Mystery Science Theater Cincinnati shows a homecoming for Emily Marsh


Emily Marsh’s appearance at the Taft Theater is a homecoming, although technically her home is a 10-minute drive from the Taft in Norwood.

Marsh is one of the stars of the television show-turned-roadshow Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live, and for those following her career as a puppeteer, her role in MST3K is pivotal, in that she appears as an actress. live.

The Washington DC native made her professional debut as a puppeteer in Cincinnati, working with local theater group Madcap Puppets.

In a recent phone call, Marsh explained how she went from Cincinnati to the Mystery Science Theater and how she went from puppetry to acting.

Question: How did you end up in Cincinnati?

Answer: This is where it all started. I don’t know if normal people know this, but there is an actor career fair, and I had seen Madcap Puppets there. I had always done comedy. I always wanted to make puppets. I was there and I was like, “I really want to work for them. It sounds so cool. They go around. It’s so awesome. “And then I wasn’t called back for them at that job fair. And then I remember when I was like,” You know what? I really want to work for these. people. I know they’re looking for people. I’m going to pretend I’m not at this job fair and just cold phone them or email them. And then yeah, they handed it over. hand and thought, “Fly to Cincinnati.” So I flew to Cincinnati, auditioned for them, and that was my first job out of college.

Q: It’s a lesson for aspiring actors not to give up.

A: Ah, 100%. This is one of my favorite professional acting stories. The worst they can say is no. The worst they can say is, “Hey, I saw you at that job fair and we thought you sucked. Obviously, that did not happen. It was worth a try.

Q: So Madcap’s reputation extends beyond the city limits of Cincinnati?

A: Yeah, well, that’s definitely … here’s the thing I’m going to say. It’s starting to enter the world of puppets.

Q: Take me there.

A: The world of puppets is quite small. And honestly, a company like Madcap is quite unusual, because it runs around the country – to be a fairly small business – quite widely. And they all build their own puppets. They have been in business for so long. It is certainly something that is known.

Q: Would you rank as their most successful alum?

A: That’s a great question. To be honest, I have to yell at my fellow puppeteer Chris Hayes, who just took over for Hoots on “Sesame Street”. He’s the nicest, kindest guy in the whole world. I have had the pleasure of working with him a few times. He does awesome and amazing things. And I’m sure there are others that I haven’t had the chance to meet yet.

Q: When were you working here?

A: It was in 2013. I remember it was when Cincinnati didn’t look good. It was like the bleak winter of Cincinnati. I took an Uber straight to Norwood. This is where I ended up living, right next to Xavier.

Q: Any good stories about Norwood?

A: We were housed in artist accommodation, which is the cheapest rent I have ever paid – $ 250 per month. The downside was that we had a squirrel infestation in the roof so we kind of lived with them for the rent of $ 250. And we had the local bar (formerly Monty’s) which was just around the corner and the Little Caesars pizza. Everything you needed was close by in Norwood.

Q: What did Monty look like?

A: There was a pool table, and I really enjoyed playing pool, and it was the first time I picked up the balls and someone at the bar said to me, “Hey, what is this? what are you doing there? And then my roommate had to talk to the guy. It was the first time anyone tried to beat me about the way I hit balls.

Q: How did you go from filming the Pool at Monty’s to touring with the Mystery Science Theater?

A: As you may know, in the world of artists and freelancers the road is never straight, and if it is, I will find that person and kill them because they had a life. blessed. But what ultimately happened was that it was the first puppet work of many. As soon as you get the training in a place like Madcap, other puppet companies say, “Oh, puppeteer and travel. You already have the skills. It’s awesome. “So I went back to Washington, I did puppet theater there, I went to New York, I did puppet theater. And then I went to Atlanta and I did. Did puppet theater there. And then I came back to New York. When I auditioned for MST3K Live, I auditioned because they said we were looking for a singer puppeteer. And I thought to myself : “It’s awesome. Mystery Science Theater, which I’ve always loved, and now they have a puppet concert. And when I auditioned, and I got the part, and I got the offer in the email, I was like, “Wait, this isn’t a puppet piece. What’s going on? Why am I a human? Oh, I guess I’m a face actor now It’s kind of funny that that’s how I got to all of this.

Q: You don’t do puppets? Will we see you in the flesh on stage at the Taft Theater?

A: That’s right. Some of my friends came over after a show and said, “We could see you. It was strange. “

Q: Where do you see your career heading? Will you be a puppeteer or a face actor?

A: I will try to do a 50-50 split. The reason I thought I had to choose between puppet theater and theater is because sometimes people like to deal in the absolute in this industry. “You are a puppeteer or an actor. You can’t be both. And as it shows with Mystery Science Theater, I guess you can do both. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I like to play as well as I like the puppet. It would be nice to do both. That’s my goal. We’ll see what happens.

If you are going to

What: Live Mystery Science Theater 3000

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday November 4

Or: Taft Theater, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown; 513-232-6220

Tickets: $ 48.50 – $ 28.50


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