High Society sisters Whitney &Elisabeth Moore

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the upcoming production of High Society, Uncle Willey (Dean Campbell) and C.K. Dexter (Chris Tinkler) sing &dquo;She&squo;s Got That Thing&dquo; about the lovely Tracy Lord played by Whitney Moore. Whitney&squo;s sister Elisabeth also joins in with the chorus of feather duster wielding maids taking a break from the spotlight after playing the star in several recent Tryon Little Theatre productions. Whatever &dquo;that thing&dquo; is, these two talented and beautiful sisters have definitely &dquo;got it.&dquo; I sat down with them after rehearsal one sunny afternoon to find out more about the secret to their star power. How many shows have you two done with Tryon Little Theatre? Whitney: I&squo;ve only done two. I&squo;ve done Aladdin and now this one. How long ago was that? Whitney: It was 2005. Elisabeth: I think it was &squo;05. I&squo;ve done a lot. I did Aladdin, Cinderella, Oklahoma, Anything Goes, The Fantasticks ‐ Whitney: And the list goes on&ellip; Elisabeth: &ellip;and High Society. How did you get introduced to Tryon Little Theatre? Elisabeth: I think it was hearing our mom and aunt talk about it growing up because they were from here and used to be in some of the shows. Whitney: We moved here in the summer of &squo;03. I didn&squo;t know anybody because I went straight off to Appalachian, and she went to high school. I got involved as a way to try to get to know people. Elisabeth: I think we both just wanted something to do over the summer, because we still didn&squo;t really know many people. Whitney: And I dragged her with me. Elisabeth: Yeah. Whitney: She ended up being the star. Elisabeth: I did not want to have anything to do with it. Whitney: She was kind of mortified actually. Elisabeth: I was mortified. I wouldn&squo;t even sing in front of my family. Really? Elisabeth: Yeah. I wouldn&squo;t sing in front of Whitney. I was a recluse. Was there music in your home? Whitney, were you singing around the house? Whitney: Well we grew up watching musicals a lot and so we would sing just kind of for ourselves. I grew up dancing, mostly ballet, so I&squo;m not used to having to project vocally. My body does the work. It&squo;s a big challenge for me sometimes. Elisabeth: I was more of the art kid, keeping to myself. I didn&squo;t blossom until the summer of the Aladdin show when I realized this is pretty fun. Whitney: It has made her into who she is today. Elisabeth: It has. Was it hard competing for the same role at the auditions for this show? Whitney: It actually was not intentional for us to do that. Elisabeth: No. Whitney: It&squo;s just kind of the way it worked out. I honestly didn&squo;t mind at all. I thought, &dquo;She&squo;ll probably get it. She&squo;s gotten all the good parts.&dquo; I wasn&squo;t really expecting anything. Elisabeth: She thought I would get it. I thought she was going to get it. So we were both expecting the other one to get the part. Whitney: After the audition we did have the conversation of &dquo;no matter what happens, we&squo;re sisters.&dquo; Elisabeth: I really didn&squo;t feel any competition. We don&squo;t compete with each other. At least I don&squo;t think so. Whitney: I don&squo;t think so either. Elisabeth: We were both very supportive of whatever the outcome was going to be. I think she is doing an excellent job. Whitney: Thanks. Elisabeth: I also don&squo;t think I could have done it better myself. Had you both seen the musical before? Whitney/Elisabeth: That was&ellip; Whitney: &ellip;one of the many musicals we grew up with. Elisabeth: Yeah, High Society, The Sound of Music, and Funny Face are the three musicals that I remember watching the most when we were young. High Society is one of the first musicals I remember seeing. Whitney: Watching the movie is what made me want to audition. Elisabeth: Oh, yeah. It pulled you in? Elisabeth: We love Cole Porter. Have you run into any challenges working on the show? Whitney: At first, for me, it was being able to project my voice. Even singing over the piano and everyone else at times is a big challenge. I feel I&squo;ve gotten a little bit better at that and now I think the challenge is that my character a lot of times is covering up her true feelings. She&squo;s kind of acting too. It&squo;s challenging to get that balance and not over act it, but at the same time I&squo;m not being true to who I really am. Elisabeth: I don&squo;t really think I&squo;ve run into any problems&ellip; Whitney: &ellip;that feather duster, you know. Elisabeth: Oh, I just want to hold on to that feather duster all the time. I&squo;m having fun being in the chorus because it really is like a family. You have a little more ability to goof off and I find it a little more fun than having a principle role. Whitney: I guess you don&squo;t have the stress of having to memorize all the lines. Elisabeth: You&squo;re not trying to stand out when you&squo;re just in the chorus. I&squo;m having fun with it. Whitney: Are you having fun with it? I am having fun with it. It brightens my day. Whitney: I feel the same way. Elisabeth: Me too. Do you anticipate doing more shows together? Elisabeth: I would love to. Whitney: As far as the future goes, it&squo;s nice to have your best friend doing things with you. Elisabeth: We&squo;re talking about doing Hello Dolly, but that&squo;s far off right now in my mind. What are you doing when you&squo;re not rehearsing right now? Whitney: I&squo;m an interior designer with Postcard from Paris in Greenville, SC and that takes up a lot of my time with the commute. Also, I&squo;m taking tap lessons at Ballet Spartanburg when I can. Not so much now, because we&squo;re rehearsing. Those are pretty much my main activities, and traveling to see friends. Elisabeth: I&squo;m a full time student at Blue Ridge and I&squo;m getting my associates degree in theatre. I&squo;m having a great time taking theatre classes with Jennifer Treadway up there. She&squo;s a great professor. Self Portrait by Elisabeth Moore You were singing with Fred Whiskin at Twigs&ellip; Elisabeth: Yeah, I would love to sing in public again with Fred. Of course, as you know we&squo;re still rehearsing twice a week just keeping it