Okay, so that headline may have left you feeling a bit confused. 6:30? Well, never fear! We’ve got all the answers you need and more right here on the VT Blog. Check out this exclusive interview with The Gypsy King‘s Cayman Ilika!
Left: Cayman Ilika; Right: Cayman as 6:30 or Anastasia
VT: What character do you play in the show? How would you describe her?
Cayman: I play Anastasia (6:30). She is a lot like a cat. She is sly, and ready to pounce at any moment. She has a sardonic sense of humor. She loves her best friend Maguerite (6:00) more than anything. At the beginning of the show, Anastasia is quite cynical and is doing her best to appease the prince so she can live comfortably. By the end of the show, she sees Alphonse’s downfall and Anisette’s happy ending and learns to be hopeful.
VT: What part of working on a new musical is most exciting for you?
Cayman: For me, the best part about bringing a new work to life is that because no one has seen the roles performed before, there are no pre-conceived notions about how each part should be portrayed. The actors and director are free to play with the material we are given. It is a total blast. When we started working on this show in the 2008 reading, I saw that there was no character description for Anastasia. I decided that she was going to have a low voice, and Rich [Gray, director] and Randy [Rogel, author] let me keep it! Now, there are jokes written into my part that were created based on that snap decision I made during the reading.
VT: What aspect of the show do you think audiences are enjoying most?
Cayman: It’s pretty clear that the audiences have been wild about The Gypsy King. The scenes where we hear the most laughter and gasps of surprise are the ones where Alfonse and Frederick are on stage together. Eric Ankrim’s nimble transformation from one character to the other is truly astounding, and it’s so much fun to watch!
VT: How do you keep your performance fresh after so many performances?
Cayman: We take our responsibility to bring the magic of theatre to every performance very seriously. It helps since our cast is so wonderful. We all enjoy spending time together so much, and we are constantly creating ways to keep one another in the world of the play. Jessica Skerritt (Marguerite) and I spend most of our time on (and off) stage together–for each performance, we imgaine something new that has happened that day in the lives of our characters, and incorporate that into our actions and reactions.