Olivier Award Winner & Broadway's Lesli Margherita

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

An Olivier Award winner for her West End debut as Inez in ZORRO THE MUSICAL, Queen Lesli made her Broadway debut originating the role of Mrs. Wormwood in MATILDA THE MUSICAL. After over 1000 performances, she bid farewell to the Broadway company of Matilda and crossed the street to The Helen Hayes to star as the diva Mona Kent in Broadway's DAMES AT SEA.  

Off-Broadway, Lesli starred as Princess in EMOJILAND and Cindy Lou Who in the one-woman tour-de-force WHO'S HOLIDAY. Her hilarious show-stopping performance earned her critical acclaim including a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance, among other accolades. She has multiple TV and film appearances as well as played all your favorite roles in regional theatre. AND she is the creator/star of 'Looks Not Books' & 'Ship Happens' the popular backstage vlogs commissioned by Broadway.com, as well as the digital short series 'Sparklepuff,' all of which can be seen on YouTube. Lesli's books, NECK PUNCH and CARRY ON, and BLU!, are available on Amazon & iTunes. Her debut live album RULE YOUR KINGDOM is currently in stores and available on all digital platforms.

In this Metrosource Minis, we chat with Lesli about her allyship with the LGBTQ community, becoming the Queen of your own Kingdom, her favorite moment onstage, the struggle getting through COVID has been, her creative process in her performance of I Am What I Am, and, strangely enough, bar carts...with host Alexander Rodriguez.   

This is Metrosourcemenni the officialpodcast to Metrosource magazine and home of short form interviews with yourfavorite personalities from the lgvtq world and Beon quick, Fun andinformative. It's metro source on the go out in Colsin, Mak Hello. This is Metrosource Minnies, I'myour host Alexander Rogriges lead wrider from metrosours and avidpodcaster. So in the LGBTQ land we say hey queen, but what does that reallymean I'Mso? Today, I'm chatting with the perfect expert, who is also one ofour fabulous allies who is featured in the latest issue of metrosours andshe's? Making me laugh whand, I'm still going to do this intro she's, an Olivia awardwinter for herWesten debut and Sorof, the musical she made her Broadway dabut originating therole of msss warmwood in Matilda, the musical and after one thousandperformances with children. By the way she'v been farewell to the BroadwayCompanymentel, her cross, the street to the Helven Hays Theater to star anddames at C off Broadway. She started as princess in Amojiland and Singulu who,in the one woman, Turdiforse, whos holiday and her hilarious, showstopping performance urged her critical acclaim included a drama desAbobination for outstanding Solo performance, just multiple TV and filmappearances, as well as playng. All of your favorite roles in regional therand she's. The Creator start of looks not books and ship happens, the popularbackstage logs commissions by Broadwaycom, as well as the digitalshort series, bikle pup, all of which you can see on Youtube and her books,Neck Punch and carry on and blue are available on Amazon and Igtunes, andher debut live album, which is a must listen, especially during covid rull.Your Kingdom is currently in stores and available in all digital platforms.Please welcome the girl, the girl, the last name that is closeto my heart. Please welcome Letslie Machovita teter. Okay, we have to tell them why we'relaughing okay, so I'm in the middle of a move, my husbandand are moving so and it looks pretty set ut back here, but IIS amazing, I'mliterally building a Bar Hart like see there we go. That is good, it's is it gonna, be poor, tink we're trying to don thisinterview unless he's like. Oh this interview, she's like Oh, so I jus tello like I forgot I forgot, which is why I look like this and then Alexander Iwas like this- is just a podcast right, you're not going to see my face CASlike no we're going to see your face. Do you want to reschedule- and Ithought about it for twenty seconds and then was like? No, it's fine, just nonot going to get any better. Let's just let'sjust. Do it so y I mean you'rearound the house. O building furniture look is, is better than most peopleever look in their lifetime. beecause. You are a queen, hey queen. So let's talk about you. Our SelfProclaim Queen. What does that mean? You know it doesn't mean what you thinkit means it means that as a kid I always said, I rule less the rules andI wrote it everywhere. So to me, it's just the title I gave myself and I tellpeople to give themselves whatever title they want, whether that's KingQueen head Fardhead, whatever you want to call yourself, and it is just meansthat I rule my little kingdom of me- that's it. It doesn't mean a betterthan anyone else, but everyone else is going to give you a title so giveyourself one that you like. I love that you know some people givethemselves title powertop and sometimes it rings true, and sometimes it Ha's,not gir advertising ie there you go so your career hasalways fascinated me because usually a...

