Though recently being seen as the stoic Mrs. White in Smokestack Theatre Company’s production of Clue, Liz Moser Cervantes considers herself to be “goofy, weird, and (someone who) loves to make silly jokes, do silly voices, and tries to make others laugh.” Having been on stage since high school, Cervantes is no newbie to the acting scene. Acting to her serves as an outlet to release her pent-up emotions and energy. In fact, when asked what her dream role is, Cervantes said, “I dream to always have something to perform. Performing is my escape. I can cry, scream, laugh, whatever, all the while not thinking of the dishes to do, the bills to pay, or other personal struggles.”
Cervantes is very aware of both the roses and the thorns of acting, considering she has been doing it for over half of her life. She claims that the hardest part of acting is not getting direction. She always strives for improvement and thinks that it makes acting rather difficult when she is not getting consistent feedback and suggestions from the director. Directors have a tough role in the theatre, having to both design and help implement their vision for all aspects of a production. That is why Cervantes considers the director of a show to be her role model as an actor. She admires them because they “have the ability to work with a cast and show, ensuring that everything comes together in the best way possible.”
Choosing a favorite production is challenging for Cervantes, but she ultimately feels I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is at the top of the list of shows she has performed in. She loves this one so much because it features a small cast of actors who portray many characters, and she greatly enjoyed the challenge of having to create and switch between so many characters so quickly. This show is also one of her favorites because it is a musical, and Cervantes is quite passionate about singing. She is currently the lead singer for a local renaissance cover band called This Forsaken Epoch.
Many people are not aware of the grueling process it takes to put on a show. Actors must audition, then the production team must cast the show, then there are months of rehearsals that consist of reading the script, blocking each scene, and running the show. Lights, sound effects, costumes, set pieces, and props rarely come into play until just days before the show. It takes a lot of time, effort, and people to get a production ready for opening night. This is when the best part of the process for Cervantes happens… the day AFTER opening night. The actors have prepared, all the technical pieces have fallen into place, and the cast has now had their first audience. She shared she prefers this night because “you finally know what really works for an audience on stage and you can take the feedback from opening night and feel empowered for the rest of the run.”
Cervantes says that her “mid-thirties is turning out to be pretty exciting.” Besides performing in Clue and her local band, she recently married the love of her life, Mat, and was also cast as a member of Smokestack Improv. She is thoroughly looking forward to spending the rest of her year performing. Cervantes encourages everyone to “Come see a show. Any show. Play, improv, live bands. There’s nothing like live entertainment.”