Q&A with “Bunheads” Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino and actress Sutton Foster (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
January 3, 2013 by Dennis Amith
Amy Sherman-Palladino is best known for her work on the “Gilmore Girls” and “Roseanne”.
Sutton Foster is best known for her Broadway musical work in “Young Frankenstein” and “Reno Sweeney”.
And together, both are part of what makes ABC Family’s hit series “Bunheads” so entertaining!
The series revolves around the character Michelle Simms (as portrayed by Tony-award winning actress Sutton Foster), a Las Vegas showgirl who quickly marries a man and moves to his coastal hometown where she works alongside his mother-in-law at her dance school.
The dance school was modeled after a dance studio which Sherman-Palladino attended as a child. And to create the authenticity of the ballet dancing of the series, real dancers who can act were cast for the show.
Recently, executive producer and actress Sutton Foster took part in a media Q&A for the promotion of ABC Family’s second half of season one for “Bunheads”. Here is a transcript from the Q&A:
Moderator Amy, tell us, how many episodes is this second batch, and what are the odds at this point, how does it look for having a second season?
A. Palladino There are eight episodes right now, and I have no freaking idea.
A. Palladino The world of ABC Family is different, they have a whole different show schedule with Seasons 1, 1a, 1b, 1c. Some of their other shows, I think they’re on Season 1/25.
Moderator That’s good.
A. Palladino I think they’ve done about 4 ,000 shows and they’re not on Season 2 yet, so I don’t really know how it works on ABC Family. It’s a new kind of family. But as far as what we discussed with what I promised ABC Family in terms of where I’m going with the girls and the dance and blah, blah, blah, I haven’t lied to them and they seem a little happy at the moment, so I will take that as a positive sign. How’s that?
Moderator Sutton, I see your brother’s going to be on several episodes this year, so if you could just step back and tell us for a minute, this is real unusual for a family to produce two Broadway stars. What is unusual about your family or Troy, or you or them or anything that kind of created this situation?
S. Foster I have no idea. Both of my parents, neither one of them are in the business, no one in our family, and Hunter and I, we were never the singing Foster’s. We just like to perform and do stuff for fun. And the fact that we both have chosen to make careers in this business, I don’t know, I have no idea why or how it happened, but it’s been awesome and it’s been really, really, really special to have him on the show and to be able to work with him. This is our first time working together as actors and so it’s been really, really fun to have this opportunity.
Moderator Sutton, what do you do to prepare mentally and/or physically for your role?
S. Foster Oh goodness, mentally and physically, well, getting to play a role like this and having the honor and the challenge of undertaking Amy’s dialogue, it’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever had. As an actor you hope that you have good material to work with, but I have great material to work with. Most of the time right now is really trying to honor what has been written and honor the page, and I feel so lucky because we have great writers who take such good care of us and our characters. And a lot of the work’s already done for me, because it’s on the page, so it’s just exciting. I just try to prepare as much as I can and be open and willing to give my best and work hard.
Moderator Amy, I just wanted to know, will we be seeing, I can’t remember his name, the actor who plays the dead husband, at all in these episodes coming up?
A. Palladino You will. Alan Ruck has said to me, “… you’re going to have to let me go now. I don’t know how many other ways you can bring me back.” And I’ve said to him, do not underestimate me, young man, because I will figure it out, because he shows up and the whole world is a little cheerier. He’s just so great.
And I want to say one thing about Sutton Foster’s preparation, she’s making it seem like all she does is get handed a great script. This broad, she works 16 hour days, and then she comes in for dance classes ahead of time. She takes classes on the side. I mean, I’ve never met in my life anyone more dedicated or a harder worker than her. I don’t know where she gets it from. But the commitment and the intensity that she puts into this, you can’t write scripts for people who won’t dig deep and make it better, and she ups the ante every single week, and I don’t know, she’s an other-worldly creature. She’s like from The Hobbit. I don’t know where she’s from. She’s not of this earth. There’s literally nobody more dedicated or that works harder on every aspect than this broad. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.
Moderator Amy- You’ve created some wonderful television shows like Gilmore Girls and now of course Bunheads, where do you get your inspiration to make shows with such great plots and interesting characters?
A. Palladino Well, I don’t know, just a lack of therapy, perhaps, no time to work it out on a couch with a man and an iPad. I love family interaction, and in a weird way Gilmore, obviously was family, but this show is a new kind of family, I’ll keep saying that, because it’s my favorite tagline ever, but it is about people who, you know, somebody once told me, “You just created your own family.” I don’t care what, if your family isn’t exactly what you need it to be, then go out and create it, find it. And that’s what this show is about. It’s about creating your own family, finding your own support system.
