I reached out to the lovely and super talented Allison Semmes from Chicago, currently on tour playing "The Boss" Ms. Diana Ross in Motown the Musical. She has played the role for over 3 years, a total of approximately 1,125 times and it shows!! She glides, sachets and floats along the stage as if she's been doing it her entire life. Not only does she have the moves, but there are moments when if you close your eyes, you'd swear Diana was on stage singing "Reach Out and Touch" right in front of you! We finally met face to face, since I Interpreted the show and my character, thankfully, was Diana Ross. There's a moment in the show where Diana comes down from the stage to interact with the audience. As a Sign Language Interpreter, we're always situated as close to the stage as possible to give Deaf audience members a clear line of vision from Interpreter to the cast members on stage. As Allison's "Diana" glides down the stage steps, our eyes meet and we're face to face in front of the entire crowd. "Hello! How are you?!" She says in her sweetest Diana Ross voice. It took everything I had to remain professional and not throw my hands around her right then and there!! Thankfully we got the chance after the show to make that happen!! She graciously sat down with us to talk about her hair secrets, including how she transforms her Fro in order to accommodate all the wigs she must wear for this role. We chat about auditioning with curly hair, her favorite products and how her hair has affected her career. All less than 2 hours before her next big performance!
Thank you ever so much Allison for your time and energy on and off the stage! We laughed and cried together and shared some unforgettable moments that I will cherish always. Although this tour will be ending soon and you'll be moving on to new career ventures, I'm convinced that whatever your next role is, it will be as outstanding and unforgettable as you are.