...musical theater adiva will do Broadway.Then Weston, then TV film, and you kind of did it backwards right throughcollege you did TV, then you went ahead. Went over to the west end picked up anOlivia Ward on your way to Broadway what was it like? Getting a TV jobright after school, I mean that's like a dream come true. It was until Icouldn't get another one. The hardest thing was, I was you knowseventeen eighteen, a d you're like Oh yeah. This is amazing. This is so easyto get on a TV show and then- and I did twenty two episodes of it-and I was like this is simple I'll just be on TV, the rest of my life, and thenyou realize that doesn't always happen that way. So I see a lot of kids thatget broughtaway shows right away or TV shows, and I'm like you know, take it for what it is and- and I go back and forth like I'm- really happy that it happened, butI also think it was it was. It was good because now I totallyappreciate when I work now, because I know howhard it is, but yeah I after getting a TV show Iwas like well then I'll get on Broadway nope, nobody would hire me and then,even after going to London, you know I still had to like struggle to get thatBroadway show and it just never works the way you think it's going to work,it just never does, and and if it, for the very few that it does great. Butmost of us know that it is like an up and down thing Yep, and I just learnedit a little bit later. What was like the first extravagantthing you bought with that Wi h that first acting TV paycheck, I actually the first extravagant Aniand I don't really buy extravagant they I mean I o okay, Miss Barhart in thecornerwellrbut like I didn't buy like a car or anything. I bought a dressactually for opening night for the opening, like premiere of that teamyshow and I bought like a really expensive dress, and that is quit. I know, spend money on like wigsand dresses and stuff I'd, rather do that than I don't know really extravagant like cars, or I don't know a men all right. Let's talk about going overto the Westen, getting on Livia Ward for Zaro. Was it a little odd mountaingthis the show and then winning the top award but isolated from your friends andfamily in the US you're like kind of out there? Oh my gosh, yes, and it was right before social media like socialmady had just started. This is like twny, ten, so like it was just startinghad that happened now it would have been so much easier. I think for me,because I love social media and I would have been like Oh Myyah you know like,but because it wasn't, it was really isolating and weird and people didn't know it was it was. Itwas very strange and I had a really hard time over there in the beginning.Just because I mean I had amazing people there in the show, but it wasdifficult to not have that connection and even likethere was no facetime. You know a decade ago, which is crazy, but it justyou know we were like on sky and it just weird weird stuff, so yeah it wasit was. It was different. I do wish it had happened in the social media agebecause I would have felt a little more connected, but but yeah it w. It was weird that nobody,I didn't know anybody there, like. Even the people at the award show they werelike Grat. That Ha to be so weirds, like, I guess I'll, go to the afterparty of one you know. What's so funny is my husbandwas there, and I gave a crazy speech...

