Actor, Singer, Writer
To preview or purchase Emily’s CD “Blue Toothbrush” visit:
To check out Emily’s blog visit:
I truly felt like I was waiting for a pen pal. A mutual friend connects you up with a person you might have something in common with, and then you end up sharing your intimate thoughts over long distances… without ever meeting.
By the time I received Emily’s personally mailed CD, “Blue Toothbrush”, from New York City (and read her friendly little sticky note message to me), I’d already been directed to her biography.
Definitely an inspiring young woman… shortly after moving to New York Emily was cast in Off-Broadway plays and popular television shows such as The Good Wife and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Her Broadway debut was as Anna in the Tony Award Winning musical “Spring Awakening” before she appeared as ‘Emily’ on The Big C (Showtime). You can also see Emily playing ‘Beth Greene’ in the second season of The Walking Dead (AMC).
While living in New York City, in between acting gigs, Emily wrote poems and short stories based on her own experiences and self-discovery. While on The First National Tour of “August: Osage County”, she found time by herself in hotel rooms and turned her notebooks into melodies about love, hope and sex.
Sex is dealt with daringly without losing, what I sense is a fun, sweet and sensitive girl, behind catchy and quirky tracks. Best yet, as an artist and a female I related to her genuine sentiments, questions about life and relationships. Listening to Emily’s voice felt like getting coffee or working on a bottle of nice wine with a girlfriend as we indulged in the details of our latest news and relationships; yet ironically managing to have a delightful time while covering things like heartbreak.
Another pleasant surprise that I found while listening to Emily’s album and realizing her commitment to honesty… I became excited to discover more of Emily’s work as an actor too!
I also asked her a few questions:
- What made you start making songs?
I’ve always written little poems since I was little and I’ve always been so into music. I would spend hours all by myself in my room listening to music and singing. I played around with writing songs a bit in high school/junior high, but I was very judge-mental of myself and I quickly threw away the practice. I felt the songs I was making up were silly. However, I never really threw out the practice of writing poems and short stories. I met Conrad Korsch doing a show called “Spring Awakening”. We became good friends and when I went on tour with another show called “August: Osage County”, I decided to buy a guitar and teach myself a little. Then, I started writing songs. I started singing them to Conrad over the phone and he told me that they were good and was just so encouraging. I started writing songs all the time on that tour. I would say Conrad’s encouragement and friendship was a huge inspiration to me to start writing songs and really take it seriously. Also, I saw a creative drive in him that I recognized in myself and I just wanted to tap into that.
Some of my best friends are also musicians and actors. I go to shows alot, and watching my friends sing and perform at places like Rockwood, Living Room, Mercury Lounge in NYC has always been so inspiring. Their boldness inspires me!
- As an actor, singer and writer how do you feel these different modes of expression are all linked?
There was a time when I decided I really, really wanted to be in the theatre as much as possible. I was just obsessed with rehearsing and plays and doing a show every night. I thought to myself that I was first actor, and I sort of threw away a bit of my drive to train as a musician, but music was really my first link to performing and telling stories… and now writing my own material, I have enjoyed having the creative control in expressing an emotion and telling a story of my own. So now I guess I think of myself as simply a storyteller, and if it’s through a musical or tv show, or through a song that I write and then perform, doesn’t matter to me as much as the quality and honesty of the work, and then finding which mode suits telling the story best. Not all poems should be songs.
- Why the commitment to honesty in your work?
I just think the best jokes, and the best plays and the best songs are the ones where you think to yourself, “Wow that’s soo funny because it’s true, or that character is just soo much like my mom, boyfriend, etc……” I write and perform and sing not only to express myself, but to connect with other people and their experiences and I just think the only way to do that is to be as honest as possible in your work. Plus, in real life you don’t always get to say how you feel, you don’t get always get to have that moment where you freak out or explore another side of yourself. Finally, i get to do that a bit in my work.
- What do you respect in a creative collaboration?
What is so great about collaborating is that everyone has different talents. Working with Conrad was awesome because he is a trained musician with sooo much experience and he’s really good with recording and computers. I’m really not the best with computers! He would have ideas about instruments to use or the tempo of the song that I would have never heard or thought of, but when we added a musical line or changed the tempo that song became this new thing that was so perfect. It’s so fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of and it’s so fun to have someone to share in the joy of making a song. I also trust Conrad and his ear and his judgment. I think trust is important. He’s not going to lie to me if he doesn’t like a lyric or doesn’t think something sounds right. In theatre, If I’m on stage working with a director i need to know that the director is going to be honest about what is coming across to the audience and not just say, “that was great!”