Produced by the Department of Media Relations & Publications
 

Gabourey Sidibe Describes Her Theatre Experiences at Lehman

November 2, 2009

Recently, Gabourey Sidibe, the star of the new movie "Precious," visited the campus for an interview with CBS news anchor Katie Couric to discuss her new film and her acting experience at Lehman.

3 Minutes 7 Seconds

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Transcript

00:00

[MUSIC]

HENRY OVALLES:

This is Henry Ovalles, assistant director of Lehman Stages.

Recently, Gabourey Sidibe, the star of the new movie "Precious," visited the campus for an interview with CBS news anchor Katie Couric to discuss her new film and her acting experience at Lehman.

I met Gabby in 2004 when she performed in the Lehman Stages' production of Uptown Serenade. In this podcast, she discusses her memories of Lehman College and how her work here helped to shape her as an actress.

00:30

GABOUREY SIDIBE:

My Lehman connection is my best friend, Crystal Hawthorne, she graduated from Lehman with a theater degree. I was staying with her for the summer once and she was doing the Lehman College production of Peter Pan. And I think it was the first time SUMMERWORX was up in a while, and so it wa s like the comeback of SUMMERWORX. And I was bored, and I joined her and that led to more plays.

I then did the Wiz, I was Glenda, the Good Witch. After that I was a chorus member-- in the Vagina Monologues. I've never put on a play like that before and it's like-- it's like two months or a month and a half of rehearsal and of getting to know your-- your cast members and all and it's-- it's fun. It's a lot of fun. But the one thing that I remember that I learned that I continue to use is-- I think I was doing-- during Peter Pan I was an Indian and I was supposed to stand in the background, and the director Guy Ventoliere said, "There's something wrong about what you're doing." He couldn't figure it out. And then he realized that while I'm standing there I was watching the scene.

And so I was like watching like an audience member. You're never, ever an audience member, you're always on even when you don't have words. And that's the biggest thing that I learned, that you're always on, you're always an actor. It's a wonderful almost like a family atmosphere. Everyone's friends, everyone's friendly, you know, everyone's so talented and everyone loves the talent that other people bring.

01:59

We're-- we're not-- well, we're not, I feel weird saying we're because I'm-- I'm kind of removed, but no one's threatened by another person's talent. No one degrades someone else. Everyone is appreciative of everyone's talent.

It's a really beautiful campus. I do come back whenever I can to see shows. I always know that I'm going to see something entertaining. And all I really know of this college is the theater department. I mean in b-- even in between-- shows we used to just kind of hang out in the hallway and sing songs and laugh and improv. And it's such a cool place.

Advice that I have for theater students? Try new things, don't be afraid to be loud, don't be afraid to be on, don't be afraid to sing at the top of your voice. Don't be afraid to show off, everyone's a show off. Trust me.

02:51

HENRY OVALLES:

Visit us at www.lehman.edu. This is a production of the Lehman College Media Relations Office.

[MUSIC]

03:07

[END OF AUDIO]