Vanessa Severo has been in every single local play, musical, television commercial, cabaret and film you’ve ever seen. Okay, not really—but the busy actress certainly seems omnipresent in Kansas City’s burgeoning theater scene.
Now that James Brown is dead, seems like she’s the hardest-working person in show business. We caught up with Severo just ahead of her upcoming performance in KC Rep’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which debuts this weekend. Of course, we wanted the dirt on five things you don’t know about her. Her answers? Randomly spot on!
5.) “I was raised Mormon. The year I turned 18, I told my parents that it wasn’t for me. I left the church and my family soon followed in my footsteps. Even though the religion didn’t work for me, growing up in it did provide me with an opportunity to try out my public speaking skills. Every first Sunday of the month, any person in the congregation could stand up at a microphone, in front of hundreds of people and speak about whatever was in their heart. Most people would start with, “My heart is so full today I just had to come up here.” At age 12, I went up to the microphone and said, “My hair is so full today I just had to come up here.” Captive audience plus new material—it was a win/win situation.”
4.) “I hate moths. They terrify me. Yes, they are blind—but still I am certain they are aiming for my face. I have left rooms where moths have entered, and not reentered till I know they are gone—forever. Now, butterflies, I love. No fear whatsoever—which is bizarre, I know. My name actually means butterfly in Greek, so perhaps the moth is my archnemesis?”
3.) “I collect old coins from other countries. When I was growing up in Germany, I loved the currency from all the different European countries. Before the euro, I marveled at the beauty of marks, pfennigs, francs, and rubles. To me, they looked as if they should be placed on necklaces. The oldest coin I own is from 1794. I often wonder what that coin saw, where it traveled, and what it bought.”
2.) “I played the violin growing up. I learned to play left handed. I had a very accommodating orchestra teacher who placed me on the far outside of the other violinists in concerts, so I wouldn’t stab anyone’s eyes out with my bow. The violin is still my favorite sound musically. I once heard that the violin is the sound of souls who can no longer sing. I would agree, but it really depends on who is playing.”
1.) “I love Phil Collins. There—I said it.”