...because I did not expect o wit o. Didit's on Youtube by the way? Everybod you anthe thing is afterwards my poorhusband had to carry around the award like everywhere, because all the Britswanted, like pictures with me, like a zoo animal literally because they thought I was so crazy. Sothey were like he is the nut, so American and they want to pick to waslike they knew me, but it was just as a Cooper Merican was so so odd, but yeah.I was literally like the the freak attraction that night. Well, you know we've all been kind ofisolated during covid. Do you have any advice for somebody that's kind ofisolated from their family? I mean just keep yourself busy. That is how to do it. There, too, I had to likefind other things to do, and it was just because it it gets to you and mealone, with my thoughts is not good. So I have to have things that are like atleast keep y occupied video games. Whatever Readin, you know, that's theonly thing I can. I can say, and now it's obviously you can call people andsee thei is but yeah. It's tough. Did you come back to the US with like aMadonna accent? No, I wish I did. Tiloomy friends said thatI did. I can't I think I came back with words more than any. Just now you know phrases but not like. I still, I still say God smacked,because it's such a great word and Thir's, like a couple things cockup and my what's: Cocku like wejust like likefuck up like massed out, there's a total packup which a LAV,it's also a bar in West Hollywood, but that's a different stor. Okay. So let's talk up ups and downs,you come back from the US. You know you have a Livia Ward in your suitcasewhere you just like off the plane like here. I am give me all the parts giveme all the auditions to us there like an adjustment like Broadway is like no,you knowyeah. I came back and then, like a week later, I got cast in aworkshop in New York and I was like Hairco Sayr, AC and e me not tell meright, like went out to the Workshot, the work sop, but nowhere and I was soclose to like a couple roles and then I didn't get anything and it was like agood another like year and a half before. Even I started ondistioning forMatelda like it was, it was a while. It just didn't happen and it wasdisheartening and and awful, and but you know what I went right back todoing regional theater out here in La and and and around the country and andI love regional theater and what was so great is you know, I think that smaller theatersdon't get their Du. It's all about Broadway Broin, I that's not it likethat is just a place and t is and finally getting there and knowing howmuch it meant to me to be there and how much I loved. It really did, though,like you know really like reminded me that all of these theatersare still important to so it wasn't a big deal to me to do the Westend andthen go back to do a show in Lamarada out here. You know what I meanlike it: W L just it was all the kind. The same thing so and that really savedme was was doing, shows again and and weirdly in La there 's like a hugetheater community, so yeah it really kind of saved me, but it took it, tooka while to finally get that broaly show, and then it was the breds who gave itto me of course yeah the Britishinvasion. So during covid theater has gonedigital you and three cosars performed and you I like Jerry Herman musicalcelebration. It was filmed beautifully on on the stage of the Pasadenaplayhouse, which is one of the oldest playhouses in California to an emptyaudience. You got to sing the title Song, Hello,Dolly you also sang. I am what I am,...

...which is a heavy heavy song, because itcomes with ideas of WHO's performed it before, but it's also become a biganthem for the LGBTP community. Did you kind of have nerves when youfound out, you were going to do that song and what was kind of your creativeapproach to singing it. I put my pants when I heard I was singing it. It's theonly song and I don't like to watch myself. It was again like my husband Iwas like. Was it okay? Was it okay, because that one song was the one thatI was really like concerned about, because it meant so much to me and Iknow how much it means to so many people. I know that it's odd to have a womansing it, but it, but it also then means totally so many other things to it was a huge amount of pressure and-and I really was so afraid to cock it up and, and it really didn't, I did not take it.Lawai hat that song. I purposely didn't listen to other people's versions,because I didn't want to be swayed by that, although actor I didlisten to some versions and the ones I left the most were like the non song.One like Acogwho did the the revival it was so beautiful and sosimple, and just I really loved it so yeah I was. It was a lot, so I hope Idid it justice in some way. I just just wanted to make it mine. You certainly did you brought youbrought different shades to that song and it wasn't just this bombastic kindof anthem. It was. It was a story and a journey on its own. It was very, verymoving. You know, especially during Covid, wereall kind of rediscovering who we are because we didt know outside noise. Wedidn't have pressures of you, know our friends or any other societal pressures.I guess- and so I think a lot of us did kind of just rediscover who we are andI think we're ready to come out of it. Knowing who I am what I am and right and right now I' my bote sizeis eighteen. That's what I am. I mean: Listen, I've Gota sweatsit that I can gu. I should have done that when you haltias like South Park, so before Cedar what was kind of yourrelationship with the Lgbtq community? Oh my Goshyou know. We've talked aboutthis before my mother says I was raised by gays like it was. I very luckily hada family that it was a non issue like being gay with. It was just I started, theater so young, and thatwho took care of me we're like my mom, would just leave me and she knew I'd bein fantastic hands with the gay man. You know it was. It was just an nonissue, so I grew up not having any kind of negative connotation to it and thatreally comes from, I believe, from your environment from family from you know,and I was very very lucky that way. So it was always more bizarreto me that people weren't okay with it I growing upgrowing a Mi- was so turned off by that. So I have always always always kind of thought of myself as an ally from very,very young, because I just didn't get it. I still don't get it that peoplehave a problem with them, what t whatever but it', O no it just yeah. I was very, very lucky that that,from I would say from seven on it was just an on issue. Well and that's the way todo it, you know we're having conversations. We have youths that arecoming out, questioning their identity or pronouncing their identity, and sotheir conversations are being had much younger, which is great because thenit's a non issue. You know we didn't...

