Mo Rocca: How did you get into your line of work?

Question: How did you get into your line of work?

Mo Rocca:I went to Harvard, and I was president of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals – the Hasty Pudding Show. And it was a magical, wonderful, four-year experience. I acted in it all four years. I was a woman all four years. It’s a drag show. Half the actresses play men, half play women. And if you’re gonna be a in a drag show, you wanna play a woman, and so I got to do that all four years. And I was president and I co-wrote it one year. And it was a great, great experience. And it seemed like the next move was to move into musical theater – to, you know, theater – both musical and non-musical – in New York. And I tried my hand at it, and I did a number of different gigs that I wouldn’t have traded for the world. I did the Southeast Asian tour of the musical Grease. So we went to Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong. We were cancelled in Kuala Lumpur – long Story. And . . . But then you know even when I was doing that I was constantly reading the newspaper, you know, and reading the Economist; or reading whatever was the magazine that I was fixated on at that point. And I remember a couple of people. There was actually . . . The girl who played Rizzo in Grease, I remember she said something very sweet. She looked at me. She was really good, and she said, “You’re not gonna end up doing this. You’re gonna do something different. You’re gonna do something that’s kind of new.” And I remember she was kind of, you know, like a fortuneteller or something. And so I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to feel fulfilled and keep doing what I was doing by waiting in long lines outside of Actors’ Equity to audition for, you know, the Akron, Ohio production of “Hello, Dolly!” The Carousel Dinner Theatre, by the way, in Akron is very good, and I would have loved to have performed there. I auditioned there many times and never got cast.

 

Mo Rocca goes from Hasty Pudding to The Daily Show.

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