St. Louis was blessed with many fine theatrical performances in 2004. As I was going over some of the standout performances, many came to mind: Zoe Vonder Haar as Mama Rose in Gypsy, Sara Renschen as Annie in The Real Thing, and Joe Hanrahan in his one man show, St. Nicholas. However, one performer impressed me with his complete character transformation. I have to select Bradley Calise for his lead role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch as the breakout performer of 2004.
I recently had the chance to sit down with this talented thespian to see what he got from performing the role and what the future holds for him.
How long have you been into acting?
Since I was about five years old. My first role was Paddington Bear.
What initially drew you to the role of Hedwig?
When I lived in New York, I heard of it. That was my first exposure to it and it really just blew me away. The music was great and Hedwig is such a great character; it’s just such a great show.
Were you intimidated by the role at all?
Oh, God! Yeah, I was completely unsure that I was going to be able to pull it off.
Do you think the role is more physically or vocally demanding?
I guess the physical demands are very strong, as well as the emotional demands. Once I put the dress and wig on, I never really had to think too hard what my motivation was or where it was going to come from. I had a general idea of how I wanted to play her, and as I got everything put together, she just sort of came out of me. Physically, it was a great workout. I am in the best shape I have ever been in my life!
What did you get from the show as a performer?
I got that I could actually pull the role off, and if you have a great product to put out there, people will appreciate it.
So what does the future hold for you?
I’ve thought about going back to New York; I have been thinking of California, as well. But at the moment, I have no idea what I want to do with myself. I need to get myself on a path, and once I do, I will have a plan.