Hanubae Carlos – living the Miracle on 34th

December 7, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Hanubae CarlosOne of the most important attributes of being an actor is to have faith in oneself.

Hanubae Carlos, playing the role of Susan in Theatre Orangeville’s Miracle on 34th Street, currently playing at the Opera House, believed that she would get the part when she went for the open auditions, geared to casting it.

“My mom told me there would be hundreds of other kids, well, she meant lots and I shouldn’t expect to get the part. But, somehow I did,” Hanubae told us in an interview at the theatre earlier this wee.

We sat comfortably in the audience chairs with Hanubae’s mother, Erin Carlos, and Director for the play and the theatre’s Artistic Director, David Nairn. We were talking about the perspective of the whole experience to this nine year old. All around us was the back stage crew, generally preparing the stage for the upcoming matinee. The hurly burly added to the flavour of the  discussion.

Hanubae has done “three sessions,” as she put it, with the after school Theatre Orangeville Academy, which were directed by Gary Sarazin. “I went with my friend – she said they were fun and then, I just kept doing them.”

Doing the long haul of the Christmas play with Theatre Orangeville is no small commitment. It constitutes two full months out of school and makes an impact on the entire family with balancing the schedule of rehearsals and performances as well as whatever else is going on with the other siblings.

“My brother tries to keep quiet so I can sleep [in the mornings]”, explained Hanubae about the morning after a late running show.

In order to prepare for this, shortly before the show opens, rehearsals run until 11:00 p.m. This acclimatizes the cast, with the young actors and their families to the scheduling of the show.

During the course of the 23-day run, the cast and crew put on an impressive 28 performances: the shows advertised on their website and the extra matinees for the school groups. So, transportation, doing homework in between and keeping a brother quiet while his actor sister gets enough sleep are all accommodations to make and skills to learn.

Said David Nairn, “Both parents [also of Liam MacDonald] have been just terrific – it’s a big commitment.”

As Liam’s parents work, Mrs. Carlos picks him up from school: “We all work together,” she commented.

Asked about the regard all the actors have for each other, regardless of age and experience, Hanubae remarked, “Some of the adults have a sense of humour or are just plain nice.” As for learning her lines, of which she has plenty, “It’s been kind of easy. I kept  doing it and with all the guys and my mom until I could just do it. Liam has taught me a few things and Mairi has taught me about warm-ups. ”

In the theatre, all opinions matters and there are no silly questions, Mr. Nairn was clear about that. “I think the older actors learn from the younger actors too. Walter, who has done this play several times, has found new things from Hanubae.”

Opening night came with a great aplomb, catered by DQ, with baskets of small gifts for all the cast.

Watching her daughter perform so beautifully on stage is “surreal, quite surreal. We’re thrilled,” Mrs. Carlos said, “but a little shocked.”

At this early point in the show’s run, all is well.

“It’s a wonderful experience,” Hanubae affirmed. “I just think it’s fun because you get to be a different person – it’s fun to wear different clothes and be in a different time..I think Susan [her character] is very intelligent – she doesn’t play [with other children], she reads, she works. I love playing but I would read a book for sure.”

Of doing the play, she told us, “I think it’s wonderful. What goes on back stage is amazing; Kevin [Stage Manager, Kevin Olson] – he does so much.”

As Hanubae reminded us a couple of weeks ago: “Everyone should see this play because  a miracle happens: an old man convinces a lady and her daughter that he is Santa Claus.”

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