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Interview

Stacey Oristano: A Back Stage Exclusive

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Stacey Oristano: A Back Stage Exclusive
Photo Source: Nathaniel Taylor Photography
"It's been the biggest thing that's ever happened to me," says Stacey Oristano about "Friday Night Lights."

The daughter of a stage actor who played soundtracks to musicals at dinner time, Stacey remains devoted to theater work and confesses that she still sings along to "Les Miserables" in her car at full volume.

The member of a close-knit cast and crew, "Friday Nights Lights" is dear to Stacey's heart. Her character Mindy Riggins, a "stripper with a heart of gold" who's now married and pregnant, has gone through massive life changes in Season Four. A self-proclaimed "grammar Nazi," Stacey speaks in nearly perfect sentences, yet swears by her motto of "Let-it-go."

Chosen as this week's Actor2Watch, Stacey will be featured in a series or articles, fun facts and social media tweets through this week for subscribers of Girl2Watch.com.

Actor2Watch: What was your big break as an actor?

Stacey Oristano: It's hard because my theater life and my film career are so separate, but when I first moved to New York, the first week I was there I was cast in a tour of "Cabaret."  I felt like I really made it—like everything I had worked for had come to a head. I was completely content at 20 years old when I moved to New York.

A2W: Was your family supportive of your decision to go into showbiz?

SO: Yeah, I think so. My dad told me when I went to college to study theater that I needed to minor in table-waiting because that's what I was going to do. And my mom to this day wants me to be a medical sales representative. And that just not my thing, so I think finally she's accepted that I'm not going to do that and I'm going to do this, come hell or high water, whether it happens or not.



A2W
: What kind of training did you get, and who do you study with?

SO: I went to college in London. It's called Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama. I studied classical theater there. And here in L.A. I study with Leslie Kahn, who is a great teacher to go to for comedy. The best learning is on the job from the people that I'm working with or during rehearsal process. I keep my training going in any job that I'm doing too.

A2W: Do you have any memorable audition stories?

SO: I was at the final callback for a Broadway show called "Cry Baby," and I had done the acting part and I had done the singing part and I had just flown in from Austin. I didn't have any dance clothes with me but they were like, "We need you to come back for the final dance call."  I said "I don't have anything."  And they said, "Just come to the boy's dance hall. It's fine. You'll be great."

So I got in sweatpants and tennis shoes to the boy's dance hall. And it's me in a room full of 100 guys from the National Ballet Theater.  They were the most stunning dancers I've ever seen—doing split jumps and all these things that girls don't ever do. 

I'm in the middle of it, and I just looked at the choreographer and said, "You've got to be kidding me. I'm leaving. I'm out of here." He was like, "Yeah, you can go."  It was so embarrassing.

A2W: Any tips for novices or people just starting out?

SO: When I first moved to New York and was starting to work on Broadway, I saw Peter Gallagher on the corner of the street just standing there waiting for a cab or something. 

I had always loved him because he was in "Guys and Dolls," which is one of the first shows I ever saw on Broadway.  I went over to him—and I never, ever do this, I never talk to celebrities or people that I recognize—but I felt like I had to.

I was like, "Peter, do you just have any advice for a newcomer to New York?  I just got out of college and am working on Broadway."  And he looked at me and he goes, "Kid, just keep showing up."  And then he got in his cab and drove away. I was like, "That is the best advice I've ever gotten."  It's so true, just keep doing it.

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