I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, the latest production at Stage Door Players, is a witty musical about relationships from dating through marriage. It stars real-life couple Laura Floyd and Jeremy Wood, who have recently become engaged. In this Feature Q & A, the couple discuss the musical, working in the show together and more.
How many characters do you play in the show?
Laura: I think I play a total of about 15 when you take into account all of the different scenes and songs. I think my favorite scene/song is “Always a Bridesmaid,” at the top of Act II. It is so well written, very funny and witty. Having been a bridesmaid many times (happily, of course!), there’s a lot to relate to and have fun with in that one.
Jeremy: It feels like a million. But, I think it’s about fifteen. I really like the character from the “Scared Straight to the Alter” scene. It’s funny, and there are some opportunities to interact with the audience.
How would you describe the musical?
Laura: The musical explores the many phases of relationships… the good, the bad, the ugly. I think it works so well because there is something, or many things, that everyone can relate to. It is easy to recognize yourself or someone you know throughout the evening.
Jeremy: It’s a snapshot of the emotion that people experience in the world of dating and marriage (and even life as a single person). I am most impressed, I think, by the way that the funny portions of the show translate so well regardless of when or where it’s produced.
Has your experience as a couple helped you prepare for the show, or is the show helping prepare you for married life?
Laura: Well, I don’t have to “act” like I’m in love with him. That’s really easy. And, the show does remind me how glad I am that our own story is playing out the way it is. I’m looking forward to being married and seeing what’s next!
Jeremy: I have decided that if I ever need to apologize for something, singing is probably the best way to go about it. Also, I think the fact that we’re in the middle of our engagement is a unique coincidence that few people will ever experience. But, nearly every scene in the show makes me all the more happy to have Laura.
Is it more challenging to work together in a show?
Laura: I love it when we get to do shows together. We both juggle extremely busy schedules between teaching and performing, so when we are in a show, I love getting to spend the time together while working. I feel really fortunate that we share the love of what we do in common. Plus, I think he is the most talented person I know, so I love being able to work with him on stage.
Jeremy: It’s always more fun to work when Laura is around. We’ve had the opportunity to work together quite a few times. As a matter of fact, one of the first shows we ever did together was A Catered Affair where we played two young people engaged to be married. Now it’s become such a rare thing that we get to spend time together, so I feel really lucky that Robert Egizio asked both of us to be involved.
Would you like to work together again?
Laura: I love Jeremy, and I love working. So anytime anyone wants to hire us to work together is lovely! I look for those opportunities.
Jeremy: I really hope we get to work together again soon. I’ve heard people say that it can be hard to “work” with your significant other, but having Laura with me turns a job that mostly fun already into the kind of thing you wish you could do forever.
Does the fact that the story is told through loosely related vignettes make performing in the show more challenging?
Laura: I enjoy it. I realize I’m not following the through line of one specific character, but the way the show takes the audience through the various phases of relationships is very cohesive. It makes sense to me, and it’s fast paced, which I like. And I love being able to play around with multiple characters and having the challenge of making them all different and specific. That’s very fun as an actor.
Jeremy: It’s certainly more fun. You only have a few minutes to tell the audience who you are, so many of the choices are bigger and more overt. The only difficult part was remembering the names of the characters you’re supposed to be playing. One night I walked into a scene and Craig and I both called each other the same name at the same time. That was a hard one to hold it together through.
What do you hope audiences will take away form the show?
Laura: I think the best thing about theater is the feeling of community and commonality that it can foster. I think this show is perfect for doing just that. It is a time for people to come and watch experiences that we can all relate to and maybe (hopefully) learn from as we move forward. I like to think that people feel a little better when they leave a show like this because they have just relived or identified with these emotions as a group, as an audience. There is a sense of togetherness, a feeling that you are a little less alone than you maybe thought, that is created when you spend two hours in a theatre laughing and crying with a group of people. I think this show offers a great opportunity for that.
Jeremy: I think the need for another person and the irreplaceable value of the right person is a pretty clear theme. One of the great things about good theatre is its ability to remind you of things that might have been taken for granted. I remember seeing Our Town for the first time and then looking at everything around me with a new appreciation. I think our cast does a pretty good job of sharing some genuine emotion in the perfect places.
Do you have a favorite number that you perform?
Laura: “Always a Bridesmaid.” I have a great time singing it. I love it when Jeremy sings, “Shouldn’t I be Less in Love with You.” It’s beautiful.
Jeremy: “Shouldn’t I be Less in Love with You” is an incredible song, and I’m lucky I get to sing it. But my favorite number is one that Laura and Craig sing together at the end of the show. I get to sit back stage and listen which is good because if I had to sing it with her, I’d probably get choked up in the wrong place, which would be really confusing to the audience.
Besides working with your fiancée, what do you enjoy most about being in this cast?
Laura: I adore Erin and Craig. I have loved working with them so much. There are only 4 people in this cast, so it would be bad news bears if we didn’t all get along! But seriously, I think they are both wonderful, and sharing a dressing room with Erin is like a girls-night-out. I’m having a great time.
Jeremy: All of the folks in the Stage Door company. Atlanta has some really great theater companies, but working for Robert and his team is so pleasant and fun.
Have you seen a show recently that really moved you?
Laura: Actually, the most recent thing I saw was Annie at Jeremy’s school. He directed it. The kids were amazing, and I am just really proud of all he does with his students and the way they look up to him. He’s a wonderful teacher, and he is obviously making a difference.
Jeremy: Laura was in Time Between Us at Serenbe Playhouse with Brian Clowdus not too long ago. That was a really touching show. It sort of focused on the fragile nature of relationships that we lean on without realizing and how important they are as the years fly by.
You can see Laura and Jeremy in Stage Door Players’ production of the Off-Broadway hit I love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which plays through April 14, 2013. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater’s website.