London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
Rose Cora Perry has released successful albums, performed in front of 500,000 people, walked the red carpet at the Grammy Awards and even found time to graduate from both Fanshawe College and Western University.
What she hasn’t done, however, is try her hand at acting. That is, until she stars as Vivienne Kensington in the Simply Theatre production of Legally Blonde, the Musical.
The show, which runs July 4-14 at Covent Garden Market’s Spriet Family Theatre, will give “this little London, Ont. gal” the opportunity to do something she has done her entire life — exceed the expectations of others.
“I feel excited, but scared as hell. I am going to go out there, as always try my best. I am just excited for the opportunity,” Perry said. “Do I see myself becoming a professional actress in the long term? I think music is my number one love and passion in life. I enjoy the process of acting because it takes me out of comfort zone. But I am a musician; I live and breathe for music.”
Perry certainly has been perfecting her musical aspirations for a number of years. She started singing and performing when she was just four years old and began writing her own music at the age of seven. Perry didn’t get into rock music until she was about 15 years old. Prior to that, she underwent classical training for about 14 years, studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
One day, she was singing a song from Phantom of the Opera — in large part because of her love for Sarah Brightman, who leapt to stardom in the original Andrew Lloyd Webber musical — when a young woman she didn’t even know approached her to form a band.
“Although my dad loved heavy metal, the first song I remember my dad playing on the radio in the car was Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. I never really thought of myself as a rock singer,” Perry said. “Being a classical singer is about going by the book, it isn’t about personal interpretation; it is about being technically proficient. Being a rock singer is all about attitude. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you hit notes precisely; it is about giving people a show, being an entertainer.”
Despite some apprehension, she would help form the band Her (2001-04), before moving on to more widely recognized success as singer for the band Anti-Hero (2005-08). Perry is proud of the success that band achieved, including being signed by Universal Music, playing the Warped Tour two years in a row, one of those years with rock icon Joan Jett.
The success Anti-Hero achieved came to an end in 2008, in large part, because Perry lives the opposite of the typical sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
“Unfortunately, rock ‘n’ roll musicians, as much as I love rock, the scene is full of degenerates. That is just being blatantly honest,” Perry said. “I am straight edge, I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do any of those things and I never have. As a consequence, I am an anomaly in that scene. I constantly found myself having to get into unnecessary fights with band members about appropriate conduct.”
In 2010 Perry released her first solo album, an admittedly “experimental” album that shied away from American Idol-style overproduction and auto-tuning. However, the album was very much about Perry and her “crazy inspirations” that come from her writing style.
“I have no control over my writing. When I say I get these crazy inspirations that hit me at 2 a.m. and I have to wake up and write it down in that moment; that is exactly as it happens,” Perry said. “My songwriting comes out as it is. I will pick up a guitar and write the whole song in five minutes and it is done. I find it all depends on my moodiness. If I am feeling sad, overwhelmed or angry about something, that’s when I write the best. But I take that dark energy and turn it into positive.”
Even while preparing for Legally Blonde, Perry is continuing to work on her second solo album, which she hopes to have completed before the end of the year.
But in the meantime, she will continue to challenge herself, both in the studio, and on the theatre stage. After all, for a young woman not yet in her 30s, Perry says she has a lot of things she still wants to do.
“I try not to have life plans set in stone anymore. That doesn’t mean you don’t have goals, but I think you need more of a go with the flow attitude. At the end of the day, I want to be happy, and know I did something that satisfied my soul,” Perry said. “I don’t want to regret anything. I don’t want to live my life with any sense of bitterness. I want to be happy, inspire others with my art, and just have the best life possible.”
For more information about Rose Cora Perry, visit www.rosecoraperry.com. For more information, or to get ticket information about Legally Blonde the Musical, visit www.simplytheatre.ca or call the Original Kids Box Office at 519-679-8989.
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