Creating a fantasy character that must be acted by a human can be a daunting task --- unless you have a great model for inspiration. One of my friends has a bigger than life persona and a rare and unique personality. I informed her frankly one day that I intended to model a character for my new play after her. And, in her inimitable fashion, she answered, "Absolutely! I have always thought that I would make a great character. You'll have to invite me to see the show!" So, with permission granted, I set off to give Shazelle, the Speaking Bird the funniest lines and the sassiest attitude possible! Thank you, Anne-Marie St. Felix!
But, then there is the casting dilemma. As a director, you wonder if you will have a young actress come to audition with the talent and ability to pull off such a character. Fortunately, just such a girl showed up. Lizzie Jensen was perfect for the role. She summoned enough inner "sassy attitude" to play this over the top character and even learned how to do a tap dance routine for the Finale! Way to go, Lizzie!
Here are the two of them together after the last show of "Parizade's Quest." And as Shazelle, herself, says in the play, "Girl, I am here to make sure the story is told right! I am the magic and mystery! Comedy, too!" And she really was! This wonderful fantasy character was a pure delight! "And trust me, honey! I am telling the absolute truth!"