Next up we have Mariette Marino, the choreographer & Soo King of Yellow Scare.
Tell the readers a little about yourself.
I am a dancer, choreographer, actor, & business woman living in Bayonne, NJ.
Originally from Jersey City, I credit my all around dance style and personally to my upbringing with diverse influences. I am an entertainer at heart with a degree in Music Business with a concentration in Classical Voice from NJCU. I love cookies, animals, good people, and honest connection.
When and how did you get into dance?
Dance wasn’t something I got into it’s just a part of me. My parents have a million stories but one of my favorites is that when I was 2, my parents would frequent a local restaurant on Friday nights. I would get my quarters from my dad and I’d set my playlist at the jukebox & perform in the middle of the floor for everyone. Funny enough, when my parents put me into dance school officially around the age of 3 or 4 I didn’t like it. When I was 5 however, I remember the moment clearly when I asked my mom if she still had the pink card for the studio because I wanted to go back. Needless to say dance has been a major component of my life ever since.
You’re also an actress. (A) How do you compare acting to dance? (B) When can we get you to act in another of our projects?
I very proudly say I am an actress! Acting came to me later in life. As a performer (singer, dancer) you are acting all the time but I never thought of myself as an actress until it smacked me in the gut. After my last audition at NJCU there was silence. I was going out for the last musical production I’d be eligible for before graduation, well knowing that there wasn’t really a part for me in it. I just wanted to go through the audition process at school one last time. Living in the silence for what felt like a hour, I said to myself “Oh God, I did awful.” When I got the courage to look up at the directors in the room they were just staring at me. “Why have you never auditioned for the straight plays here??” the director asked. I, dumbfounded by the question answered, “I never thought I could.” Shaking his head “We missed out” he said.
Welp, I graduated and began taking acting classes in the city and have had the privilege of working with Trudy Steibl at HB Studios and Kelly Kimball at Kimball Studios both have changed my life in more ways than I can tell you. That’s a whole other interview!
(A) How do I compare acting to dance? That’s an interesting question; I’d say they’re very similar. I always tell my students that dancers are the best actors. If you’re doing your job right, the audience will feel everything you want them to. Both art forms are about completely giving yourself up to a higher connection. Sorry, I may get a little too deep but I’m a true believer that art is the greatest unifier and there is nothing more enchanting or soul connecting than when an audience is moved to tears or up out of their seat singing because of connection to a piece.
There is no hiding in dance or acting and that is both terrifying and incredibly liberating and invigorating. Sink or swim, your perceived success or failure is perfect. The honest attempt will only bring you to another opportunity where you can have another chance at growing.
You were wonderful as the choreographer of Yellow Scare… especially considering you had a very truncated rehearsal schedule and actors who very much were not dancers… Besides that, how was your experience on set and in pre-production? What would you have done different, if anything?
First, I have to thank you Sam for giving me that opportunity. I am truly grateful for opening a new door for me. I had at that time, 17 years of dance teaching / choreography experience under my belt but I had never choreographed a movie. To be totally honest, I was terrified! I had so many questions, so many questions, concerns and insecurities. I really just didn’t want to disappoint you or Joe, our director. I had always wanted to choreograph films and I guess meeting the opportunity gave me more nerves than the typical job.
All initial nerves aside, the experience was amazing! From pre-production to set days we ran pretty much like a well-oiled machine thanks to you, Joe, Alan and the whole Narrow Bridge crew. I loved it. It’s that simple. Besides having more trust in myself in the beginning, I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently. I think my relationship with the cast and crew was amazing, and that is what was most important to me. Everyone on a set is putting their best foot forward for the greater good and I only hope that I was a positive spark plug for our engine that could!
What are your goals as an artist? How do you view success?
Oh man, I’d say the sky’s the limit but I don’t want to put a limit on my life as an artist. For my part in helping others, I’m all in. I love seeing the light bulb go on for people. There is magic that happens when everyone is connected to a song and moving in unison. You can actually feel the elevation in the room. For myself, I just want it all. Hahah. Acting, choreo, business… I have so many ideas and dreams. A dear friend calls me a “creative monster”. Hahah I’m not sure about that but just want to share some positivity and create art that speaks to people.
Success is whatever you say it is. I consider success as continuing to put one foot in front of the other. Life ebbs and flows & knowing that life is meant to have highs and lows is part of the battle. Accepting that it’s all relative and we are all on a journey is everything. No one thing in life gives you everything. The most important thing one can do is answer that question honestly, for themselves.
What is next for Mariette Marino?
Well, at the moment I am currently working on many projects. (Thank God) I am doing choreography for parties, events, benefit concerts, high school competitions… I am also guest-teaching in local dance studios while working full time as an Office Manager in Bayonne.
It’s a lot of fun at the moment.
I am very excited for the rest of 2019 and beyond. I’m ready for a banner year. I want to get back into acting, possibly do more film choreo, grow in my business career and continue to carve out my own path to continued success.
Thank you , Sam!