...have that when I was growing up- and I think about you know how many ofmy friends growing up that I knew were struggling and nd Tho. I was alway,always as there always is. I was always the friend that they would come to andtell, but in most peas you couldn't. You know when you're a teenager, youcan't you don't really at least in awl an odd day. You couldn't talk bout, andthat was terrible, and so I'm really I'm really happy now that it's still not there, but it's gettingthere. You know were having a conversation. So now we assume thatmusical theater is a safe space for our community, but did you see that shakenup at all by the ARLAST political regime? Yeah? I mean not so much the arts, although I thinkthere were so many repercussions from it, but it was very evident people thatthat aligned themselves with that party that yes became very evident and- and that was very hard for most of US- toswallow to see anyone aline with that WHO's in thearts. So I don't. I think it was more our. I don't want to say that our it was thearts was shaken up. I think it was more just our sense of like you know it was just you know what the that Ca. I felt Ifelt like we were being kind of Brustd ound of the rug, more even more thanthe arts usually are, so it was just disappointing. That's a really good point, becausepeople have done shows within the past or directors. I've worked with all of asudden were taking sides, and it was not the side that I would have chosenand it was. It was a huge shock and it was like well we're not even protectedin our safe space, which was which was crazy, but you know the other side of it. IsYou have to honor people's choices? Or you know I just had to kind ofdisassociate and and say: Okay by go Goov your lives, and itwas odd. It was very strange. yeareally really really bizarre andpeople were very vocal about their choices, whether I agreed with them ornot, which is great, but it made for some difficult in roads as to especially like newworks and what was being told, voices were allowed to speak and t it was a mess. So I'mglad it's, I think, we're on the other side. Hopefully, Mno were: Where do you think you drawyour personal strength from you know. We talked about kind of your ups anddowns you're, a hard worker you know, but that that has to comefrom yourself being a strong person. It does, but you know I have been struggling during this andI think most of us have- and it is like reminding myself of thethings that I preach. It's I don't take my own advice, and so I have to remindmyself that I am strong that we will getthrough times like this, that that you know work will come back that all youknow it's all Abat and it'sit is really difficult, and Italked to a lot of my friends. Tha are going through the same thing it who arevery strong people it's. This has been obviously it's unprecedented, and thishas been so difficult to grasp for even the strongest world person, becausethere is nothing you can do and that's where I have to get the strength fromis realizing. There is nothing I can do...

