Clueless', Ephie Aardema
Clueless the Musical
Ephie is currently traveling with the Waitress National Tour. She recently appeared in Clueless the Musical, which recently completed it’s Off-Broadway run January 12. Below she has answered some questions about her experience performing in Clueless, and her acting journey as well.
Q: What is Clueless about? How would you describe the show to someone looking to see it?
A: “Clueless is about a teenage girl who is seeking to improve the world because it makes her feel better, but she can’t quite figure out what the best ways to do that are, and she’s more outwardly focused than she is inward. I think it’s also about her journey to figuring out how to help herself instead of meddling in other peoples lives.”
Q: Who do you play in Clueless? How would you describe them as a person?
A: “I play Tai, and I would describe her as soft, sweet, young, curious, kind, and odd.”
Q: What is your favorite scene to perform from the show?
A: “I like doing the bow party!”
Q: Do you have any pre-show rituals that help you prepare to perform?
A: “I usually have one or two cups of black tea before I get onstage, also getting my wig on is very involved because they have to wrap my head in plastic to protect the microphone because I get wet. I’ve become very close with our wig-coordinator, so it feels very much now like a ritual of ‘okay we’re here and we’re doing the thing’.”
Q: How do you feel Clueless is relevant to our current society in 2019?
A: “I think in a lot of ways it’s a reminiscence play. This particular iteration of it, this piece, is definitely something that you should go to when you’re looking to just have a great time, forget your troubles, remember songs from the 90s, and laugh. We definitely could use a little bit of that right now.”
Q: What was it like auditioning for Clueless? How long after your audition did it take for you to hear you were cast?
A: “My journey with [Clueless] was super fast. I am newer, a lot of the cast had been doing the workshops. I auditioned for this back in August, and it was three days total. I went in, had an audition, and the next day found out I had a callback for the next day. On the third day, I had my callback. They did a chemistry read with the guy who had been playing Travis, Will Connolly. In total, I read twice, sang, did a dance call, the chemistry read, and that was it. I didn’t find out for a few weeks that I got it, but they had called my agents the next day and told them I had gotten it, but my agents didn’t tell me because they wanted it to be all in writing with contracts and stuff before they told me. I didn’t know, but [Clueless] apparently had made the offer the next day, but my agents told me three weeks later.”
Q: Had you seen the film Clueless prior to auditioning?
A: “Yeah! I grew up watching it.”
Q: What were your expectations of performing in Clueless and so far has the show met those expectations?
A: “I had expectations that it would be fun and it’s definitely met that expectation. Beyond that, I had no idea what it would be like walking into it, so I was pretty open-minded.”
Q: What do you think makes Clueless the show that it is? (music, costumes, actors, etc.)
A: “I think that the music and the spirit that Amy Heckerling, the writer, brings to it make it what it is.”
Q: How old were you when you decided to pursue acting as a career?
A: “I’ve been acting since I was little, I’ve been dancing since I was eight, and acting since I was ten. I always knew I wanted to do it forever, but I think the moment when I decided I wanted to pursue it for real as my career was when I was fourteen or fifteen.”
Q: Did you go to school for acting?
A: “Yeah, I went to Circle in the Square.”
Q: If you could play any other role past present (maybe future) would you play and why?
A: “This is kind of cliche, but I think it would be in something new that I don’t know what it is yet. If it’s something that’s already out I really want to be in Waitress or [Harry Potter and the Cursed Child], and play Moaning Myrtle.”
Q: What are your top 5 favorite things in your dressing room?
A: “We have these fairy lights, that we turn off the big lights and then have these really pretty purple lights, we have a blowup glitter chair I really like, and a poster of Leonardo DiCaprio. The women themselves I really love. It’s Megan Sikora, Tessa Grady, me, Zurin [Villanueva], and Dove [Cameron]. It’s a really chill atmosphere. And the fifth thing is a stuffed dog we keep in there her name’s Pinkie.”
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
A: “My advice is to have a really good side-gig you really love and have hobbies and things that make your life feel complete aside from theatre because then it takes a lot of the pressure off. When you’re auditioning you want to feel free and how it’s about art form and not just about surviving.”