Sarah Russell is an actor, singer and Washington native who’s been performing in Seattle for the past six years. She’s worked at numerous theatres including 5th Avenue (Grease, Hairspray in Concert!, RENT), Village Theatre (My Heart is the Drum), Seattle Shakes's Wooden O (Julius Caesar), StoryBook Theater (Little Red Riding Hood) and many others. She’s currently playing the role of the Witch in Taproot Theatre's production of Big Fish, running through August 13. [Read our rave about the show here.]
Russell joined me for this week’s installment of Five Friday Questions.
What’s the best performance you’ve seen lately?
I’ve recently been watching the show So You Think You Can Dance: Next Generation and on this week’s episode there is a contemporary dancer named Jordan who is quite phenomenal. She did a piece with the returning all star Sasha about having someone to lean on when you feel alone or sad or scared it really made me reflect on how grateful I am for the people in my life. It’s a beautiful piece and a show that everyone should watch. All the kids on it are amazing.
What’s the best meal in Seattle?
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and eggs benedict is my favorite breakfast food. The best eggs benedict I have had so far is at Bing's on Madison. The poached egg was perfect, the hollandaise sauce was to die for. Truly my favorite. They also have bottomless mimosas so that is also a plus.
What music gets you pumped up? What do you listen to when you’re sad?
I listen to all different kinds of music but there are few songs that really get me pumped up. The first is from a little musical no one has really heard of called Hamilton. I love the song "Non Stop" because I love the beats in the song and I can groove to it but it also has great belt-along moments and rap-along moments. My other favorite is anything Queen Bey, my favorites right now being "Hold Up" and "End of Time." And who doesn't love "Formation"?
When I'm sad I love to listen to music that I can sing along to and harmonize with, and sing out my emotions. Tori Kelly is one of my favorite artists so listening to her music always makes me feel better. One of my favorite songs is "First Heartbreak." I also love listening to the group Joseph. They sing amazing harmonies. I love "Eyes to the Sky." Definitely a song that says “things happen but just look to the sky.”
Ahhh, I almost forgot: ANYTHING India.Arie especially the song "I Am Light." Sooooooo beautiful.
What's the most crucial element of any production?
The bond between a cast and crew and trusting your fellow actor onstage. You can tell when people don't trust each other onstage or are holding back. The more you fully trust your cast and know that every person onstage has your back and you have theirs, you cant go wrong.
What’s the most useful thing anyone’s ever taught you about working in theatre?
Always come prepared. Don't be afraid to make big choices and never stop exploring your character. There are always new things you can find—new angles to a character, new emotions in a scene or in a moment—so never hold back, really bring your all and trust yourself.
Big Fish photo by Erik Stuhaug.