And I just enjoy that because you never run out of stories, because you’re never not mad at your family, it never ends, I mean, even if you have a nice family, it’s all over. So it’s a little bit of that. And this is a little bit based on my experiences. I was supposed to be a dancer, so I spent a lot of time in ballet class, and the interactions between girls in an intense environment like that, it’s always been a very interesting world to me, and that ballet dressing room, that’s where a lot of stuff goes down, so I’ve got an opportunity to be able to explore a world that I love. I love dance. I just love it. I love watching it. I love watching other people do it.
And when I was handed the delicious Sutton Foster, when you’ve got somebody who can do anything in the world, it opens up an avenue of anything you ever wanted to do, suddenly you can do it, you can drive down the street and you see an AT&T store, and somebody screaming outside of an AT&T store, and you’re like, wow, that would be funny. I would enjoy watching Sutton scream at someone – I just passed an AT&T store, by the way, so there you go, there’s my inspiration. It really just comes from that, it comes from real life experience, it comes from the people around you, and it comes from working with the best.
Moderator Speaking of working with the best, you’ve worked with some great actors in Gilmore Girls and you have a tendency to put actors from previously successful shows into new shows like Bunheads. Are you trying to maybe recreate the magic that made Gilmore Girls successful with Bunheads?
A. Palladino Yes, exactly. Do you know what it is, my particular style of writing, love it or hate it, it is very specific and when I find a particular person who can knock it out of the ballpark, it’s like Orson Welles and his group of mad actors that he would use in everything – not that I’m Orson Welles, although I wouldn’t mind being Orson Welles someday – but the idea that you’re lucky enough in your career to collect people who are particularly good at the stuff that you like to write, and when you find them you want to write for them.
I find myself longing to write for Liza Weil, or longing to write for Sean Gunn, or longing to write for Todd Lowe, or Rose Abdoo, and when you have a jones to write for certain people because they’re so good, I understand the whole concept of you’re trying to build a whole new reality, but the reality of show business is when you find people that are great, you’ve got to work with them and you’ve got to latch on to them, because there’s not billions of people out there who are special. And if you find a merry band of madmen who will come and make things wonderful, I will write for those people forever.
Moderator Amy, following up on what we were just talking about, were you at all concerned about the comparisons between Bunheads and Gilmore Girls, especially in casting Kelly Bishop?
A. Palladino Well, it comes into your head, and the thing about Kelly Bishop is when I was casting that role I did not go to Kelly. I did not go to Kelly mostly because Kelly lived in Jersey and her life is in Jersey, and I knew the show had to shoot out here, and that’s not something Kelly was keen to do, and also, yes, because of the comparisons. And then I found myself in the auditions, after these lovely women would read and work and leave, I would turn to the casting director and I would say, yes, but they’re not Kelly Bishop. And after three weeks of saying “They’re not Kelly Bishop,” I had to just go get Kelly Bishop, because it was like, what the hell was I doing? There’s nobody who could have done this part but Kelly Bishop. It was Kelly Bishop. I wrote it for Kelly Bishop. And I got crazy, I’m hoping some other Kelly Bishop’s going to walk in the door, and so there was a lot of conning and negotiating and finagling to try and make it work with her lifestyle.
But at some point to me the work is the work, and yes, sure, some people can take swipes at me for Gilmore, or comparisons or whatever, but it’s not Gilmore, it’s different relationships, they’re playing different characters, Sutton Foster is not Lorelai at all, and I just feel like, again, you’ve got to get the best person. You can’t shy from what someone says about you, because I’m free game, when I put things on the air, I get “This is what we get, the Gilmore Girls, really? Thanks a lot, lady.” You can’t make your creative decisions based on, boy, somebody may not like it, or somebody thinks I’m going to try and recreate something that I’ve already done. If you’ve got the vision. That’s what I’m trying to do.
Moderator In the pilot we saw a lot about the ocean, there was a lot about the window looking out over the ocean, and it seems like as the season went on the ocean kind of disappeared. Are we going to see that again, how close they are to the beach?
A. Palladino Well, here’s the funny stuff, oceans, they cost money to go there, and the thing about ABC Family, as delightful as they are as people and supportive as they are of the show, they don’t have unlimited money to go anyplace. So moving away from the ocean was not necessarily a creative gesture, it was more – this is a show that is unlike shows that have big budgets, and a lot of figuring out how to handle the finances of the dance, which is quite a lot because of rehearsal, music, of bodies, of choreography, and so when you’re allocating your money I can either put a great dance in there or I can drive us out to the ocean, and the ocean tends to lose.
