She’s still got a lot of life to live, but Frances Lee is in no shortage of words when it comes to a crazy little thing called love. The LASALLE graduate made her professional theatre debut in Pangdemonium’s Fat Pig as a stout girl dating a skinny boy. Fast forward two years and she’s back to join the cast of Rent, along with Tabitha Nauser, Mina Kaye, Aaron Khaled and Linden Furnell.
Wrapping up Pangdemonium’s Season of Love, Rent is a 1996 Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway classic by Jonathan Larson that traces the lives of a ragtag group of young artists as they deal with issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.
Whilst prepping for the big 20th anniversary staging of the hit musical, Frances takes a moment to reflect on what love is, the things men can teach us, and the significance of undergoing heartbreaks.
Popspoken: What is love?
Frances Lee: I’ve always thought that love is a state we get into where every emotion we feel becomes heightened tenfold. Happiness becomes ecstasy, sadness becomes misery, anger becomes rage, etc. But I also believe that the more you experience love, the more the definition changes for you, so I’m sure if you ask me this question next year my answer would have completely changed. I mean, when you ask the Internet what love is, it has a million different answers. Love is different for everyone, but regardless, it is something we all want and need.
Popspoken: Do we choose who we love?
Frances Lee: Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t. People are complicated. It isn’t so cut and dry.
Popspoken: Is unconditional love a myth?
Frances Lee: No. Doing something without expecting anything in return is something I believe people do everyday in big or small ways, from helping an elderly person across the road to a mother sacrificing her own lunch to make sure her child doesn’t go hungry.
Popspoken: Why do so many marriages fall apart? And is divorce a failure?
Frances Lee: I don’t really know how to answer this, as I have never been married. But I also know that despite the statistics, it won’t stop me from wanting to get married someday because as I said before, love is different for everybody. Love can’t be defined by a statistic.
Popspoken: Can men and women truly be just friends?
Frances Lee: Of course they can.
Popspoken: What have you learnt from the opposite sex?
Frances Lee: Wearing zipper jeans is a dangerous game; wearing caps is a very convenient way to hide a bad hair day; and the meaning of the word ‘bespoke’.
Popspoken: Have you ever been heartbroken? What’s the importance of heartbreak?
Frances Lee: Someone once told me that heartbreak is something that never leaves you. I believe that heartbreak is very important when it comes to being an actor especially – to experience the full spectrum of the human experience. I don’t really think I have it all figured out yet. I will definitely get back to you when I do.
Popspoken: What’s the biggest mistake you can make in a relationship?
Frances Lee: Lack of trust. When you love someone without trust, it is the worst thing you can do to yourself and your other half.
Popspoken: What are your thoughts on the concept of a soul mate?
Frances Lee: Inconclusive! But I still believe love is the most beautiful thing on earth that the human race has to offer.
Date: Oct 7 – 23, 2016
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre
Photo Credit: Pangdemonium