Allison Lynch-Griffiths is a familiar face, and voice, on Calgary’s professional theatre stages. Currently the actress, composer and musician plays the role of vixen Noreen Purdy in Vertigo Theatre’s production of In the Heat of the Night. Griffiths chats about her pre-show snacks, showers and eyelashes.
What’s your favourite pre-show snack?
I usually don’t have a snack because my pre-show jitters don’t agree with food generally. But post-show I’m usually inclined to binge on candy or chocolate. Although I’ve been trying to be healthy lately so I’ve been eating apples. And a glass a wine.
What’s your secret to managing pre-show nerves?
I try to deep breath and clear my mind of the days errands and events. I try to just focus on the task at hand. If I’m not in the dressing room with a certain amount of time to do my hair and makeup and clear my mind I feel like I won’t have as good of a show. I need at least an hour.
You’ve worked for almost all of the professional theatre companies in Calgary, including Theatre Calgary, Vertigo and Downstage. Where’s your favourite dressing room?
Vertigo. I’m usually in here with only one other woman, so you get a lot of space. At TC or ATP I’m usually in the basement. Plus I really like the shower at Vertigo.
What are the three must-have items in your make-up bag for a show?
Tattoo cover-up, I have seven tattoos, false eyelashes, because I love the impact and red lipstick.
Sally Beauty Supply has lots of beauty supplies and it’s cheap. I get my false lashes from there. Also sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! As a redhead I know the sun is bad for my skin so I wear SPF 30 minimum.
Who would you love to share a dressing room with?
Ella Fitzgerald. I would listen to her scat and soak up her amazingness. I would be nervous to talk to her, but it would be my dream to do my makeup next to Ella Fitzgerald.
(Full disclosure from the writer: I’m in the play as well. I get to wear some cool vintage clothes and share a dressing room with the funny and sassy Ally)
In the Heat of Night runs until Oct. 13. For tickets visit vertigotheatre.com or call 403-221-3708.