I hope to go back there, because what the ocean represented to Michelle in the pilot was a sense of openness, a sense of freedom, a sense of not being trapped in a crap apartment off the Strip in a depressing sort of environment. So we’ve tried to keep that alive with her wonderful Topanga Canyon-y feeling house that still has lots of windows, lots of air, lots of space. We try to keep the elements that drew her here alive, and we try to do it on our budget. And hopefully we will get to do more there, but story trumps locations many, many times, the nuts and bolts of actual production money.
Moderator Amy, what was your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of that first batch of episodes, and how did you incorporate that evaluation into these new episodes?
A. Palladino Well, one thing we learned from the first episodes is there’s been a lot of money talk. I’ve gotten a lot more knowledgeable about money. I’ve never talked so much about money in my entire life, it’s a very weird process for me, and how to be smart and get all the production value on screen. But I would say what you really learn, one of the biggest things was Sutton Foster can do anything which is a weapon I’ve got in my arsenal, because it just means I’m going to throw more stuff at her. But the other thing is the way we could incorporate guests organically into the show, because one thing I was very nervous about is that we were going to get a lot of requests to just throw a dance number in there and I didn’t want it to be a performing show in terms of it wasn’t about that.
One thing that we really learned was that dance was very, very, very integral to this show. Shows that we did that did not visit the venue or did not have the flavor of dance in it, we always wound up going back and putting a dance in it, because it was just something that made it special and specific to our world.
The other thing is we had to adjust to, on a practical level, our page count was too low because we were coming in very, very, very short and I was trying to keep the page count low because we had a day less to shoot than we had on Gilmore, but the pace of the show goes so fast that that became a big problem for us. So now we’ve got the page count correct.
And I think we also, the first ten, the learning curve for us was what can these four young girls do? They were all kind of new. They were all kind of green. Who can talk? Who can turn a joke? Who is great with long speeches? Who is not great with long speeches? It was a lot of that. And who was going to be able to, was anybody going to fall out, or were all these girls going to get stronger?
That’s the scariest thing going into a new show is you go in with the big storylines and then a character that you had planned on doing something either can’t do it, or it’s not in their wheelhouse and then suddenly the best laid plans are all gone. We got very, very lucky because these girls all just really rose to the challenge and it made it more important for us to work with their families, with their parents, get them involved in romances. They weren’t going to be peripheral characters anymore. They needed to really be whole, dimensional, flesh-and-blood, as much as Michelle and as much as the dance.
Moderator In terms of the show title, was that something that you came up with, was that a title you pushed? It seems like the show had some trouble getting traction with viewers, and I wonder if people were confused by the title.
A. Palladino Well, bunheads is a term that I grew up with, because they call you a bunhead when you’re in ballet class, at least they did when I was in ballet class, because you wear a bun. So the title for me was just that. It’s within that world, and it was a title that means something. And I base most of my life decisions on what is ridiculous and insane. And as far as people now – yes, I guess that maybe some people didn’t quite get it or understand it, and part of the reason when we did an opening sequence we shots buns on heads, so the people were like, “Oh, there are buns on heads. I get it.”
And I think also, though, the learning curve for this show is just it doesn’t really fit into a particular category. It’s not truly a teen show. It’s not truly about a 35-year-old woman. It’s not truly about a 65-year-old woman. It’s an amalgam of women basically and coming of age at many stages of your life. So I think that it’s also been a challenge for us and for ABC Family and everyone to figure out how to make people understand that there’s actually a little something for everybody in here. It’s a delightful grab bag of craziness.
Moderator Sutton, it was interesting when Amy was talking about Kelly being an east coaster and having to move out to the west, because I think you lived in New York, hadn’t you, for years and years before you came for the show. Tell us the whole thing of how that went down, because as I was looking at it, it looks like you were on Broadway right up until about three months before Bunheads started on TV. So how did that whole transition go for you?
S. Foster I was doing a revival of Anything Goes on Broadway when all of this came up. I actually took a few weeks off from the show to shoot the pilot and then left the show to come start shooting the series, and I honestlywasn’t really looking to do a television show. I had been living in New York for 15 years and I had never really actively pursued a TV career at all, I was pretty much set on doing theater, but I always told myself that if the right project came along that I would go for it. And one of my favorite shows was Gilmore, I mean of all time, and Amy’s one of my favorite writers, and we took a meeting and I basically fan-girled all over her, and then a couple of weeks later they called and were talking to me about this pilot.
