Equinox Backstage: Brekken Baker

Brekken Baker is making her second appearance on The Bug stage with Bubble Boy: The Musical as Chloe. Prior to this, she made her debut showcasing her lovely voice in . We are just thrilled to have her as part of the Equinox family and we know you’ll just love her take on this really fun character. Lets take a minute and go backstage with Brekken Baker and learn more about how she prepared for the role of Chloe, what drew her to Bubble Boy, and much more!

Equinox Theatre: Why is this role special to you?
Brekken Baker: I love how Chloe is always finding new ways to love herself. With Jimmy’s help, she starts to understand her place in the world a little bit more and embraces that with gusto. She’s built some pretty serious walls in her life that only someone trapped in a bubble can truly break through, ironically enough. The biggest thing I have in common with Chloe is that we are constantly searching for security. We want to feel safe, wanted, and certain. Coincidentally, we are both on that journey with very little guidance, and that can lead us down some not so great paths. However, we are who we are due to the things we have been through. This role helps to give me more love for my rougher edges and fall in love with the process as to better enjoy the outcome. I’m grateful for that. 

ET: What is it about the Bubble Boy that you think people can relate to?
BB: I believe everyone has a personal bubble, or something that keeps them from reaching their full potential. The bubble can be different things over time, and you can pop certain bubbles and create new ones all at the same time. Everyone has a bubble, and depending on the stakes, they will let that bubble remain until “popping” it is necessary. I think everyone will be able to root for a character like Jimmy who literally gets rid of his bubble, even though his life is at risk. If Jimmy can do it, anyone can. 
ET: What song in the show is your favorite?
BB: My favorite one that I am a part of is “There’s a Bubble Around My Heart.” It’s a moment in the show that brings to light the fact that not all bubbles are plastic, but more metaphorical and specific to individual people based on their own insecurities. We are all responsible for facing our own bubbles and how they affect our lives. This song is about Chloe facing hers. My favorite one to listen to is “One More Mile” because it’s so darn jazzy and upbeat! It’s also about being so close to all of your dreams being realized and that extra push needed in the final hour when it feels hopeless. It’s the “I’m almost to the finish line” song, and I love that whole vibe.

ET: How has the rehearsal process been going?
BB: The whole “Bubble Boy” team has been really on point. The level of dedication and precision from each person has moved this vehicle along quite smoothly. Because of the hard work, we are able to play just as hard. I’ve enjoyed every single rehearsal. The show is pretty short, running only about one hour and forty minutes. This has lead our director to give adamant polishing to each scene, while also making sure we aren’t too rehearsed. With that, our assistant directors always have such helpful and specific ways that we can make the story clearer and more specific. On a special note, I very much appreciate the attention to detail where part singing is concerned. The music director and the cast have the same level of expectation in regards to each number in the show. That combined with the super fun choreography makes each song in the show a hoot and a half. It’s been a treat to see this show come together so well each rehearsal. 

ET: Why do you think Equinox audiences will love this show?
BB: This is my second show with Equinox, and I’m so glad to be back. The great thing about Equinox audiences is that they are filled with loyal followers that come to every show combined with newbies. Luckily, “Bubble Boy” is a musical for all those that enter through the doors of the sacred Bug Theater. This show is the epitome of camp. Each moment in the show has an element of cartoon that makes the show extremely enjoyable all throughout. There isn’t a dull moment in this musical, and it’s not a huge time commitment from your life. You could be enjoying a drink across the street at Acova before 9:45 at night! It’s a show that works on all areas of the spectrum, from people who get obsessive about musicals to those who have never seen a musical in their life. You’ll feel all the feels while getting to escape reality into this animated atmosphere.

ET: How do you prepare for a role like this?
BB: It’s always fun doing a musical that’s based on a movie, so watching “Bubble Boy” starring Jake Gyllenhaal was a must. I had never seen it before, and it really helped me understand why such a goofy story like this one can be equally as heart string pulling. Getting off book as quickly as possible was important so that I could start connecting more with my fellow actors. The story moves quickly, so making the moment to moment decisions clear and real with others on stage was crucial. Under Colin’s direction, we do a fair amount of getting down to brass tax when it comes to different aspects of character: fears, hopes, likes, dislikes, etc. From that, I built on who Chloe is to the people around her in her environment, who Chloe is to herself, and who Chloe is to me. Especially with that last part, I think I’m still on a journey to make sure that Chloe’s self empowerment doesn’t strive ONLY from getting to be with the guy in the end, but also realizing she deserves to be happy just being exactly who she is. No matter what our bubbles might be throughout life, believing we are enough will always be of the upmost importance. 

ET: Tell us about the rest of the cast:
BB: They are fantastic. This group is a quick study, and that’s made rehearsals smooth and efficient. It seems that we collectively have high standards for ourselves, and it allows us to reach great heights as a group. We all love the story, so the work we put into it comes from a genuine heart place. Everyone is funny, serious, and poignant in their own way. It also seems like we enjoy learning from each other. The level of preparedness going into each of our characters has made this group super fun to work and play with. I’ve learned a lot as an actress by being surrounded by these awesome people. It’s rare that a show allows each cast member to shine, and this show is one of those rarities. No one is stuck in the back, and no one has much downtime in this shindig. I’m so thankful to be a part of the regional premier of this beautiful show with these bubble folks. 

ET: Lightning round!
     1. Favorite Color: Pink
     2. Favorite Movie: Love, Actually
     3. Favorite Car: Um…any car with four wheel drive.
     4. Favorite TV Show: New Girl 
     5. Favorite Song: Show Yourself from Frozen 2 
     6. Favorite Musical: Ragtime or Light in the Piazza 
     7. Favorite Food: Popcorn
See the show:
The Colorado Premiere of Bubble Boy the Musical opens January 24th, at the historic Bug Theatre!