Megan Hilty: “My voice teacher was very upset with me when she learned I was going to major in musical theater”

megan-hiltySo, will NBC’s Smash make it through its second season?

It’s an interesting question because much of the cast and crew behind the inconsistent first season — including creator Theresa Rebeck — have not returned for the show’s second season.  Thankfully, one of the actresses who was retained was Megan Hilty, who plays the ambitious Ivy Lynn, a singer who will do just about anything to become a Broadway star and serves as star Karen’s (Katharine McPhee) bitter rival.  On the eve of the second season premiere, Hilty spoke to The New York Post about what we can expect from her character this year.

Hilty, who had hardly any television experience before landing a starring role in Smash, dismisses the idea that musical theater performers aren’t cut out for the small screen.  She explains, “There’s this big myth that musical theater performers can’t do TV or film because we’re way too big — we’re too Broadway — but I think our job is two things: to tell a story and engage the audience and that’s it. So if your audience is 2,000 people or one person right in your face you’re going to do it differently. I think it’s just gauging your audience and planning accordingly.”

She also reveals that there are lots of changes in store for her troubled character in the second season.  She explains, “Ivy really turns it around this season.  She’s making a lot of changes, personally and professionally. I’ve got really great storylines. Ivy and Karen really don’t have a lot to do together this season. We’re rivals in a different way this year. And we’re not working in each other’s lives like we were last year.”
 
Curiously, despite being a Broadway actress in both real-life and on television, Hilty didn’t initially have her sights on musical theater.  She explains, “My voice teacher was very upset with me when she learned I was going to major in musical theater.  [I changed my mind] when I found out that I really wouldn’t work until I was in my 30s. Because that’s really when the female voice hits its maturity.  I just never wanted my voice to rule my life.”

 

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