Written by 2:19 am interview, Musical, News, The Wayward Artist, Theater, Uncategorized

Breaker of Chains & Jokes: In the Green Actress Amanda Godoy

Written by Patrick Chavis

If you read OCR often, you know how much I loved In the Green at the Wayward Artist last year. It was undoubtedly one of my favorite shows of the past year coming out of Orange County. The show had a unique take on the musical, and the performances from this cast made the show something to remember. Amanda Godoy played the challenging and complex lead role of Jutta, an Anchoress Nun in the 12th century. Her performance among the rest of the cast was a deeply moving and energetic portrayal.

Godoy was four, almost five, years old and watching a production of Peter Pan put on by the Main Street Players, when she discovered her love for the stage. The group operated out of the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Santa Ana, and the players performed in a space called McFarland Hall.

“I had two little pigtails and bows in my hair. It was October. So, I had a homemade pumpkin t-shirt on. And I remember I turned to my mom. I was like, I want to do that,” Godoy said.

Many shows and years later, Godoy never gave up on her dream of being an actress. Godoy auditioned for the Wayward Artist’s second-ever show in 2018, Twelfth Night: A Galactic Farce. Godoy played the part of Hermione Granger, a part that covered all of the more minor roles the show needed filling by a female character.

“I was in college [Azusa Pacific University] at the time, and they were announcing auditions for their inaugural production. So that’s how I’d heard and got involved. I loved my experience, and I wanted to go back, but there was just nothing that really lined up,” Godoy said.”

The stars aligned when In the Green rolled around, and Godoy jumped at the opportunity.  Godoy discovered the audition on social media, saw that her coworker Anna Miles was directing the piece, signed up for the audition, and then let her know.  “We work together at the Imagination Machine,” Godoy said.

The Imagination Machine is a group of actors and improvisers started in Orange, CA, that go to different schools and act out original stories written by the kids at those schools. The program started in the 1980s, and, according to the website, they perform at over 400 schools a year.

“I listened to the music, first of all, because it’s a smaller, lesser-known show, but I listened to the music, and I was like, Oh my God, this music is so cool, unlike anything I’d ever heard of.”

 

“I knew who Grace McLean was. Because I also went to OCSA [Orange County School of the Arts], so I knew she was an OCSA alum. She was local. So I was like, This is so freakin cool.

PC: Andrea Decker

For her audition, Amanda sang “Heart of Stone” from Six the Musical, a Phoebe Bridgers song  –“Motion Sickness” — in an acapella style, and performed a scene from the show. The next day, Godoy received a callback, not for one or two but all five roles in the show. Godoy studied and prepared for all five roles, and the day before her second audition, she caught a terrible bug that took away most of her voice.

“I got horrendously sick the day before. I had no voice,” Godoy said. Godoy called Miles and explained her situation. Miles told her to bring a mask, attend the audition, and do her best. Godoy went to the audition and was offered the part of Jutta, the lead part in the musical.

“I guess it’s just a testament of if a role is for you, it does not matter what outside circumstances are happening. If you’re supposed to get that role, and the director sees something, you’re gonna get it,” Godoy said.

Godoy mentioned that when preparing for the show, studying the original production did help in the beginning. But Miles made it clear to the actors to stop listening, that she had her own plans and wanted to take the musical in a different direction than the original. At first, the role frightened Godoy.

“I’m someone who has done a lot of comedy, a lot

Twelfth Night: A Galactic Farce (2018)

of children’s entertainment, and not really gotten the chance to do a lot of drama.  It was a role that intimidated me and scared me a lot,” said godoy.

Though very different, Godoy felt she understood her character, Jutta, at a very deep level.

“She’s someone who is so traumatized that she has held everything in, and she has these rituals and these things that she does that she thinks will keep her safe. But then she realizes that they actually can’t protect her from confronting what she’s tried so hard to hide away from,” Godoy said.

Godoy related to her from the perspective of being an actress. Actors and performers deal with anxiety and getting in our heads. Similar to Jutta, Godoy mentioned she knows she does things in her daily life that help her to stay grounded and feel secure. At the same time, holding things in isn’t really her cup of tea. “I’m someone who tells everybody everything,” Godoy said.

Godoy believes one of the thrilling parts of the show is its message about healing, communication, and community.

“healing is done together, right? Healing is done by sharing, sharing what has happened, and learning to release it and be free. it’s not good to keep it all inside,”godoy said.

From the beginning to the end, she was watching everything come together. Godoy described her experience working on this production as something magical. “It’s the wildest thing that I will ever experience in this lifetime. But it’s magical,” Godoy said.

Twelfth Night: A Galactic Farce (2018)

The constant movement, singing, and dancing in In the Green were one of the things that made the show stand out. After the show, Godoy described the process as intense but rewarding.

Godoy never wants to feel pigeonholed into doing only one thing with her acting. Whether it’s musical theater, comedy, or film, nothing is out of bounds for this upcoming actress. “I love on-camera acting. I even like directing on stage and on screen myself. I’ve also done some producing and writing projects for film,” Godoy said.

Godoy will perform as Gabrielle in Performance Riverside’s Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella Feb 2 – 11, 2024.

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