In Part 4 of a series of interviews with the cast of The Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s RENT, meet Cara Bachman.
Introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you before on local stages.
Hi! My name is Cara Bachman, and my recent projects include Les Miserables with RCP, My Fair Lady with DTC, and most recently, South County’s Les Miserables.
Who do you play in RENT and how do you relate to your character? Does this character have any of your personality or traits?
I play Maureen. Honestly, as a storyteller, one of the first things I try to do when I’m given a script/part is try to identify or connect with it, align with their plight and their journey in as fundamental a way as possible- trying to make the connection genuine- and I can honestly say, I have never had so little in common with a character I’ve played. But it’s good! It’s a skill I need to hone. A new challenge. It’s very different for me, and I’m incredibly psyched to get to start from the ground and build up with this one. Her passion for performing and the use of that as a venue to create change is something I like to think I can connect to, however.
What has been the biggest challenge learning to play this role?
Probably what I mentioned in question 2– Maureen is just devoid of all inhibitions, and has harnessed her innate sexual prowess in a way that I genuinely never could dream of doing.. I’ve had to swallow a lot of my self consciousness and get in touch with myself in ways that take me pretty far out of my comfort zone. Sexuality is an area I haven’t had to confront so much onstage, so it’s definitely a process for me, one I’m thankful for.
Which character in RENT is most like you and how?
Honestly. I wanna say Mark. I think a lot of artists can connect with the sort of detachment we watch him begin to feel that can come with the struggle to create something meaningful. We watch him try to pour his heart and soul into this intimate, expository project, but ends up feeling less intimate and more alienated from the people around him than ever… I think we can all relate to that feeling of watching life go by without yourself as a part of it- that feeling like you’re missing from your own story, that’s incredibly close to me.
What have you learned about yourself-the actor and singer-during this experience?
I have a painfully awkward nature by default and should really start practicing contemporary music more. I’m getting my butt kicked.
What does RENT have to say to theatregoers of your generation and how is it still relevant?
Oof. I’m going to try to condense this, but RENT is.. quite simply, a masterpiece. A culturally relevant, raw, hard hitting as it is beautiful commentary on life, death, love, time, choices.. The greatest service we can do by it is simply to keep performing it. RENT tells us that whether we have a quantifiable estimate or not, our days in this life are incredibly numbered and incredibly precious- and the only way to truly measure them, the truest way to make them worthwhile is our relationships, the humans we connect with- love, kinship. All we can do is open our hearts to the love this world has to offer, because despite our many differences, humans are so fundamentally similar. We are as much as the people we touch, and that can be as simple as allowing those fundamental similarities to align you with those around you, making yourself vulnerable to the capacities of human understanding. Time, life, they’re fleeting, timer or not, and all we can do is make those days count. In a time chock full of discrepancies, shallowness, do what you can to see past the prejudice. The hate. Class disparities. Open yourself to what this world holds. Embrace the beauty and brevity of life.
What song that you do not sing is your favorite and why?
IMPOSSIBLE question. Gun to my head, at this moment- majorly emphasizing at this moment- I’d have to go with “I’ll Cover You.” Stunning, uplifting, poetry. I get chills! Not to mention the two guys we have singing it AREN’T too shabby.
Have you appeared in other productions of RENT?
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing your performance in RENT?
Pretty much what I said earlier- just allow yourself to take in everything this moving, funny, poignant story has to say- try to walk into it ready to learn, ready to grow- art is, by design, subjective, so I personally don’t feel fit to tell you what YOU specifically should walk away with- just let yourself have fun and drink in all that you can. This story will do the rest of the work for you!
The Metropolitan Youth theatre presents a student directed, produced, and performed version of the Broadway musical RENT on July 31, 2015 at 7:30 pm, August 1st and 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, and August 2nd at 2:00 pm – at 1st Stage – 1524 Spring Hill Road, in McLean, VA. Purchase your tickets at the door or online.
Meet the Cast of The Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s ‘RENT‘: Part 1: Marcia Cunning.
Meet the Cast of The Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s ‘RENT’: Part 2: Jordan Sledd.
Meet the Cast of The Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s ‘RENT’: Part 3: Ben Cherington.
Meet the Cast of The Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s ‘RENT’: Part 4: Cara Bachman.