And it was just the right time and the right script, and the transition’s actually been really great. I was living in New York for about 15 years and I came out here to film the series, and actually really love it out here. It’s been a really nice change for me. It’s been a great experience.
Moderator So what was that like, the Flight of the Conchords experience?
S. Foster Flight of the Conchords was awesome. It was my very first TV experience, and they were so great. And neither one of the guys had seen a Broadway show, but what I loved about it is that I got cast just for me and not because, I don’t know, because I had a name or whatever. They were like, oh, we want that girl. And so it was great to be able to say, oh yes, my night job is Broadway. And neither one of them had seen a Broadway show and I was doing The Drowsy Chaperone at the time in New York, and so I got them both tickets to come see a show. And they both came and they were like, what? They didn’t understand. But it was awesome. My whole experience was so awesome. I’m such a huge fan of theirs and that was a great first experience for me for the TV world.
Moderator So much of the first season was about the character of Michelle struggling to adjust to life in Paradise, but when she returns are we going to see more of the same sort of fish out of water issues, or is she going to get more settled in?
A. Palladino I don’t think Michelle necessarily is a fish out of water. I felt more like it’s a person struggling with what is the next aspect of my life, more than, hey, these people are all weird. Michelle’s struggle and a lot of people’s life struggles, which sometimes they’re never quite resolved, is what do I do when all of the plans that I’ve made and all of the things I thought were going to happen I suddenly realize, oh, that’s actually not going to happen. I need a new plan. And that to me that’s what Michelle’s journey was in the first ten, and frankly, it may be her journey for the rest of her life to figure out, I was supposed to be a dancer and those years are slipping away and now where am I, what am I, can I fall in love, can I have a relationship, will I ever be married, will I stay here forever, will I leave in a month? Again, I go back to Michelle’s a girl with a lot of armor, and it takes a lot to cross through that armor sometimes. So I actually think a lot of the journey is her trying to focus not so much on wow, I’m in this new environment, but I need a road map. I need a life road map. That’s the way I view it.
Moderator The first batch of episodes ended with her leaving Fanny and the girls, so how did Michelle’s departure affect all the people she left behind?
A. Palladino I think Michelle’s biggest surprise is the hole that her departure actually left for people, because I think Michelle’s a girl who thinks: I don’t get attached, I don’t latch on, I don’t fall in love, I never have, out of sight, out of mind, and it’s a new experience with someone like her that she would come back and realize she’s been missed, she’s been needed, she’s left a hole in lives of young girls who aren’t her girls. It’s like, you’re not my kids, why do they care whether I’m here or not. I’m not their mom. But you know what, any influence on young girls comes from many, many areas and sometimes it’s not their mom. Sometimes it is that teacher. Sometimes it is that babysitter or that person, or the unusual, from left field advice that you get from a crazy librarian who hands you a book that changes your life. You can’t anticipate what sort of thing is going to impact, and I think Michelle, who probably doesn’t really think much of herself in the grand scheme of things, is very surprised that she means a lot to people.
Moderator As you said, you lived in New York for so many years, what was your favorite part about getting to live there?
S. Foster I grew up in small towns, I lived in Georgia, I lived in Michigan, and New York is the greatest city in the world and it’s also the hub of everything that I wanted. I wanted to be in theater. I wanted to perform on stage. And that was where it all happened. I love the idea that things are open until 4 a.m. and you can walk everywhere and there’s this sense of life. The minute you walk out your apartment building it’s like there’s this energy that you can’t describe. It can be a negative, but most of the time it’s such a positive because you just feel like, oh my God, and you go into this incredibly alive world and city. But it’s an amazing city. It’s interesting being out in California because it’s so different and it’s such a different lifestyle. Hopefully my life will be full of both.
Moderator Amy, what exactly is a bunhead to you?
A. Palladino What is a bunhead? It’s a little girl, or it doesn’t have to be so little, it can be tall, I don’t care, I’m not against height, it’s someone who’s really immersed themselves in the world of ballet. And they’re really a bunhead, whether or not they even become a ballet dancer. It’s just a very interesting world to be a part of, especially when you’re growing up and learning how to be a person, and how to deal with pressure, and competition, and your body, and goals, and friends, and enemies, and rivals, and dedication, and lack of dedication, and that to me is a bunhead. There you go.
