6 p.m. After a quick dinner break (“I’m a protein and veggie girl,” she notes. “I will eat some chicken thighs and some spinach and I’m a happy girl”), she’s back at New York City’s Ambassador Theatre a full hour-and-a-half before the official call.
“I love a little more silence throughout the whole process, so I try to get there earlier than most because I like to have that moment of just, like, zen,” she explains. “I’m in the space. I am feeling the feels. I am centering myself.”
She uses that time to put on her make-up (for a stretch, she admits, “I was having a glitter moment,” but she’s since walked away from the pink sparkles), then the headwrap that protects her curls from getting snagged in her beaded costume. Finally, she gets in “as much of a ballet warmup as I possibly can,” she says. “I will not go on stage unless I’ve done some pliés and tendus.” (As the weather gets frostier, she’ll really lean into the idea of a warming up, layering on her beloved knee-high thermal booties and wrapping an electric blanket around her waist: “I look like a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.”)
By the time the rest of the cast starts trickling in to begin their own movement and vocal exercises (“Everybody’s giving their everything”) she’s keyed in. “And then whatever everyone else is doing, I’m like, ‘Absolutely. Have your moment. Do what you need to do to be ready to get on that stage and shine.'”