Katie LaMark Rocks On: Wise Words from the Rock of Ages Star

  • Just Like Paradise
  • Sister Christian
  • I Wanna Rock
  • We’re Not Gonna Take It
  • Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot
ROCK OF AGES_Drew + Sherrie
Drew and Sherrie, Rock of Ages 10th Anniversary Tour photo courtesy of Rock of Ages

This was a soundtrack to a big chunk of my life.  It didn’t matter that I was mostly playing Janis Joplin and Tom Waits in my own cassette player.  These songs were on all the time everywhere.  I can still sing along if they come up on the oldies stations.  There is nothing like music to take you back to another time and place and I have to say I can’t wait to see Rock of Ages to be transported away from the present for a little mom time escape.  The New York Times calls Rock of Ages “Absurdly enjoyable.”  and that’s just the kind of night I’m looking for.  This week I got to catch up with Katie LaMark who plays the lead role of Sherrie Christian.  Sherrie Christian leaves a small town life behind and heads to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams.  LaMark, who is originally from the Boston area, shared some of her wisdom about Boston, the show, and life as an actor.

Katie LaMark
Katie LaMark is originally from Andover but now resides in New York City.  She is back in Boston and taking us back in time to 1980’s Los Angeles.

When not in rehearsal, what do you like to do while you’re in Boston?

Well, I’m a big shopper so hitting up Newbury Street is a must. John-Michael Breen (plays Lonny) is also from here and is a shopping fanatic so we’ll be doing that.

I also started a fun new tradition that I did on the tour.  I love to go to any aquarium but especially the New England Aquarium, and what I love to do is find everyone in the cast’s spirit fish.  So, I take a picture of the fish that reminds me of my cast members.  

Are there any songs from Rock of Ages that are from your past or you had a prior connection to?

I have a connection with “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, which I don’t sing in Rock of Ages, but is in the show. One of the first jobs that I had, I was a singing waiter on the Spirit of Boston cruises that go around the harbor. Hit me with your best shot was one of my tunes. 

Who is on your own personal playlist these days?

Right now my music playlist is Dawes, they are amazing, I love them and they just came out with a new album, their fifth or sixth album.  They’re coming to Boston soon too.  

My other favourite, [also coming to Boston] is Lakestreet Dive.  Those are my heavy rotation now.  I listen to music all day long.  Going from point a to point b, I always have my headphones in. It really keeps me going and keeps me motivated.  I love exploring and finding new styles as well.  I’m not limited to just rock.  I love classical, hip hop and R&B, I try to take in as much as I can. 

What would you tell your younger self or a child looking to become an actor some day? 

In order to really be a good actor you have to be open to trying a lot of things that might not make perfect, practical sense, at first. Like a lot of different styles of teaching and different theories about methods or exercises, might not make sense in the moment. 

I would tell younger me, to stop trying to find shortcuts and to stop trying to make sense of everything.  The journey of an artist is not a linear functioning journey.  Sometimes you’re surprised when that thing that doesn’t make sense becomes the thing you need most.

Now what about the flip side?  What makes a good stage parent?

What makes a good stage parent is a parent who trusts that no matter what your journey is that you are capable and smart, that you work hard and that you will always land on your feet even if you don’t become a famous star.  I lucked out.  The only reason I know that is because I have good parents.  

I hear you can do a Wicked Good Boston Accent.  Did you have to unlearn that or was it something you could always “turn” on or off.?

When I was much younger, I think I had a bit of a Boston accent because when my parents would talk to my sister and I they would, as parents tend to do when talking to young kids, revert to how they were spoken to at that age. 

When I was young we have a really funny video of me reading a book called Charlie the Caterpillar.  My dramatic reading of it is “Chah-lie the Cali-pillah”.

I didn’t have to put as much mental energy into it [the accent] to make it go away as much as it just naturally left me.  There are a couple words that people point out to me that they really hear it and I still say “wicked” all the time. It is met with nothing but laughter and mockery from my friends. 

Is there any part of Sherrie Christian that is your alter ego or totally you?

My approach to the character is maker her be as savvy as possible. Even though it is very easy to let Sherrie be naive and let her be someone who is coming from Kansas moving to LA who doesn’t know a thing, if she is smart enough to get herself out of Kansas on her own and find a job the minute she arrives in Los Angeles, then this girl has got some brains.  I would like to think that she approaches her life in an intelligent way and I certainly hope that I approach mine in that way so I feel very close to her.  

Rock of Ages will be playing at the Wang Theatre from October 23rd through October 28th.  Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online here or By phone: 800.982.2787 Accessible: 800.745.3000 or at the box office in person at the
Wang Theatre Box Office / 270 Tremont Street / Boston, MA 02116.

Performances time are:

  • Oct 23, 2018 at 7 p.m.
  • Oct 24, 2018 at 7 p.m.
  • Oct 25, 2018 at 7 p.m.
  • Oct 26, 2018 at 8 p.m.
  • Oct 27, 2018 at 2 p.m.
  • Oct 27, 2018 at 8 p.m.
  • Oct 28, 2018 at 1 p.m.
  • Oct 28, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

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