The Cher Show Star Stephanie J. Block on Her Deep Talk with Cher & More on Show People

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first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 18, 2019 Stephanie J. Block Other must-read highlights:ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF STARRING IN THE CHER SHOW“Every night when I pop up, you never quite know what you’re going to expect. The backstage life is very complicated to the show. There is no rest. I’m on stage for a good chunk of it, but any time I’m off, it’s not checking the emails and using the bathroom. It really is doing costume changes and wig changes. It has been a different discipline. The vessel is different. These costume changes are monster, and the weight of the costumes is monster. So, literally and figuratively, I feel like there is a lot on my shoulders.”ON HER POST-SHOW ROUTINE“I feel like my metronome slows down on the drive home. Putting my head on the pillow doesn’t happen until after midnight, one o’clock in the morning. I eat a full meal. Sebastian [Arcelus, her husband] and I eat together. He stays up! He’ll put [daughter] Vivienne to bed, sleep for an hour or two, regroup and then meets me at the door every night to welcome me home. I’ll text him when I’m about two minutes away, and there he is at the door with the dog. Come on!”ON HER CAREER“Nothing has ever happened quickly or easily for me. I am a workhorse. I always have been. Do I wish things might have been a little easier? Sure. But that’s not my jam, and that’s never been in the cards. Looking back, I’m really glad because every job has been a massive lesson. I like having to work hard. I went back to a journal, and it always said, ‘I want to work in the industry until I’m 70 years old.’ That’s not about the quick, fast and easy.”ON FILMING FALSETTOS“[Director] James Lapine is a genius. We all thought him to be a little crazy when he was like, ‘You all have to drop it down.’ We fought him a bit in the sense that we wanted to be purists and bring the show that we were doing every night at the Walter Kerr, but he was like, ‘Stephanie, I promise you, you’re going to want to just not cry that hard,’ or ‘You’re not going to want to deliver it with that intensity because it will not translate on the screen.’ When we all saw it, we thought, ‘He was exactly right.’ We felt really proud of what it ended up being.”ON MEETING CHER“She entered the rehearsal space at New 42nd Street Studios with this gorgeous velvet sort of fedora/sombrero hat, these reflective aviator sunglasses and about 15 people around her to support her, love her, protect her. She wanted to meet us. She met me before, much to my chagrin. I hid. I didn’t have the fedora and the glasses, so I just hid. But I was summoned. My producer said, ‘She really does want to meet you before.’ So I came down and met her. She was lovely and gracious. She said, ‘Look, I know what this takes. I know how vulnerable you have to be. I know that you know that I’m sitting five feet away from you. Thank you.’ With that, she kind of released herself and us. We could see the tears coming down her face, and we could see her grabbing the hands of those next to her. But we didn’t quite know what that meant. We didn’t know if it was breaking her heart or if she was proud and pleased. A couple of weeks later, we got that call that she loved us and wanted to move forward.”Watch the full episode of Show People with Paul Wontorek below!  Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 25:57Loaded: 0%00:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently behind liveLIVERemaining Time -25:57 1xPlayback RateChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedEnglishAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. 2. HER CHER RESEARCH INCLUDED DM’ING WITH CHAD MICHAELS“I reached out to [Cher impersonator] Chad Michaels early, early on, when we were doing the workshops. We DM’d on Twitter and Instagram, and he said, ‘You are going to find the joy when you are trying to learn her.’ I fell in love with him not only for what he would bring to his Cher, but also because he was one of the kindest human beings on RuPaul’s Drag Race. He really just said, ‘Work, and you will find the joy in finding your Cher.’” Star Files Sebastian Arcelus 1. THERE WAS A DEEP TALK WITH CHER“She came two weeks before opening. When she sat in the audience for the first time, we all knew she was there—you know when she’s there. We knew she was emotional. We had to put it in context. The Malibu fires were hitting, so a whole lot of personal stuff was also happening in her life. She came the very next day while we were in rehearsals. She and I sat in my dressing room for about 40 minutes, and there was a lot that was shared. At a certain point in the conversation, I said, ‘I admire you greatly. I’ve studied you for a year now, but I want to let you know that I am an actress playing a part. I haven’t studied you my whole life. I’m not looking for anything from you. I’m not looking to fly into stardom or ride your coattails because I am playing you. I am a mom and a wife. I’ve been hired to play this role.’ We shared a bottle of water. We sat on my couch in my dressing room, and the conversation changed. That was important. For me and for her.”center_img Did you know Show People is available as a podcast? Listen to your favorite stars talk Broadway and beyond on your way to work, the gym, the theater and more on iTunes and Spotify. The Cher Show Stephanie J. Block is a Broadway powerhouse who made her Great White Way debut portraying Liza Minnelli in The Boy from Oz. She went on to star in Wicked, The Pirate Queen, 9 to 5 and Anything Goes and was nominated for Tony Awards for her performances in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Falsettos. Now, she is having another star turn (appropriately) as Star in The Cher Show. Block took a break from portraying one of three ladies playing the one-named icon to discuss her deep dressing room chat with Cher, what it was like to film Falsettos and more on Show People with Paul Wontorek. View Comments Related Shows 3. PORTRAYING CHER HAS EQUIPPED HER WITH A “F**K IT” ATTITUDE“Cheranie is now the name that I’m referred to, and I lovingly embrace that name. The word ‘expectation’ has been huge for me in this last year. I’ve had to release it of myself, release what other people are expecting of me and stay laser-focused. That has been exhausting and yet really freeing at the same time. I’m so glad I said, ‘Yes.’ I was never ashamed of my body per se. I would just always look at the other person and be like, ‘I don’t have’ or ‘I wish I had’ or ‘I’m not really,’ and then fill in the blank. I had to drop the comparison between me and Cher in a sense. I had to embrace what I have, and I have been very happy in doing that. It’s a real ‘f**k it’ attitude. I felt the more I started to constrict and compare, the less I was showing of me. I am showing more than I ever have in my life—at 46! F**k it! I’m Cher, bitch!”last_img

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