Five Friday Questions with Kaila Towers

Kaila Towers is an actor, Seattle native and Cornish grad who’s been a part of the local theatre community since the age of 12. Catch Towers in Book-It’s upcoming production of Little Bee, the adaptation based on Chris Cleaves’s bestseller, running April 22 through May 17. You can also see her in the latest AWOLNATION music video “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).”

Towers joined me for this week’s installment of Five Friday Questions.

What’s the best performance you’ve seen lately?

Besides Taraji P. Henson in Empire, it would definitely be Toni Collette’s performance in Muriel’s Wedding. It is an older movie but it gets me every time. She is so raw in this role, and gives herself up completely to speak the truths of Muriel. Honestly, Toni can do no wrong in my eyes.

What’s the best meal in town?

Best meal hands down has to be the salty caramel twice-fried chicken wings at Tanaka San in downtown Seattle—those with a side of white rice and their eggplant is beyond delicious. I suggest everyone who eats meat to indulge!

What music gets you pumped up? What do you listen to when you’re sad?

I am obsessed with music. There are so many artists I listen to get me pumped or when I’m sad, I’ll try to narrow it down. My pumped choices, at the moment: anything by Pete Philly from The Netherlands via Aruba. He’s an intelligent rapper/singer with so much to say. “Mellow” is a great song from him. It pumps me up, even though it isn’t necessarily fast paced.

I’ve recently been turned on to a Belgian artist named Stromae. I don’t speak much French, so I don’t always know what he is saying, but it all puts me in a great mood.

My all time favorite: Little Dragon from Sweden. Their music is so unique and innovative you can’t help but feel moved by it. Their new album Nabuma Rubberband is so amazing! Listen to the title song, you’ll definitely fall in love.

When I am sad I like to listen to Robert Glasper. He’s a jazz pianist as well as a producer. He works with an array of artists that I love. I think that’s why I enjoy his music when I am feeling down, because it makes me happy again, and the jazz undertone makes you feel like everything is ok.

Do you have any opening night rituals?

I don’t have any opening night rituals, although before the start of each show I have to get a good warm-up in with all of my favorite vocal exercises. Stretching is a must. I like to listen to the music my character would listen to. Once I’m in the space I don’t like to have many conversations that don’t have to do with the production, I feel like it distracts me. I also have to walk around the space to ground myself.  

What’s the best thing anyone’s ever taught you about working in theatre?

Bonnie Cohen, my sophomore acting teacher, stressed the importance of thinking your character’s thoughts right before you go on stage, as well as specifying the moment before. These two things go hand in hand and will make your performance a strong one. I had my acting epiphany in her class; I was a different actor after I worked with her.