Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/24/2020
Share your background as a NY-based Actor and Writer.
Makaela Shealy: I moved to New York just from a small town in South Carolina, and have loved getting to make this city my home. My pronouns are She/Her and I am a proud member of Ring of Keys and the Dramatists Guild. I attended New York University for my B.F.A. and studied Politics, Poetry, and Environmental Science during my time there as well. Since graduating, I have loved being part of developing new plays, both as an actor and writer and particularly working with Womxn directors and leaders in every area of the arts.
Which roles intrigue you?
Makaela Shealy: I love working on new plays and have particularly enjoyed being part of the development of several pieces surrounding teenage womanhood over the last few months. I love any chance I get to explore and amplify queer stories and I think that of all the roles I’ve played in New York, I’ve enjoyed working on Jess Honovich’s (a fabulous playwright also based in NYC) play The Jersey Devil Doesn’t Exist, the most. I got to explore a huge range of emotional extremes and was introduced to some excellent human beings along the way. It was produced by The Shrill Collective last April and I can’t wait to work with them again soon. I’m really itching to get back into musical theatre and am going to be recording a few songs with my partner later this year that I can’t wait to share.
Can you share a few memorable moments working Off Broadway?
Makaela Shealy: I absolutely loved working with David Greenspan on Professor Brenner while I was in my senior year at NYU. David is a giant of downtown theatre in New York and I was so honored to share a stage with him. The way he approaches creativity has been a lifelong inspiration for me. I try and see everything that he writes and performs in.
Most recently you’ve played the ever-energetic Anna Carver in THE COOPING THEORY 1969. What did you learn as an Actor?
Makaela Shealy: Working in Immersive Theatre is a huge step outside my comfort zone, but I absolutely loved being part of this show. The biggest lesson that I learned was how to have a backup plan on a backup plan ready to go. We had about an hour before the “show” began and were mingling with guests in character, so all of the actors generated content to use as conversation starters during that little prologue to the actual piece. There is so much improvisation that is required to pull off a successful piece like this, and the cast and I worked tirelessly to develop something that felt authentic and grounded in the reality of the piece. The cast all joked with our Director that building up the stamina of being “on” every night for almost 4 hours with no breaks would make doing any other play feel like a breeze.
You are in the new film, SARAH Q. What interested you about this project?
Makaela Shealy: I loved meeting John through One on One’s Bridge program a few years ago and was excited to get to film my first feature with him. He’s been such a supportive force in my life ever since I met him and I’ve been extremely grateful for his constant encouragement.
What will Directors notice first about you?
Makaela Shealy: I’m an extremely hard worker and I learn very quickly.
Tell us about your role in ALL MOBBED UP. How are you preparing for your role?
Makaela Shealy: I am playing Skylar, who’s a waitress at the diner that Vincenza and their crew pass through. I always look forward to the spontaneity and family atmosphere that John appreciates on his sets. I have had the pleasure of having this script in my life for over two years now and can’t wait to see it come to life!
What’s next for you?
Makaela Shealy: Right now I am in rewrites of my play The Gap in anticipation of a 2021 run. I am working diligently with my script consultant and the beautiful team of people who have come into my life because of this project and I can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on.
Instagram: @makaelamshealy & @thegapplay