Skyler Volpe is playing the role of Mimi Marquez in the 20th anniversary national tour of RENT. The show is currently being staged at the Paramount Theatre. From New York City, with a BA in Dance, Sociology and French from Connecticut College, Volpe has been seen in such productions as Devil and the Deep, Daughter of the Waves, and The Hag, the Slag, and the Scarlett Faery.
She joined us this week to discuss Kapalabhati breathing, Passing Strange and her first visit to Seattle.
When did you realize you wanted to be an actor?
I think I really realized that I wanted to be an actor as I was graduating from college. I had always been a performer, but I always did well in school, so I thought that academia might be a path for me. In the end, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else; so I moved to New York to give acting professionally a try. It was a big leap, but I’m really glad I went for it.
What performance are you excited about seeing?
I would really love to see Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812. I don’t know much about it, but I’ve heard the storytelling is gorgeous and the performances are amazing.
What do you do right before you hit the stage?
At the top of the show I’m usually putting on my costume and makeup, down to the very last second. I always take a moment to sit just offstage and do some spinal twists to get my body warmed up for the number, and I also do a few rounds of Kapalabhati breathing—it’s awesome—to get some of my nervous energy out.
What artwork (a piece of music, theatre, whatever) has always inspired you?
Passing Strange is not a terribly well-known musical but it is always and will forever be one of my favorite pieces of art. The music is beautiful and the story is so well told. It’s the kind of piece that wraps you up—you get totally lost in it.
What do you like about Seattle?
I’ve never been, but I’m excited to explore!