Reckless rehearsals are going along fast and furiously. I found a couple of minutes to ask actor Anne Collin a few questions. Anne is playing Pooty – a deaf, paraplegic woman who invites Rachel, our protagonist, into her home on Christmas Eve and, eventually, invites her to move in. I have known Anne Collin herself to behave similarly with lost, wandering souls, so I figured why not ask about those similarities. But first, here she is with cranky Santa, Hole in the Wall’s own, Dennis Hull.
Me: Tell me three ways in which Pooty is like you:
AC: The most important one is that we are both good at keeping secrets. Secrets are like little gifts I give to myself. I delight in being enigmatic. There are probably less than three people on earth who know everything about me.
Secondly, we both truly love our husbands and feel inspired by their kindness and compassion.
We are also both fiercely protective of our friends and hate to see them hurt.
Me: Ok. Three ways in which Pooty ISN’T like you:
AC: Well, Pooty is a pretty big liar. The only lies I can cop to are lies of omission. I pride myself on being authentic, and I don’t feel the need to embellish myself to garner attention.
I am more independent than Pooty is. Pooty feels that she “needs” her husband, while I feel that family and friends are lovely and important–but I know that I can take care of myself.
Lastly, I’ll go with the obvious–Pooty is paraplegic, and I am not.
Me: Tell me your worst Christmas memory:
AC: To be honest, most of my Christmases have been pretty idyllic. I grew up in a close-knit Italian family with lots of love and food and gifts to go around. The worst thing that ever happened was that I came down with a nasty stomach bug on Christmas Eve when I was 7.
Me: Wow. I didn’t realize you were such a normal. I could tell you stories that would make your head explode. But, that’s for another post. My next burning question is this: what Christmas carol do you hate the most?
AC: My least favorite Christmas Carol is “The Little Drummer Boy,” for many reasons. First of all, as a lapsed Catholic, I know that the entire premise of the song is fabricated. There was no little drummer boy! The possible fallibility of the entire bible notwithstanding, the song is trite and corny and musically repetitive, and pop singers like to cover it frequently, finessing the heck out of that nonsense “pa-rum-pa-pum-pum” line and making weird vowel sounds. Gross.
Me: Ha! Yes. So, if you had one glorious Christmas wish – anything – what would it be?
AC: I know that I should say something noble, like world peace or an end to Ebola. But it’s too obvious, and no one wants to hear it. So, selfishly, I’ll admit that I wish that dead libertine poets like Edna St. Vincent Millay and Elizabeth Bishop were alive today and about to take me on a wild, clandestine adventure.
Me: Nerd. Okay. Last question. Tell me what food says ‘Christmas” to you and for chrissake, give us the recipe.
AC: The food that says “Christmas” the most to me are the marzipan cookies I used to help my mother make every year. She would make dough in lots of different colors, and we would model them to look like little fruits. It was like playing with edible Play-Doh. If you want the recipe, I’ll have to ask her for it. I’m a very infrequent cook.
Me: Anne Collin asked her mom, who said she uses this recipe, though the jerks at Betty Crocker don’t tell you that, after you form the dough into fruit shapes and put them on the cookie sheets, you have to chill them until they are firm before you bake them.
Thanks for listening, all you nerds out there in nerdland – and stay tuned for our next ‘Meet the Actor’ post.