Moderator Sutton, the recent additions to the cast, Jeanine Mason from Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance, as well as Niko Pepaj, great dancers, great performers, but what’s it like working with two other relatively new actors and actresses in the show? Do you or Amy, are you able to pass on a little bit of some of your knowledge from your experience in the business?
S. Foster Well, I have to say that I am a huge So You Think You Can Dance fan, and Amy told me that they were casting a new dancer and her name was Jeanine, and I was like, “Is it Jeanine Mason?” And she was like, “Yes.” And I was like, “Oh my God, she’s my favorite dancer from So You Think You Can Dance.” And she’s the most lovely, the most wonderful woman, and she’s the most exquisite dancer, and it’s just been awesome to have her on set. I don’t know, I don’t ever think of myself as having lots of wisdom to pass on to people, but Jeanine has just been a joy to work with, as well as Niko, Niko’s been really great, great additions to the company and yes, it’s just awesome to be able to watch her dance and to work with.
Moderator Amy, what kind of words have you been able to impart in order to help your young cast?
A. Palladino I’m very Spencer Tracy in my, “Say the words and don’t bump into the furniture.” But the thing that this show imparts organically to young actors is a sense of you’ve got to be on your” A Game” 24 hours a day. You’ve got to come prepared. You have to know your dialogue. There is no room for, “Oh, I’m late today. I don’t really know my script.” There’s just no room for that here. It’s a very disciplined environment because of the amount of work we have to do and the short amount of time we have to do it.
What I do think that Sutton Foster does not realize that she imparts organically to anybody who comes on the show is an incredible sense of work ethics, of discipline, of respect to other actors. I want this show to take these four actors and send them out in the community with an unbelievable respect for the process. Our actors, they are there for off camera dialogue for other actors. That is a gracious thing. That is gracious acting. There is no understanding in their reading off a script, which is sometimes a very common practice and something that I find ridiculous, because actors need to act off of other actors. Actors need to be on time. They need to know their stuff. They need to really be on top of their game so that they don’t ruin something for somebody else, as well as stunt their own growth. And what I believe I see on this show is kids rising to all sorts of levels of preparedness, working hard, good attitudes, not complaining when the hours are long or when we do a lot of takes, or just sort of that youthful enthusiasm of this is exciting and it’s fun, and what a great job I have.
And that’s something you learn from the top. When your star walks in with that sort of attitude, you can’t help but rise to that challenge. And whether or not Sutton takes them aside and says, “Listen, kid, this is how you do it,” it’s teaching by example, and it’s an unbelievable gift that she’s giving these kids because these girls are going to go out into the world and they’re going to go out and do other jobs and other directors and other producers are going to be like, holy cow these aren’t real prima donnas. These are girls who are coming to work. They’re coming to play. They’re bringing “A Game”. I think that’s going to last them a really, really long time.
Moderator Hi, again, ladies. My question goes to Sutton. We know that you’ve won two Tony Awards for your roles on Broadway, what is it like for you to be recognized as a Tony Award winning actress, what does that mean for you?
S. Foster My goodness, I grew up, as a kid I would practice my Tony speech in front of my mirror with my hair brush and you would dream of what that would be or how that would feel like. And it’s interesting, because I have two Tonys in my house and they’re sitting on my shelf, and sometimes I look at them and say, oh my God, that happened. I still feel like that 15-year-old kid in front of the mirror, and so much of my life is really about moving forward and trying to keep expanding creatively, and so it is an honor to be known as a two-time Tony Award winner. Sometimes people say that, and I’m like, what? It doesn’t quite permeate. I think my perception of myself is different from what other people think. I just see myself as someone trying to do the best work she can do and be a good person and move forward in life, so I don’t walk around with my Tonys as earrings, but it is an absolute honor of course.
A. Palladino They would make great earrings.
Moderator So you don’t measure your success by the awards that you win? Do you have another standard that you use to measure your own success?
S. Foster Actually, yes, because awards, there’s a lot that goes into awards. If you measure your success on awards, or popularity, or celebrity, those can be incredibly superficial goals, I think. But if you measure yourself on whether or not you are respected by others, or whether or not people want to work with you, or whether or not you have a full, illustrious, long career, those are the types of goals that I’m here for. I’m in it for the long haul. I don’t want to retire. I want to work forever. And I want to challenge myself as an artist, I want to keep growing, yes, I guess I don’t measure my success on anything other than just hoping I never stop.
Moderator Sutton, you had a lot of interesting co-stars in the beginning of the season, tell me about your most difficult one, what was it like acting with a possum?
