Bayou City Theatrics recently mounted a dual-cast production of Les Misérables. One cast sang in the traditional Broadway musical style; the other cast sang in a pop/rock style. Woodlands native Erin Wasmund played Eponine in the traditional cast. Eponine, a street-wise teen, falls hopelessly in love with Marius, one of the story's young resistance leaders. After he rejects her for Cosette, Eponine goes on to save him in battle. It was a role the Florida State University graduate relished. Not only does Eponine have a dramatic death scene, she sings two of the show's most emotionally powerful songs ("On My Own" as she realizes Marius is in love with someone else and "A Little Fall of Rain" as she lays dying in Marius's arms having just saved his life).
"Eponine is me when I was 16," Wasmund tells us. "It was really interesting to me to revisit my 16-year-old self. I was so tomboyish, and so not feminine." And, of course, she suffered a real-life unrequited love. "She really reflected a lot of me."
What She Does: Wasmund has two objectives when she's on stage. One, to bring life to her character. And two, to ignore the audience.
"Really, I try not to think about you guys," she laughs. "In theater, you're given certain circumstances - where you are, what you are, what day is it, and the fact that an audience is always watching you. You can always feel the energy from the audience. When you're giving an honest performance and staying true and honest to the work, they're going to go with you, but that can't be my focus. With Eponine, the one thing that I wanted, was to be held by [Marius]. I get that only after I'm mortally wounded, but that's all I care about in that moment. You're all there watching but he's the one who can give me what I want."
Why She Likes It: "It's not about performing, it's something more than that. I'm attracted to the story's characters, to the life of the play. I get really obsessed with the research process and then the rehearsal process. I love research, rehearsal and creating relationships."
What Inspires Her: "I think this is what I was meant to do. It's great to bring life to those characters, to find some part of the character that's also me. I love watching other people create, that's inspiring to me."
If Not This, Then What: "If I couldn't have anything to do with musical theater, but I would still know what it is and still love it? I would die," she says without hesitation. "I would die.
"If I didn't love theater or didn't know what it is, there are a hundred things I would love to do. I would love to be a marine biologist, a paleontologist, an archeologist. I would love to do a dig in Africa. I would love to visit China. I would want be an English teacher; I'm a real grammar Nazi. I would want to be a mom. There are hundreds of things I would love to do and I get to do them as an actor."
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If Not Here, Then Where: "New York," she replies quickly. I wouldn't like the competition. I'm super competitive when it comes to games and that sort of thing, but I don't like competition when I walk into a room.The opportunity for an actor is there. The city is beautiful, it has such an energy and there's so much to do."
What's Next: Wasmund is performing in the Bayou City Theatrics Halloween production of The Rocky Horror Show, a special one-night-only presentation.
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Karim Al-Zand, composer Jan Burandt, paper conservator for The Menil Collection Deke Anderson, actor Craig Cohen, hockey fan and host of Houston Matters Mauro Luna, Poe-Inspired photographer Trond Saeverud, Galveston Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Khrystyna Balushka, paper flower child Christina Carfora, visual artist and world traveler Sara Kumar, artistic director for Shunya Theatre Kiki Maroon, burlesque clown Gin Martini, fashion designer Lacey Crawford, painter and sculptor Homer Starkey, novelist Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer Erica DelGardo, metalsmith Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana MarÃa Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer