|Natascia Diaz||Westside Story||Kiss of the Spiderwoman||Glimpses of the Moon|
Natascia Diaz is most widely recognized for her featured story in the highly acclaimed Sony Classic documentary film EVERY LITTLE STEP, capturing her audition process for the lead role of Cassie for the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. Now, with Lyric Theatre, Natascia has the opportunity to play the role that she had dreamt of for so long. Learn more about how she got to where she is today!
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Lugano Switzerland, (because my mom is Italian, and my folks wanted me to be born in a place where there had never been a war.) Raised in Manhattan, NY, where my folks met; he a handsome young opera singer and she a child progedy ballerina. Started ballet when I was 3.
How long have you been involved in theatre?
My first professional show in New York was NYC Ballet’s famous NUTCRACKER. I was 9. Then I toured as a child dancer with the New York City Opera. I had to do that weird school away from school thing, but it was AWESOME. I was doing what I loved along with the 4 or 5 other kids in the company.
What is it about the theatre that inspires you?
Theatre is a temple of empathy. Think about it. How weird is it that we go into a box, turn the lights off, and watch other people pretend to be doing things…? Why do we do it? Because we are empathic creatures. We go there TO empathize with someone else’s plight, take their journey with them. Theatre allows us a place to be connected and empathic in our shared plight of being in the human condition. We all are. It is the best when people come up to me afterwards and you see in their eyes something you said, sang, danced, or spoke went right to the very core of their being. There is nothing like it. Theatre is my church. It is what I was put on this earth to give back to the world around me. And it is a privilege I take very seriously…and joyfully.
Of all the experiences you have had in the theatre world, what has been the one that outshines the rest?
Playing ANITA in WEST SIDE STORY, and the latest, starring in Paul Simons THE CAPEMAN last year. One, because I could do everything I got; sing, act and dance, and do it all to the most beautiful score I know…and CAPEMAN because when you work with geniuses, it is really fun. lol! I got to play and evoke a woman much older than me, and sing Paul Simons music. I mean…It doesn’t get a lot better than that.
You have played many roles, what would you say has been your favorite character to play?
They are all like family to me. Really. Some you feel really close to, some you can’t wait not to have to be in. But I have tried to love all of them, because it makes your performance richer and more effective when you do not judge them. But Anita was the first part that I played that I knew I felt was perfect. It was the first perfect thing I’d crafted as an artist. I loved playing the role that I won the Helen Hayes Award for in DC. She was a 21 year old Jewish-Scottish punk rocker songwriter. And she was like a comet. She sparkled.
What should patrons expect out of this show?
Expect to be challenged, to laugh, to be nervous, to be thrilled, to be heartbroken, to be shocked to be shown how in love with theatre and dance you have to be to pursue it as a profession. We are all like Don Quiote’s, with THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM as our flag, flying high in our hearts. Artists are beautiful people. Brave and generous. It is a lesson on how to approach life. Do it with love, for love.
What advice would you give aspiring artists?
Find my fan page, and ask me any questions you want. Each one has their own curiosity. Stay that way. Try not to be afraid of your power. Be gentle with yourself and others. And, of course, listen to your heart. Always.