Queen of the Day
By Megan O’Connor
Brelby Theatre Company is all about positivity and building up our artists and we are especially dedicated to promoting our female artists and as such we have Brelby Artists nominate one new woman every month for us to treat like royalty. The power of women as actors, designers, writers, directors, creators, and people in general cannot be overstated! We at the Brelby Buzz are so excited to have our former reigning Queen, Thea Eigo, interview a brand new Queen of the Day! Voted by our community of Brelby Artists, Monica Hernandez Bollt has been chosen to reign supreme today! Monica is a collaborative artists at Brelby who has been seen on the Brelby stage in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Ghost the Musical, and The 4th Annual Miscast Concert. Read on to find out more about the amazing Monica, including her early Ethel Merman impressions, favorite ice cream flavors, and the origin story of the Bolltnandez family!
Thea Eigo: Congratulations Monica on being the next Queen of the Day! You’re so talented, caring, beautiful, and SO deserving of the Queen title. You can also rock the heck out of a bump-it. So honored to pass on the crown to you! So first, how and when did you get involved with Brelby?
Monica Bollt: Shelby and I have actually been friends since high school! I remember when she met Brian at NAU, and when they first started talking about starting their own theatre company. I lived in New York when they were first starting Brelby, but got to hear all about it as it grew. It wasn’t until I moved back almost 2 years ago, that I finally got to be a part of a show at Brelby. My first show with them was The 4th Annual Miscast Concert, where I performed with Shelby and Megan O’Connor for the first time since we graduated from high school! It was SO much fun.
TE: What made you get into theatre in the first place? When did you first start performing?
MB: I’ve always been a singer. My mom has always said that I was singing before I could talk, and that I was the only 6-year old who could do a mean Ethel Merman impression. One of my first memories of doing theatre was in elementary school and I got to play a princess. I fell in love with it from there!
TE: As Queen, what is your first decree?
MB: Give someone a hug. Believe me, you need it and so do they.
TE: You were last seen being amazingly talented onstage in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Brelby; any new shows coming up?
MB: Nothing right now! I’m very much enjoying the break, spending time with my spectacular husband Alex, and our dog, Mabel.
TE: What are some of your methods to get into your character when in a show?
MB: I always start on the human level. I think sometimes it can be easy to look at a character and say, “oh, she’s dumb”, or “oh, she’s crazy”, and just play that on a surface level. But I love digging deeper and looking at it from a human perspective. I try and think about who that person truly is, who they are at their very core.
TE: How do you stay positive and motivated during a rehearsal process?
MB: For me, I have to be working on a show that I LOVE. I work 40+ hours a week, have a husband who is my favorite person, and all sorts of things I want to do in life. The rehearsal process is a big undertaking, one that takes time away from those other parts of my life, and if it’s not a show that I absolutely LOVE, it’s not worth it for me. I think this is one of the most important things I’ve learned in my years working in theatre. Loving the show makes it worth all the time away. Especially when it all culminates in a great show!
TE: Any dream roles? Dream roles of the opposite gender?
MB: Oh man, so many dream roles! The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Meredith Parker in Bat Boy, Daniela and Abuela Claudia in In the Heights…just to name a few. And of the opposite gender…I’m gonna go with Aaron Burr from Hamilton.
TE: Go-to ice cream flavor?
MB: All of them.
TE: What has been your favorite role to play in a show and why?
MB: Oooh, that’s tough. It would have to be a tie between Anita in West Side Story and Ms. Peretti in Putnam. I’ve always loved the character of Anita. She’s incredibly strong, and her story runs the gamut of emotions. Plus, you really can’t beat getting to sing A Boy Like That… And Ms. Peretti was one of the most challenging and rewarding roles I’ve ever played. The improv aspect of her character and the show itself was so daunting for me, but I really loved it. It was just 90 mins of fun, every single night!
TE: Any fun and weird talents?
MB: I have crazy bendy thumbs. I wouldn’t categorize that as a talent, but it’s certainly weird.
TE: How do you balance your personal life with your theatre schedules?
MB: Woof, that is the million dollar question. Honestly, I don’t really know. I’ve married an incredibly patient man who loves to see me happy and is very understanding when it comes to the rehearsal process. It’s a very difficult balance, but we make the most of the time we get to spend together and he is constantly cheering me on. That helps!
TE: You and your husband Alex are just SO CUTE! How did you two meet? Is he secretly as talented a performer as you are?
MB: Aww, thanks!! I think we’re cute too, but I’m biased. We met in college and were friends for many years and were actually roommates before we dated! It wasn’t until I moved to New York that we started talking all the time and I told him that I “like liked him”. After that, we dated long distance for 10 months and he eventually moved to New York. We’ve been friends for over 10 years, together for 8 years, and married for 4 years. He’s my absolute favorite person. Haha, I wouldn’t say that he’s a performer per se, but he does have some pretty killer dance moves….
TE: What is your favorite aspect of theatre?
MB: I love the thrill of live theatre, both as a performer and an audience member. I love that each show is a little bit different and the energy in the theatre is different every time. How exciting is that? There’s nothing else like it.
TE: Is there a show you’ve been a part of that you could do over and over?
MB: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!
TE: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and who would you bring?
MB: I have always wanted to go to Iceland! I’ve heard it’s amazing. Truthfully, I think part of my desire comes from all those years sitting on the subway in NYC and looking at the ads for Iceland. For some reason, they really want New Yorkers to go there. But when I do go, I would love to bring my husband and my parents!
TE: Do you have any role models in your life that inspire you and look up to?
MB: Both my parents. I’m incredibly lucky to have two wonderful parents who have supported me endlessly throughout my life. I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am without them.
TE: If you could switch lives with one person for one day, who would it be?
MB: Patti Lupone. I would just love to be that insanely talented for a day.
TE: What songs do you jam out to?
MB: So many. But if I’m ever in a bad mood, “The Goofy Movie” soundtrack will always break me out of my funk.
TE: Do you have any advice for young aspiring performers?
MB: Take breaks, take care of yourself, and take care of others. And of course, do what you love.
TE: Thank you Monica and congratulations! Go slay Queen!!
Yas Queen Slay indeed! Our thanks to these Queens Thea and Monica for this super fun interview! Watch the Brelby Facebook page for your chance to vote for the next Brelby Queen of the Day and keep an eye on all those fierce females in our artist community! Check out some girl power in Brelby Theatre’s production of unexpected which plays through June 10th and its upcoming summer show, The Pledge written by Megan O’Connor which opens Friday, June 16, 2017. Tickets for both are on sale now! #QOTD #QueenoftheDay #fiercefemales #slayqueen