THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars- SOUL DOCTOR's Amber Iman
Welcome to THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As With Your Favorite Broadway Stars. Want to know what hooked them to a career in the theater? Their dream roles? Their Broadway crushes? Read on!
In this week's edition, we caught up with Amber Iman, who is starring as 'Nina' in Soul Doctor- currently playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
THE COLOR PURPLE. I sat outside the theatre with my friend Ashlei Dabney at 6am to get tickets. It was an amazing experience. We cried and screamed about everything - the theatre, the songs, the monitors in the house so that you could see the conductor (we had never seen that before and thought it was the greatest invention in the history of the world....lol). Saycon Sengbloh
was on for "Celie" that day and I knew her from growing up in Atlanta. Watching her, hearing her sing the mess out of those songs, it inspired and encouraged me and made Broadway seem tangible. It was the best day.
What is your most unique pre-show ritual?
At the "places" call, I pop a Ricola and take a few sips from my water bottle that's about 1/4 cold and 3/4 hot water (so I don't burn off my taste buds). Then I always say my first speech (it's about 5 lines), in rapid speed under my breath just to focus myself for "game time" (I often refer to shows as the Super Bowl, lol). It's not really unique, but I'm very OCD about it (Ha!) and if I don't complete a step, I feel that the earth will no longer rotate on its axis.....!
What is your most memorable "the show must go on" moment?
Oh boy, there are so many to choose from....! My favorite happened back in 2008. It was closing night of "Tambourines to Glory" by Langston Hughes
, in Atlanta, GA, (directed by Kenny Leon
). One of our cast members had overslept (she lived over an hour away from the theatre), but we had no understudies and couldn't hold the house, so we would start without her and "she'll get here when she gets here". We're about 15 minutes into the show (she still hasn't arrived), when our MD realizes that the missing girl has this big song in about 5 minutes - who's going to sing it?! After a quick process of elimination, I am the only person eligible to sing the song. Mind you, during this number I am usually doing one of those "run from backstage through a tunnel around to the lobby to enter through the house" moves, so I haven't actually heard this song since we were in the rehearsal hall - I don't know a single lyric and can hardly recall the melody. The stage manager threw a script and a mug of hot tea at me, locked me in my dressing room and told me to "learn as many lyrics as you can and just make it sound pretty".... WHAT?!?! Fast forward to 5 minutes later, I'm standing downstage center, spotlight in my eyes, shaking and sweating, scared crapless, looking out into a sea of 800 anxious people. I remember closing my eyes, saying a quick prayer and just letting go. Needless to say, I managed to sing every word. Crazy!
What is the one role you want to play before you die?
I should probably say something deep and introspective, but nope! I'd love to play "Delores" in Sister Act
for the songs, the purple boots and the white dress and fur! Then I'd love to play a role on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, like "Prix" in Breath, Boom
by Kia Corthron
. A good story, a challenge, language that I can bite into - I want to play all of those kinds of roles before I die.
Who is your Broadway crush?
Whoever signs my checks, he's a keeper ;) LOL
Where can people stalk you online?
Article reprinted with permission from www.BroadwayWorld.com