Shae Johnson is now starring as Suzy in Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s “Winter Wonderettes.” Johnson studied opera at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music after graduating from Ashland High School. Returning to Ashland, she performed in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “The Music Man” and in OCT’s “The Marvelous Wonderettes.” She played Debbie Reynolds in Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s “What a Glorious Feeling.” Johnson is now the lead singer of the Rogue Suspects. We met for coffee at Mix Sweet Shop in Ashland.
SJ: I love live theater; I love being in front of an audience, which is very different from being in front of a camera. A camera just stares at you without any emotion. With an audience, it’s very in the moment; every show is different, because you have a different audience every night.
The goal of the actor is to be able to communicate to the audience, to make them feel what you’re feeling and have them relate to what you’re feeling on stage. You can see it. Sometimes when you look out into the audience, you can see when there’s someone in particular who is understanding what you’re doing. As long as there is just one person in the audience who is really loving it, that’s enough for me.