This is place where I talk about what it has been like to play this role and produce this show around the world. Some of the answers are from interviews and some are just what inspires me day to day when involved in this project. I may even throw in some quotes from audience members that have emailed me and shared their thoughts and experiences with Piaf. I hope you enjoy.
The most captivating thing about Piaf for me is her insatiable need to be loved and her unrelenting desire to sing, against all odds. I am fascinated by her obsessive passion for her art. Singing was like food or air to her. She often said: “If I could not sing, I would die.”
The fact that I have been performing this legendary icon for 5 years, allows me to really get into her skin each night. I never get tired of it, or bored.
It is the music that inspires me every night; to share this tragically moving story to the public is what keeps me going. When I see myself in that wig and little black dress, my whole body changes, and I am ready for the two hour roller-coaster ride that is this woman’s life.
Each night, when the lights go to black after the last song, I say a little thank you to Edith for having sacrificed everything to bring the world such magically, spell-binging music. I love being able to live, at least just for those two hours, the passion that she did her entire lifetime.
All those who knew her were completely wrapped up in her spell. That is the kind of approach I take when performing this piece. When I am up there, I feel like a boxer and his coach. All eyes are on me, but the audience is in good hands because I have my coach in the corner - Piaf and her music - who is always on my side and who believes in me and is cheering me on. I really do feel like she would be happy that her music continues to get the attention it deserves in the 21st Century.
For Piaf, it was all about the lyric. I really try to keep true to that passion by getting lost in the words of each song. It’s easy to be transported to that place because of the piano’s luxurious accompaniment and the powerful poetry. Even if you don’t understand French, you can be transported by the music and invent your own story.
I feel like the show is more of a three person play; myself as Piaf, the pianist who is on stage almost the whole show and who is paramount to the story because of how important Piaf’s composers were to her, and then, of course, there is the audience, who was the only Lover in Piaf’s life that never abandoned her.
Why you should come and see it? You should come, because this music needs to be kept alive in the memory of generations to come. Piaf’s uniqueness and her place in history is akin to say, Elvis or even Michael Jackson, and her life was just as intriguing and tragic.
If you want to be moved, inspired and transported by the music and story of a true icon, who lived her life with a passion and fervor only seen in those artists who sacrifice everything for their art, then you will have no regrets in sharing a night of live theatre that is meant to leave you wanting more.
For those people who know Piaf and love her music, they will be reminded of how much they missed their old friend, and revel in re-acquainting themselves with her songs and sharing in her stories of intimate desire and fear. For those who have yet to discover Piaf and her music, they will be eternally grateful for the introduction, and will no doubt leave the theatre wanting more!