Introducing Evelyn Howe

Introducing Evelyn Howe

howestreetOriginally from Haverhill, MA, Up & Coming actress Evelyn Howe is currently making her SpeakEasy Stage debut as “Veronica” in The Motherf**ker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis.

A graduate of Fitchburg State University with a degree in English and Theatre, Evelyn recently spoke with SpeakEasy’s Artistic Fellow Jeff Kubiatowicz about her experiences as a young working actress in Boston.

JK: So when you graduated, did you intend to make a move to Boston?
EH: I was hoping to make some sort of move, make the plunge; and then I started working full time in mortgages, trying to save some money while I found the right people to move in with. I had the whole “within three year years it has to happen” plan, so I did set a deadline. A couple years later, we were all in the right mental place; so in May, we moved to Quincy. It ended up working out really well. My roommates are actors too, and we’re all in that frame of mind: “Let’s go. Let’s do this.”

JK: What does your family think of your career?
EH: They love it. Especially my dad. They’ve been coming to my little shows ever since middle school. They know I went to school for theatre and they’re like “OK. This is the path you’ve chosen.” Kind of makes me proud to finally go from “OK, let’s just get through her play” to “oh, this is really real. You could actually have a future in this.”

JK: Had you auditioned for SpeakEasy before?
EH: No, never. I definitely had wanted to find a show that I was going to be right for. This year was the first year that I finally went out and did it.

JK: Did you know you nailed it when you did your audition?
EH: [laughs] It was weird, yeah, because it just went exactly how I hoped it would go, and that rarely happens. But it was one of those things where Veronica was the first Hispanic character I’ve ever been able to play even though I am Hispanic. But she’s very different from me.

JK: How so?
EH: [laughs] She’s very blunt and loud and sassy. I went into it saying, “I know that girl. I have heard her speak. I have seen her. I just have to kind of hope I can channel that somehow.” just thought of the people in my life that I could mirror and that really helped for the audition—just putting my head in the right space. But I felt really good leaving there. I felt confident. I was hoping for at least a callback, but they actually cast me right away. It was just one audition and that never happens! I haven’t really gotten a chance to do specifically non-white roles. It’s been exciting to get to delve into playing somebody that is Hispanic and being able to do that justice. [laughs]

JK: I wouldn’t have known that you were using an accent when I heard you read at the first rehearsal.
EH: Right? So I feel like people might think that I talk like that. [laughs] It has to sound so natural. Even David Gammons, our director, was like “So, is it an accent? Or do you…” And I’m like “No, it’s totally an accent.” I have to be conscious of getting into the accent, just like when you use a Southern accent or a British accent. It’s a state of mind. If you can get into that, it’ll all [laughs]…you start doing your hands. [“does” her hands] but it’s a state of mind [laughs]. Once you’re in there, it makes it easy to just keep going.

JK: How would you rate your experience at SpeakEasy thus far?
EH: It’s been one of the best experiences. The Motherf**ker with the Hat is a very intimate play in which I have scenes with just one other person. Coming off of Arabian Nights [at Central Square Theatre] where it was everyone and everything all at once, I find it really awesome to be able to sit and play off just one person.

And [director] David [Gammons] has been amazing. He just makes it easy because he knows when to let you do your thing. He lets you play in rehearsal, and if you’re feeling like something is missing, he knows exactly what that is. “Oh, I think we could do this” he says. I’m like, “that’s exactly what I was feeling needed to be tweaked there.” So he’s just very intuitive like that. I love working with him.