...there. Isn't I can't control a pandemic, but what I can control is.I can get up every day. I can do this. I can do that. You know and it I somedays are really difficult and somedays. I'm like okay, let's, let's, let's gofor it, but it's been a struggle. I'm not going Ta lie and you know a lot of people have been like.I flourished during covid great I yeah it was. It was up and down for mea lot so well getting strength from wherever you can honestly, when you'vebeen very what I love about. You is that you do share that. You know withyour social media audience in a very touching way and I think it inspired alot of people number one to keep going, but also to kind of take a breath andbe like it's okay, that I'm in this place right now, it's okay! I can havea low bad day. I can order postmates five times in one day and that you know natse listing to is,I do always say I'm having a crap day and- and it is okay- and it's just you know. Unfortunately,there were a lot of them last youror so, and I think there stillwill be and that's okay, too yeahk. What message do you have for your lgbtqfans? You know pride is around the corner. Please just keep fighting the fightit's. I really truly believe there are better times coming and if, if you'vegotten through these past few years, I think it's going to be not smooth sailing but a littlesmoother point forward. It's just keep fightingthe fight and continue to be who you are and just tune out the noise as muchas you can as difficult as that is it's just tun out the noise, because nobody deserves to tell you what youare, who you are, what you should be? It's just. It makes me so angry all right, this one's for social media, Dear Leslie. How can somebody be aqueen of their own kingdom in their every day, life like what's a dailything? How can somebody be a queen in their own kingdom in their daily life? It is realizing that nobody else'sopinions, no one else's words- can penetrate your the moat in your little drawbridge inyour castle. You are the ruler of whatever you put around you soand just remember that that is how you can be acquaintans. Maybe maybe it issomebody you know criticizing you or saying something that you don't agreewith. Maybe maybe just once that day to say, I'm not going to listen to thatand don't and just cut it out of your mind. Ithink just doing that doing little things like that, W is enough, it'sbeing being the ruler of your your own kingdom, I need to follow my on advice.I so need to follow Hem Oun right. You are so fabulous and you bettertrade mark that, because you know some self help person out there is going tohave this castle with this like on stage the smoke coming down. Like youjust know, at's going to happen, Yeah Tony Robins, all right, let'slet's wrap it up with alittle rapid fire. Are you ready? Okay, a there's going to be a new musicalbased on your life? What's it called Ohoh sparkles t iketer, but that was a debaco. Well, I woulds Mafia Princess Mafaprincess is a good on. I don't know God oit's a difficult question. Oh myGoshno, that's good! Okay! What has been one of your least favoriteaudition songs that you'vethat you've done and you're like o ate singing thesong. I mean all of them. I hate...

...auditions, I'm decrrble! I can't standthem so all of them. I used to sing gorgeous from the appletree for everything and there Wa just and I love the song, but ther were Jofelt so hideous I be like mand they're like that is I that is beautifullyironic s like a latsh coming down. But you know what, if you feel gorgeous,you are gorgeous right, Crean, if your own kingdom, what has been one of your favoritemoments on stage that you just look back you're like Oh, that was that wasa favorite moment. I mean my Broadway debut. The first preview of Matelda wasS. I remember exactly what it was and just wanting to burst into tears. Idon't think I'll ever forget that moment. That was my favorite for surelove it. What is your pre show ritual? What are you doing a half hour an hourbefore curtain, probably eating candy having a det, Docor, pepper and Il Look?My Doggi and I M playing video games for sure, okay and last patty or Bernatitt how about Pattiar, Bernadet and Gypsy? Oh Dac you're tal the girl who had to seeevery single Dolly, because I love all of them equally and a fan girl and Iwill never compare them. I can. I can't I can't that's: Okay, okay, Queen Lesliey, tell everybody where youwant them to find you and follow you. Oh my gosh everywhere I'm Queen Leslieywith no e just Queen Leslie on twitter on Instagram. I do the tick tolks, butrarely eied it. I'm figting it it's a lot ofwork and, like you know, I'll spend hours on one that nobody will see andthen I'll be like one another, an millions pe. So it's just isn't itweird I GIV UP Leslie. It is such a pleasure to chat with you. You are free to goback to building your Barkao, thankfully, and when this is all over, I'm going tocome and use that bar car need to please ye by the way. I don't know ifyou can see this here, but that is my livie right next to baby Yoda, ohogoangi, O livie nd. By the way Grogu is the name that's the best they coulddo. I know I know I know I know Yoill always be Bibiora, Bibo, all right, lovely. I love you so much N.I hope to see you so Lav Bla la that has been my chat with LeslieMargevina. You can read my indepth interview with her in the latest issueof Metrosource on new stands and cross the nation oight Metroscorscom, andthat is our episode in your host. Alexanda Radriguez you can follow me onInstagram at Alexander, is on Air UNUNTIL. Next time stay true and doYubo be the queen of Yourown Kingdom. That has been another metrof horse.Many black share subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check outthe latest issue of Metrocorse magazine on new stands or online atnetterscortzcom. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram at TAT, esort and on twittere.That's a forse man Tel next time.

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