Marisha Wallace will be tearing it up this Sunday, at Green Room 42. - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Friday, November 5, 2021

Marisha Wallace will be tearing it up this Sunday, at Green Room 42.

Marisha Wallace 

Marisha Wallace will be tearing it up this Sunday, at Green Room 42. 

A queen who practices self-love check out her comments on  Teen Vogue piece/ body inclusivity in the theater:

As we are having these conversations about change, I thought it was important to include body inclusivity in the conversation. I remember in college I was told you need to either gain 50lbs or lose 50lbs because I was too small to be the big funny girl and too big to be the leading lady. It was something I fought against for years.  I always thought, why can’t my talent speak for me and not my body? If you don’t see yourself represented on stage, how do you know that it’s possible? How do you know that you can dream that big? It is something I want to change.
I am seeing some changes. I feel we have a long way to go. Theater should reflect the diversity that we see in our world. And there are so many different body types when you look on the street.  I want to see a plus-size Elphaba or Christine in Phantom.  When I see a plus-size leading lady who isn’t Effie White or Tracey Turnblad, then I will think we are progressing. 
There are so many of us who are at the intersection of race, gender, and body inclusivity, so the struggle is real to find our place in this industry. As a curvy woman of color, I have to be twice as good and still don’t get half as much. I just want equity when it comes to leading roles and access to opportunities for success.
Q:  How would you compare working on the West End to working on Broadway?
A:  In the West End, the market is not as saturated, so you have a real chance to shine. Theaters can take more risk because theatre is subsidized by the government. So there is more experimental theatre as well as diverse casting. Going to the theatre is a family tradition. Also, I don’t feel limited to just the sassy black girl roles. I can really experiment. Broadway on the other hand is iconic. The energy is electric. I miss it. I also love the legacy of it and the history. 
Q: How did you feel after performing at the UK's first NFL game post-covid?
A:  Well, when I got the call from the NFL I was excited, and then they said “Are you afraid of heights?” LOL. But I love a thrill and a challenge, so I took it on. And who doesn’t want to have a Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl moment? I knew it would be so inspirational for people to see a curvy black woman living her version of the American dream in London. Towering above the stadium of 60,000 people, singing for her country. I sang it in Whitney’s key, and I have dreamed about that moment my whole life. I watched Whitney’s performance thousands of times. I never thought it would be me - and then it was. It was an out of body experience. And then there were  F-15s flying over and fireworks. I am still in awe of that moment. 

Q:   Why did you record “Tomorrow”?  

A:  The pandemic had just started. It was such a scary time. So much was unknown about the virus and what it does to you. So getting it was scary. I was sick, unemployed, and stuck in the house. And my family was thousands of miles away in America. I felt very hopeless. Then I bought a mic and just started singing and recording music in my house. And that is when “Tomorrow” was born. And now to be touring the album of ‘Tomorrow’ after all that is just incredible. The sun really did come out tomorrow, as the song says. 
I never thought that “Tomorrow” was going to do what it did. It went to number 2 on the iTunes charts next to Beyonce. I got a record deal, I sang it for the Queen on Royal Variety and then the 2020 US OPEN used it in the highlight coverage. We raised $10k for the charities. It was just mind-boggling. It was such a catch 22, having all your dreams come true while others were having the worst time of their lives. But I used my music to help people through those dark times. In some ways I was a beacon of hope, and that song and that album made people believe again. Believe that things will get better and that trouble doesn't always last. 
Q:  What was it like performing for the Queen?
A:  That was a surreal experience because I sang tomorrow, which is a song I recorded on my couch. So to sing that for the Queen was like WHOA, what is happening? Also, it was during Covid, so instead of people in the audience it was TVs in every seat with people on zoom - it was like ‘Black Mirror.’ I didn’t care, I was just so honored to sing for HER MAJESTY! 
Q:  I am happily shocked that you have a connection with Charlotte Tilbury.  I have three beauty columns that appear in African American publications and I've never imagined that Charlotte Tilbury has foundations that work for the hues of our skin and the undertones. 
You've piqued my interest. How did that collaboration come to be?
A:  I love CT!!! They wanted positive, up-beat people in the ad to sell the Happikiss line. And I fit the bill.  Their makeup is actually incredible. They have foundations in a range of hues that actually flatter women of color. My skin looks flawless and they do my make up for all of my appearances. They really are a brand to watch. 
Q:   What does diversity and inclusion look like to you in theater, here and across the pond?  

A:  I want the theater industry to be aware that we are here and we have been here. And the only thing that is stopping us from being truly successful is opportunity.  I want there to be diversity, not just on stage but throughout the industry. The producers, the Broadway League, the people writing the checks, the writers, the crew, management, agents, casting. That is the only way we will make a true change.  I would also like for them to stop celebrating what should already have been done in the first place. And not just make BIPOC artists the understudy or alternate but the lead full time. We have earned it. We should have access to lead parts too.

#Beauty #BlackWomen #Diversity #Inclusion #SelfLove #CharlotteTilbury

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