up. Even though we&squo;re not performing for anyone right now, it&squo;s just so important to sing every week. If someone does ask us to sing for them later on, we want to have a more impressive repertoire than we had when we were singing at Twigs. Hopefully in the future something will work out. I just remembered photography. I thought I&squo;d set that straight. It&squo;s actually something I really love doing. You did all the cast shots for the show. Elisabeth: I did the cast portraits for the show. When I was talking to Lori Walters and Chris Tinkler about the style of portraits we wanted to do, we decided that it would really be kind of fun if we did 1930&squo;s style portraits versus just standing in front of a wall smiling. For you Whitney, is this your first lead? Whitney: I was Jasmine in Aladdin, but this is a quite different show. That was a kid&squo;s production. It was a fun show. That&squo;s a summer I will never forget, but this is definitely more grown up. We&squo;re some of the youngest people in the cast. We&squo;re surrounded by adults instead of kids, so it&squo;s nice. What are your hopes in terms of the future? Have you thought about heading to New York for dance and theatre? Or is this just something fun to do here in Tryon? Whitney: A little bit of both. Right now it&squo;s fun and a learning experience. I&squo;m just trying to learn as much as I can right now. I would love to go to New York in the future and audition. I don&squo;t know if anything would ever come of it, but just to have the experienc
e of trying for it would be really fun. Elisabeth: Even if we didn&squo;t get anything, I would still just want the experience of moving to a bigger city. I want to go to New York, if anything, for the good jazz music that&squo;s up there. Whitney: I&squo;d love to be a dancer in a show. Elisabeth: We&squo;ve be talking about moving away for quite some time now, and New York happens to be one of the possibilities. We&squo;re looking at a few different places. New York is a fun place to dream about. How long do you think you&squo;ll stay in Tryon? Elisabeth: It depends on the financial situation. Whitney: There are a lot of variables. A lot of things have to happen before we can do that. Plans are underway. Elisabeth: I would like to go as soon as possible, but as soon as possible is not going to be two months from now. At the end of the year maybe, who knows? Would you say your goals are more toward the visual arts than performance or do you keep a balance of both? Whitney: For me it&squo;s always been a balance of both because no matter what I do I want my job to be creative. I never ever want to have a desk job where I just sit at the computer all day. Design, depending on your project, can be really different from one day to the next. I really enjoy sketching, drawing, space planning, and the design elements. At the same time I have to be moving around and performing and dancing. I always miss it when I&squo;m not doing it. I have to do a little of both. Elisabeth: Photography and visual arts for me has always been a more realistic career. I&squo;ve always thought of it as more of a career than entertainment. That doesn&squo;t mean I&squo;m not going to try. I&squo;m going to try right now while I can, and then if that doesn&squo;t work out then I will always have my art to fall back on. I love doing both. Whitney: I guess that&squo;s what I did. I considered going to a performing arts high school, because I really wanted to be a ballerina. The more I thought about it, it just didn&squo;t seem that realistic. I thought, &dquo;I need to get a degree. I&squo;m going to go to a four year school. I&squo;m going to get a degree, and then I can have something to fall back on.&dquo; I try to do a lot of different things. Elisabeth: I was going to go to art school. I just realized coming out of an art school, your not going to be making enough money to pay back the high loans that you will have. I decided that wasn&squo;t very realistic. I can learn from local artists around here just as good as any professor. Tryon has so many creative people here. I learn from Fred. I learn from everyone in the theatre. I&squo;m just getting my education with the visual arts from people in town and then I&squo;m doing the theatre up at Blue Ridge. Do you see yourselves coming back to this place after spending time away? Whitney: I would love to in the future. I have a boyfriend who&squo;s living in Kentucky right now in dental school. Elisabeth: They&squo;ve been together for a long time. Whitney: He&squo;s got three and a half more years. There will probably be a time when I will have to go to Kentucky. I would love to go out west for a while. I think it&squo;s gorgeous there, but I do want to come back here. Elisabeth: I definitely want to come back here. Even raising children here, I would love to do that. I was so fortunate to be able to spend my high school years in Tryon. Whitney: As you can tell, we are children of two flight attendants. We really enjoy travelling and exploring. Hopefully it will happen. Elisabeth: This is definitely an area I would love to return to eventually. The culture here is so great. Can we look forward to any sister acts? I know you did the one song for the TLT benefit. Whitney: The Sisters song from White Christmas. I really enjoyed that. Elisabeth: I did too. Elisabeth &Whitney Moore entertaining (photo by Beverly &Lindsey Moore) Whitney: If they want us, we will perform! Elisabeth: If they want us we will do it. We always have fun. When we were young we were always putting on shows together in the living room and our dad would follow us around with a flashlight. Whitney: I&squo;d be in a tutu and she&squo;d be in a sheet or something. Elisabeth: She was glamorous and I&squo;d be there with tap shoes on ruining the whole thing for Whitney. Maybe we should do that for Tryon? You do the tutu and I&squo;ll do the tap shoes and just run around. I think it would be a hit. Whitney: Definitely. Elisabeth: Okay, let&squo;s get on that. Catch the Moore sisters in High Society at Tryon Fine Arts Center February 26 ‐ March 1, and March 5-8. Call the Tryon Little Theatre box office 828-859-2466 for more information.

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