“Revealing Responses from the Rep!” – with actors Andrea Mellos and Rob Johansen

Rob Johansen

Rob Johansen

  • Name,  Daytime Job/ Alter Ego,  Hometown/Origins

Rob Johansen

Actor/Director/Fight Choreographer/Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor

  • Roles  Playing  in the  IFT Rep Show

Paul in You Can’t Take it with You

Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew

  • What has been your best rehearsal experience during You Can’t Take It With You and The Taming of the Shrew

At the end of a long week, the cast spontaneously applauds everyone’s efforts.  And with each week we feel more like a company of actors, a team.

  • What is something about you that would surprise people?

I have hiked the Grand Canyon from top to bottom and back in a day.  I have done that four times in my life.

  • What was the first show you remember seeing?

Glass Menagerie when I was 12 years old.  My brother directed it as a high school project and I fell in love with his girlfriend who was playing Laura

  • What has been your favorite role in your acting career?

It is a tie between several: Jim Casy in Grapes of Wrath, Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, My first one man show, Underneath the Lintel, playing Cyrano in a three person production of that story, and playing Marco in A View from the Bridge in my first year of Grad School here at I.U.

  • What has been your least favorite role?

I played one of the Knights in a really crappy production of Camelot that seemed to run forever.  But I learned a new workout routine at that time which was a saving grace….and there was a great park for dog walks and a killer pizza place.  But the show was dreadful.

  • What is a role you would kill to play?

I don’t have “dream roles” that I look for.  I just try to keep myself in good condition to be as good as I can be, and the roles that I attract as a result will happen.  Sometimes focusing on one role too hard will keep you from seeing beautiful ones that are right in front of you.

  • Who is your inspiration or idol?

My father, who helped me stay on track to finish college and supported my choice for theatre.  He loved acting but couldn’t go into it because he had seven kids to take care of.  But he LOVED that I was doing it.  He passed on when I was 23, but I still talk to him all the time.

  • What are three things that you could not live without?

Aerobic activity, veggies, and my family.

  • What is your pre-show ritual?

Put on stretch out pants, find an empty space.  Do 50-100 push ups, 3 minutes of voice openers, 3 minutes of tongue twisters, and go over all my long speeches.  At the start of every day I try to sing three songs to keep my voice decent as I walk my dog.

  • Finish this statement: “I’ll never understand why. . .”

I can’t seem to go to bed before 2:30 in the morning…..”

  •  What is the best piece of advice to give aspiring actors 

Try to open yourself to things beyond the entertainment world.  The most interesting performers are ones who are well rounded people, not just performers.

~0~0~0~

Andrea MellosAndrea Mellos

 

  • Name, Daytime Job/ Alter Ego, Hometown/Origins

Andrea Mellos

2yr. MFA in Acting at Indiana University

Livonia, MI

  • Role Playing in the Rep Shows

Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew

Gay Wellington/ Olga in You Can’t Take it With You.

  • What has been your best rehearsal experience during You Can’t Take It With You and The Taming of the Shrew

I love watching my colleagues work in the rehearsal room.  They are fearless and brave actors and it’s a joy to watch their process unfold.

  • What is something about you that would surprise people?

That I started out as a nursing major in undergrad.

  • What was the first show you remember seeing?

My aunt took my brother and me to see Les Miserables on Broadway when I was 14.  It wasn’t my first show, but it was the show that changed my life and made me want to become an actress.   My brother and I were so overcome with emotion at the end of the play we just sat there and cried.  At that moment I realized the impact theatre had and wanted to be a part of it!

  • What has been your favorite role in your acting career?

My favorite role so far was portraying young Judy Garland in the show Beyond the Rainbow.  She is such a legend and it was so important to get down not only her singing, but her vocal pattern and the way she moved.  It was my first experience of transformation and it was so wonderful doing all of the research and getting to learn about her fascinating life.

  • What has been your least favorite role?

When I moved to NYC after undergrad I was SO excited to get cast in this children’s theatre company. The reality of the situation was me prancing around as a goose in various living rooms in Brooklyn.

  • What is a role you would kill to play?

I like the bad girls: Lady Macbeth and Hedda Gabler.

  • Who is your inspiration or idol?

My parents. I watched life throw them some major curve balls, but they got through it together and with such grace. They remind me everyday that through darkness comes light and to keep pressing on. Love you mom and dad!

  • What are three things that you could not live without?

Family/Friends, coffee, fine dining!

  • What is your pre-show ritual?

Going over lines; and I must have Altoids backstage…I’m addicted!

  • Finish this statement: “I’ll never understand why. . .”

Some people won’t step outside their comfort zones…do it, it’s fun on the other side!

  • What is the best piece of advice to give aspiring actors

Don’t expect things to be handed to you…go out and get it!

See Andrea and Rob flailing, tumbling and setting off fireworks in the Sycamore household in You Can’t Take it With You or scheming and bumbling in The Taming of the Shrew, both playing in repertory all through the month of July. See this page for details!

Taming of the Shrew, Florida Style

Andrea Mellos as the sneaky Bianca with prospective sugar daddy Gremio ( Rob Johansen) in The Taming of the Shrew.

~by Chika Ike

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About IU Theatre Department

Welcome to the 7th & Jordan blog. This blog is a peak behind the curtain at the Indiana University Theatre Department productions and student work.
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One Response to “Revealing Responses from the Rep!” – with actors Andrea Mellos and Rob Johansen

  1. Hana Slevin says:

    Ugh I LOVE you guys. =)

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