Lowcountry Originals 2023
July 2023 Issue
photography (top) by T.R. Love, T.R. Media World
Art: Acting, Voice, Concert Performance
Current Home: Bluffton
Hometown: Hilton Head Island
Career: Broadway, Film, TV- Actor/Singer
Family: Husband: Steve Blanchard; Daughter: Wren Blanchard
When and how did you discover your artistic talent?
Growing up on Hilton Head, I was always surrounded by music. My father played guitar and piano and Mother sang. Many nights after dinner were spent harmonizing together with Dad playing guitar. Singing was always how I expressed myself. The acting came later when I discovered theatre.
How and/or why did you choose this medium?
It chose me! I was born to do it. It was always a part of who I was.
What do you love about it?
I love telling stories that make people feel—the emotion that comes when I see someone being moved to laugh or cry. It brings me joy to move people.
I love how alive we can feel when we use our voices to vibrate on a higher frequency.
As a “creative” you are unique. What makes you the most YOU?
My creativity has always been fueled by traveling and exposing myself to different cultures and diversity. I have tried to celebrate anything difficult or challenging by leaning into it in order to demystify and transform it into something familiar. I feel like it is one of the reasons I wanted to go into acting. It’s a tough business, and a new role is always a little daunting, I get a sense of satisfaction after the show or after a shoot ends and feel I’ve evolved and grown as an artist and human. We are truly living when it’s a little uncomfortable!
What do you hope people who view your art “get” out of it?
I want to give people permission to do whatever brings them joy. I want to show them that unfamiliar things can be beautiful on the other side of experiencing it. My medium is so subjective, everyone is going to get something different out of it. I want people to see my work and come out of it moved and more alive.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve overcome? Did your art help you through?
Allowing myself to be engrossed in another person’s experience can be a great escape while simultaneously tuned into my truth. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013 while playing “The Lady of the Lake” in the musical comedy Spamalot. Having a comedic character to portray was a great relief for a few hours a night. It was wonderful to escape into the absurdity of the humor of Monty Python. I was extremely grateful for that role.
If you could go anywhere in the world to perform, where would it be?
I’m definitely dreaming of London! I’d love to do a West End show or be in a British film or TV show. I’m a Brit-o-phile for sure. After Broadway and my 22-year experience in New York, Europe feels like the next frontier. For now, I am deeply grateful to be in the Lowcountry with family and old friends. I’m in no hurry to cross the pond. It’s not going anywhere, and I know it will happen when it’s time.
What is something people would be surprised to know?
I’m a huge introvert!
What’s the color palette of your life? Are you bold, soft, neutral, primary, all pink, black, black and more black?
I’ve always wanted my life to be every color of the rainbow, that’s probably why I pursue being an artist and performer. I want to have multiple lifetimes within this one. I can experience some of that by inhabiting other people (in roles) for a little while. It’s exhilarating!
What do you want to scream from the mountain tops about the importance of art?
Art is the expression of each one of our human experiences. It is unique and beautiful and represents freedom.
You probably have seen Meredith in:
Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical; Law and Order. On Broadway—The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Locally, at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina: Company and Mama Mia (leading role of Donna), plus numerous other national, regional and New York based productions, television, film, and commercials.