S. Foster Well, the first thing they told me about the possum is they said, “He bites,” and I was like, oh, wonderful. And I had to have my feet under him, and they were like, “When he gets nervous he’ll bite the blanket.” So I’m like fantastic, wonderful, and so they had all these blankets to protect my feet. And sure thing, as soon as I put my feet in, he started biting the blankets. It was hilarious.
He had two handlers, so I was on the bed and then there were two people on either side of him, so if he lunged and attacked my face or something I think they would have grabbed him. But he was a very nice possum. I’d never been that close to a possum before. But that was definitely one of those moments that you write in the record book for posterity, but that was great. I think my favorite co-star of all is Kelly Bishop … .
Moderator Oh, why’s that?
S. Foster Because she’s, I don’t know it’s hard to explain. It’s easy when we’re together, it’s easy to work. We have a really wonderful rapport off screen and on screen. It’s like one of those things you don’t want to talk about too much because you don’t want to break the spell. But then also you want to bottle it up forever because you want to be able to have that type of rapport with everyone that you work with. But she’s just a joy to work with, I just think the world of her, and we have a really great time together on screen.
Moderator Sutton, just a little bit more about when you talked about New York City being the center of everything that you wanted and so forth. Tell us two phases, first, when you first got there what did it feel like then, were there any misgivings, were there any bad points when you first got to New York? And then second of all, just reflect on that phase where you did Thoroughly Modern Millie and all of a sudden everybody was talking about you and you were the center of New York all of a sudden, what does that feel like for a kid when that happens? But first tell me when you first got there.
S. Foster I was always the kid who would leap into the pool but didn’t know how to swim or have a floatie, so I would gleefully jump and then drown. That’s sort of my motto in life. And so when I first moved to New York I was like, “Whee, I’m going to take over the city,” and I was in line at every open call I could go to, I made an idiot out of myself in hundreds of auditions, but I was very ballsy and very brave and every time I fell down I would brush off all the bruises and get back up and try again, but I was a totally gypsy. I literally would get up at 5 a.m. and stand in line at open calls in the freezing cold and go to cast calls and I climbed the ladder, and I did tons of ensemble work, and my motto really starting out was take every opportunity except for porn, to say yes to everything and it didn’t matter what the script, I just wanted to learn. I just felt like I needed to learn. And I just wanted to work with people and watch, but I was an ensemble girl, an understudy.
And then when Millie happened I was 26-years-old and my entire career changed. Again, I think my naiveté and my greenness served me well, because I really didn’t know what was going on, other than “Oh, now I’m the star of a big show.” I didn’t realize there was $10 million riding on it and that everyone was going to look at me and write about me, and I think my greenness really served me well, because I was just plowing forward.
But yes, my whole world changed, and it was hard. I have to say, some of my hardest days were doing that show, because all of a sudden people are writing about you and they’re writing good things and they’re writing bad things and they’re scrutinizing you, and I was like, I should be on top of the world and suddenly I feel like I’ve let people down, or I’m less than. It was really, really hard and I had to readjust my whole thought process about reading reviews and listening to what was written, and I kind of stopped all of that because it was taking away my experience and taking away my joy. You know, you dream your whole life to star in a Broadway show, and then you’re like, oh my God, I’m so depressed and you cry. So it was definitely a big life lesson.
Moderator Sutton, we know that you have a love of music and you have recorded an album. Can you tell us just a little bit about that side of your career?
S. Foster Yes, I’ve actually done two albums. One is a live album from the Café Carlyle, and the other’s a studio recording. My music director and collaborator from Thoroughly Modern Millie, Michael Rafter and I have been working on collaborating music for ten years now and it’s just an awesome passion of mine. I always dreamed of having an album, a solo album of my own artistic expression, and we’re actually working on a new album right now and we’re scouring and looking at hundreds of songs and really trying to pick the right repertoire of what we want to express right now. It’s just a great way to have some sense of your own creative control in a business where you feel like you don’t often have creative control, so it’s wonderful to be able to produce something that is a direct expression of myself. So, yes, we’re hoping to record a new album in the spring.
Moderator Have you been able to use your musical talents on Bunheads, or would want to?
S. Foster A little bit so far, yes, and hopefully some more in the future. The show and Amy, it’s already afforded me to be able to sing, I think I’ve sung three times on the show, and hopefully I’ll do some more in the future.
Winter Premiere of Bunheads begins on January 7, 9/8c
Images courtesy of ABC Family
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