I'm so excited to do my debut "Speakeasy" interview that features one of my favorite gals, Daisy Eagan - the youngest female Tony Award Winner for her performance in "The Secret Garden". Daisy is in rehearsals getting ready to premiere her new one woman show, "One For My Baby", for a multi city tour.What happens when a brash, cynical, inappropriate former child star finds out she's pregnant with a kid she never planned on? She becomes a brash, cynical, inappropriate mother. Tony Award winner, Daisy Eagan, uses edgy humor and some of her favorite songs to tell the story of going from Broadway Baby to Hollywood Mama. (Adult content. May not be appropriate for children or the faint of heart.) For more information and upcoming tour locations, please visit:
ROBYN: How Did You Get Into "The Biz"?
DAISY: I saw my Dad in a play when I was 8 and immediately knew I wanted to try acting. I was horribly bullied in school, so the thought of getting to be someone else was really appealing. I told my parents I wanted to try it. They were very reluctant because my Father had officially given up acting in the 60's because it was too hard a life and my Mom had Tatum O'Neal and Drew Barrymore in her mind and didn't want me going down that path. But they looked in Backstage and found me an audition for a musical adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" narrated by Tiny Tim. I guess they thought I would audition and maybe get it out of my system, or, at the worst, get cast in a small role and then get it out of my system. I was cast as Tiny Tim. My Father, who came with me to the audition, was cast as Robert Cratchit. The next gig was Les Miserables, then a movie for HBO, then "The Secret Garden". I don't think anyone would have imagined it would have gone that way.
R: Who Were Your Greatest Inspirations?
D: My Father was my first inspiration. Not only did seeing him act inspire me to become an actor, but he also gave me my first acting lessons. He taught me not to indicate. Other inspirations have been Tatum O'Neal in "Paper Moon" (to this day her performance is awe-inspiring), Madeline Kahn (I'd love to do a concert of her songs), Elaine Stritch, Ella Fitzgerald, Ricky Gervais, Amy Poehler, Edie Falco. The longer I think about this, the longer the list becomes.R: Worst Audition Experience?D: Ugh. There are a lot. I am not great at auditioning for musical theater. I get terribly nervous. I always feel like my reputation precedes me and it's too much pressure. Also, I don't consider myself a SINGER. I consider myself an actor who sings, so if I know they're looking for a singer first, I end up talking myself into a hole before I get there. However, the audition that stands out as the worst was for a play. Please keep in mind, I was 17. I was going through a pretty rough time personally. My Mother had died, I was battling depression. It was not a pretty period in my life. And also, before you judge me, think about what you were like at 17... It was a callback for "Stupid Kids". We were being paired together to see what combinations of actors worked well. I was paired up with Keith Knobbs. I had just had a string of auditions at which the directors were telling me I was perfect for the roles and then I wasn't being cast. I had also JUST found out I wasn't flying to L.A. for a screen test for a pilot. I literally had my suitcase with me in case I needed to go to the airport. So, these things were REALLY fresh in my mind when Michael Mayer said to Keith and me, "You guys are perfect for these roles", and then gave us an adjustment. So I, thinking I was being HILARIOUS, made some snarky comment about not blowing smoke up my wazoo or something and saving the compliments and giving me a contract instead. I was joking, but it was not funny. I came off like a bitter diva. Needless to say, I was cut. Back in the waiting room in front of all the other actors I took the script and threw it in the trash and stomped on it. Again, I thought I was being funny. I didn't mean any disrespect to the play (I actually LOVE that play), I just thought everyone would be able to relate and we'd all have a laugh. Years later a complete stranger told me he'd heard about my behavior at that audition and that I had tried to sabotage everyone else with the script in the trash bit. I was mortified. Never in 5,000 years would I try to sabotage another actor's audition. This business is hard enough without actors turning on each other. I really was just trying to be funny and I missed the mark by a few miles. I still literally cringe every time I think about that. So, THANKS A LOT FOR BRINGING IT UP. : )
R: What Song Is Your "Guilty Pleasure"?
D: Toxic by Britney Spears. I love it.
R: What is Your Anthem Song?
D: I don't have one anthem song. I guess anything by Journey (incidentally, have you watched the video for Faithfully recently? If not, do yourself a favor and Youtube it right now. At one point, Steve Perry looks at himself contemplatively and then shaves. I'm not kidding.). Any uptempo by Hall and Oates. Anything by Stevie Wonder. Or Queen. Apparently I stopped listening to the radio in 1989. Oh, anything by Radiohead.
R: "Must Haves" Backstage?
D: There's really nothing I "must have". I'm pretty low maintenance. A mirror and maybe a lightbulb is helpful. A robe and slippers and a pillow for the sleeping portion of the day. Oh, and a mountain of cocaine. But, I mean, duh, about that, right?
R: What One Sentence Advice Can You Give to Industry Beginners?
D: Don't move to NYC or L.A. right out of school. Stay local and work local so that when you do move you have credits on your resume and, more importantly, EXPERIENCE. (I know that's two sentences.)
R: What Has Been Your Favorite Moment on Stage?
D: I think it would have to be my stage debut at Brooklyn Academy of Music in "Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol" where I got to share the stage with my Dad.