Lindsay Mendez won a 2018 Tony Award for her absolutely hilarious featured performance as Carrie Pipperidge in the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein classic Carousel. Lindsay (who has long been one of my favorite voices) previously starred in the New York productions of Wicked, Significant Other, Godspell, Grease, 35mm and Dogfight. BroadwayBox caught up with the Tony Award winner to discuss Carousel, her work as a teacher, and thriving in scary circumstances.
1. Carrie in Carousel is such a different side of your voice than New York audiences have seen in Godspell, Wicked, or Dogfight. How is sustaining a run using your legit soprano different than it is when it's a big, belting role? What's different about preparing for Carousel nightly?
I find this role to be just about as challenging as any other role I've played vocally. While singing in the legit style is definitely different than a pop/belt style, the speaking and the energy it takes to play the role vocally is still quite taxing. I LOVE singing legit as a rule, though. It feels natural, like breathing. And getting to let my voice spin as freely as it wants is just awesome. I LOVE that about this genre.
I prepare for the show in the same way I do any other musical. I have a warm up, both vocal and physical that takes around 30 minutes. And then I pace around backstage getting my head in the game and seeing all of my castmates and connecting (that is my favorite part).
2. Where do you keep your Tony Award?
It is on my bookshelf in my living room. I still pass by it sometimes and think, "THAT'S MINE????"
3. In addition to starring on Broadway, you teach Actor Therapy with RSO. What are three pieces of advice you would give to a musical theatre actress just moving to NYC hoping to make it?
I would say:
1. Find mentors. You need that support so much when you get here.
2. Audition for EVERYTHING. Don't type yourself out of rooms or shows. You don't know what people are looking for.
3. GO TO DANCE CLASS!!!!
4. You are the voice in so many of my favorite YouTube videos. Which performance video of yours on YouTube is your favorite?
My favorite video is probably the video of “Bless The Lord” from The Rosie Show with my company of Godspell. That was such a fun experience for all of us—flying to Chicago and performing together. We had a great time. It was a whirlwind and I remember how tired I was and how much of a feat it felt like to just have that song come out of me with that much fatigue. Having the support of that incredible cast and the energy of the audience—it just took care of itself. It was a blast.
5. As a newly minted Tony winner, what would you like to do next for after Carousel ends its run on September 16? What's the dream?
I am looking forward to getting back into teaching in a more full-time way. I have missed working with my students. I am also hoping to get involved in more TV and film because that is something that terrifies me, and I tend to thrive in that environment of feeling like I am moments from being fired. But what is the dream?! I am LIVING that dream now. Being an artist in New York City was and always will be my dream.
Don't miss your chance to see Lindsay Mendez in her Tony-winning performance as Carrie in Carousel at Broaday's Imperial Theatre though September 16.