Meet Isa St. Clair

Azuka snagged the chance to ask a few Failure: A Love Story related questions of our cast and crew.
So…without further ado…

Meet Isa St. Clair (Gerty Fail)

What is your favorite time of day?

While there’s no number for my favorite time of day, there is a word for it: hypnagogic! The hypnagogic state takes place in that cloudy place between sleeping and waking, and it is my favorite time of day twice a day, both at the morning and at night.

Describe one thing you had to share with your siblings.

I was one of those younger siblings who, at least until teenager-hood, idolized her older brother. So sharing was awesome! Even though I had my own toys, my own spaces, my own schedule, I always wanted share whatever Paul had. I had my own room, but I shared his bunk bed. I had my own toys, but I made him share his chemistry set. I had the backyard fort I’d made myself, but I clambered into his treehouse and shared that too. When Paul did a cool school project, I did the same one at home. He once spent a week researching and capturing click beetles for the 5th grade Bug Fair; I spent that whole week combing the yard for beetles too. For me, sharing was a form of flattery. How better to tell Paul that he was the coolest older brother ever than to force myself into his world and make him share? Right?

What is one other book, film, song, or work of art that reminds you of ‘Failure’ and why?

When auditioning for Failure, we were asked to bring in a song. I chose to do a short ukulele rendition of Lisa Hannigan’s “Safe Travels,” a song that, to me, completely captures the sweet and tragic link between loving and dying. The lyrics caution safety in a series of escalating potential threats (we start with “please eat your greens” and end with “the gasoline pump’s not a toy), ending in a chorus of “Safe travels, don’t die.” It’s very funny, but also kind of heartbreaking. You worry about someone because you love them. And when you love someone, you can’t bear to lose them. But it happens. It does. And that’s just how it goes. So all we can hope for are safe travels.

Lisa Hannigan – Safe Travels (Official HD Video)

What is your favorite moment when working on a new production?

My first instinct is to say that my favorite moments of working on a show are the big unifying moments – having an audience in the room for the first time, or seeing the tech components light up our ideas for the first time, but I think it’s actually a little simpler than that. I think my favorite moment of working on a show is the first read through. There is nothing quite like being in a room with the artistic team and saying the words out loud for the first time. The incredible possibility is palpable. And that’s what I love: the first steps of the journey. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the journey is incredible as well. But a first read has the magic of beginning. And for a play like Failure, which explores the beginning inherent in every ending, there’s something deeply beautiful in the first beginning.

Any childhood pets?

My brother and I were always animal lovers, both of us more like John N. than any other character in Failure. We had your standards – a dog and a cat – but we also went through three hooded rats, a cockatiel, a herd of hermit crabs, and a ferret, not to mention the efts, beetles, and garter snakes that we would temporarily abduct from the backyard and house in one of our many terraria. Each of these animal friends (with the exception of the hermit crabs… there’s just not a whole lot going on there) had such a distinct personality that I can remember our relationship vividly.

Isa St. Clair (Gerty Fail)

Isa St. Clair (Gerty Fail)

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