American Idiot: Meet the Cast Series #7 – Elisa Carlson

American Idiot Carlson

We’ve gotten to know the American Idiot cast pretty well over the past couple months. As they slay the stage in our current production, we thought you’d like to get to know them too. Elisa Carlson (Ensemble), with her electric violin above, talks about growing up all over the place, her bands Mechanical Animals and Man Called Noon, and how she and fellow cast member Krystal Worrell would make an adventure of getting stranded on a desert island.

All over the place. Grew up in Utah, California, Georgia and Ohio. Went to college in Indiana. I’ve lived in Chicago longer than anywhere else.

How long have you been singing/playing music?
All my life. Started a little piano with my grandma at age 3, began lessons at 5. I picked up the other instruments along the way. Sang in choirs all through middle and high school. Did the acappella and show choir thing in college, which was super nerdy and so much fun.

How long have you been acting?
Acting like what?

How long have you been dancing?
Since I was 9. Primarily ballet and jazz, a little bit of some other styles. I was the proverbial “bunhead” until high school , then became friends with contemporary/modern dance. From that moment on, pointe shoes were a thing of the past.

Favorite band(s)?
Oh lord, too many to name but I’ll try. Ben Folds, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Dirty Loops, The Script, The Shins, Umphery’s McGee, Rockapella, and others. Also a fan of my two bands, Mechanical Animals and Man Called Noon.

What should audiences expect when they come see the show?
All of the things. A rock concert, a show, a journey, some rage, love, and thrashing. A 90-minute rollercoaster (don’t close your eyes!)

What was the experience like working with The Hypocrites?
An eye-opening, unforgettable experience. It’s been an incredible joy working with such an amazing, versatile, energetic and loving bunch of humans. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

If you had to choose one other cast mate to be stranded on a desert island with who would it be and why?
Krystal Worrell. That girl’s positive energy would get us rescued the moment we realized that we weren’t on vacation. That is, if we didn’t first decide to build a boat and go on an adventure.

What are you up to next?
Whatever fun things come my way. I will continue to sing and play at Howl at the Moon, choreograph and dance with Innervation Dance Cooperative, create and perform with Barrel of Monkeys, and write and gig with my bands (see above.) If other shows come my way, so much the better. 🙂

Catch Elisa in American Idiot now playing through October 25