be a doctor or mathematician or a scientist. Even after my first show, I didn't know I wanted to make a career out of theatre; in rural Nebraska, becoming an actress didn't seem like an option. I don't think I could pinpoint a moment when I chose this, but when I started applying for college I wasn't really interested in studying anything else.
AM: What is your go-to audition song?
RM: "Change It" from 9 to 5
AM: What is your dream role? Why?
RM: More than anything, I want to originate a role. I want to be a part of the creative process and be the first to tell whatever story it happens to be (but if I had to choose something already written: Jo in Little Women- she’s incredible).
AM: How do you deal with rejection?
RM: Rejection is a major part of this business. But you just have to remember that it’s never personal. If you’re not getting cast, nobody hates you. It could be because you’re not right for that show or that role or that company. Maybe they’re not ready for you. Kelli O’Hara sings a song that goes “When you hear no/don’t get upset/it means yes/but just not yet.” Don’t give up!
AM: Is it difficult to be on tour? What are the best and hardest parts?
RM: I know that tour life isn’t for everyone. But for me, it’s a dream! Visiting cities I’ve never been to before is incredible. The world is a beautiful place! Of course, not everything is perfect. Not having a kitchen or your normal bed takes a toll on your body. It’s nearly impossible to create a routine because you never know what you’re going to get from city to city. So you just have to stay flexible and make the most of your time in each new place.
AM: What is your advice for people who want to pursue theatre?
RM: It doesn’t cost anything to simply be kind to people. You never know who you’re going to work with again or who you might see on the other side of the table someday. Be a good person and good things will come your way. I believe in that wholeheartedly.
AM: How would you describe your job and/or show in one word?
RM: Job: Unpredictable
AM: Do you like going to stagedoor?
RM: Yes! Everyone is always so complimentary and it’s nice to thank people for coming to the show in person.
AM: Any favorite stories or stage mishaps?
RM: Oh! There are many… but I definitely shouldn’t tell most of them. There was one show where several cast members were out sick. It felt like a bit of a scramble because a few actors had to say lines and do blocking that isn’t normally part of their track, including me. At the end of the show, I normally walk across the stage with a baby. But because I wasn’t there, the actor who normally plays my husband carried the baby in addition to his normal props. He prayed with the baby and did all of the choreography just a little modified. A single father in 1905 Russia seemed like such an incredible concept to all of us! We’ve nicknamed him THE papa.
AM: Any audition techniques?
RM: Take every audition as a chance to perform. Everyone behind the table wants you to succeed. So, give it your all, use intention, and don’t forget to have fun.
AM: Final words/thoughts?
RM: Thanks for sending me these questions! It’s nice to sort of reflect on my job and my life in a way that can hopefully inform others!
I’m extremely grateful to have gotten to interview the incredibly talented Randa Meierhenry after seeing her myself in her Tzeitel debut! Fiddler on the Roof is such a classic show and it is perfect that it is on tour to educate young theatergoers, as well as help people reminisce on one of their favorite shows ever! I will leave a link to the Fiddler on the Roof National Tour dates, as well as a link to Randa’s website! Hope you enjoyed this interview!
Link to Fiddler tickets: http://fiddlermusical.com/ticket-info/
Randa's website: https://www.randameierhenry.com/