Rebecca Russell first worked with Bygone on our January production of “Doubt: A Parable”, performing as one of our choir members. She joined us again for last May’s “Retro Radio Hour” as a singer and actor.
Bio: Rebecca is a BA combined Honours Music and Theatre graduate of Dalhousie University. Originally from Newfoundland, Rebecca’s opera credits at Dalhousie University include the “Duchess of Monteblanco” in A Dinner Engagement and Britta in Ten Belles without a Ring. Equally at home in both music and theatre, her professional credits include the “Stewardess” in the world premiere of Fear of Flight (Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland), “Helen” in The Cripple of Inishmann (Theatre Newfoundland), the “Usherette” in Rocky Horror Show (TADA Productions), “Mrs. Seaword” in The Threepenny Opera (Essential Opera), voice work for CBC’s Republic of Doyle and several world tours with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia as a puppeteer. Rebecca also works in communications, most recently with the Classical Theatre Project and Loblaws, and now with “The Actors’ Fund; a registered charity which provides emergency funding to all professionals in the arts and entertainment community in times of crisis. You can follow them on twitter at @actorsfund or check them out on facebook. Thanks to Bygone Theatre and to her family and friends for their continued support.
1. What made you want to be a part of Bygone Theatre’s “Retro Radio Hour: Holiday Special”?
I really enjoyed being a part of the first Retro Radio hour earlier this year, so I thought why not do it all again with bells on! (*Insert the lyrics your favourite holiday song about bells here such as “Jingle bells, Jingle bells”*)
2.What is your favourite holiday movie?
I love Bing Crosby’s original black and white film, “Holiday Inn.” It really covers all holidays, but I always think of it as a holiday movie. How can you go wrong with Bing and Fred Astaire together?
3. What is your fondest holiday memory?
My family has always had a very warm and loving relationship. My two little sisters and I were quite close growing up and we loved Christmas and all the fun and excitement it brought. We usually spent Christmas with just the five of us: Three girls and our parents. Our tradition was for my sisters and I to all sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve, usually in the same bed, and read Christmas books to each other.
My middle sister, eight, and I, 12, had stopped believing in Santa Claus years earlier, but we still pretended he was real with the goal of making Christmas magical for our little sister who was about six. The only problem being that our little sister was deathly afraid of Santa Claus.
If you think about it she really had just cause: Santa Claus is an old man, that you don’t know, who comes into your house while you’re asleep accompanied possibly by flying animals with antlers and other small men that you don’t know. If you take the name Santa Claus out of this picture and you might have a horror film! The idea that this stranger represented joy, brought holiday cheer and gave her presents didn’t really help to sway her opinion.
On Christmas eve of that year, my little sister’s fears came to a head. As she lay sobbing in the corner blurting out between tears that she didn’t want Santa Claus to come into our house, my middle sister and I debated the merits of telling our little sister the truth about Father Christmas.
“NO!” my middle sister argued in her usual dramatic fashion, “we can’t tell her! It will spoil Christmas forever!”
“We have to tell her the truth,” I said “She’s so so upset!”
We finally settled on telling our little sister the truth, but made her promise to PRETEND for Mom and Dad’s sake that she still believed in Santa Claus. Once our little sister found out the truth about Santa Claus she calmed down. At the ripe age of six, she’d already had many years of experience in playing make believe and was quite willing to pretend that Santa Claus was real, at least now that she knew he wasn’t going to be crawling down our chimney. We had a wonderful Christmas and Mom and Dad were none the wiser…until I told them this story much later.
4. What are you most excited for in regards to “Retro Radio Hour”?
I’m excited to be back with some of the crew that made the first Retro Radio Hour so great, to raise some funds for Bygone Theatre, sing some festive tunes and have some fun!
Come check out Rebecca and the rest of our fabulous cast on Saturday November 30th, at the Winchester Kitchen. Check out our facebook event for more details!