The storyline follows the glum Pout-Pout Fish’s interactions with other sea creatures who don’t understand his lingering sadness. Diaz plays Ms. Clam and also Mr. Seven, an octopus with seven tentacles. Frequently, she is struck with emotion when she sees youngsters’ reactions to the musical, she said.
“There’s something incredible about having children as your audience,” Diaz said. “It’s fresh and new to them, and they’re always so excited. You see the excitement in their eyes.”
Diaz, a 2018 Palm Beach Atlantic graduate, was in New York doing a staged reading of a new musical when she saw the audition notice for The Pout-Pout Fish, a story based on the children’s book by the same name. A stage manager with whom Diaz previously worked recommended her for the job. Diaz had less than 48 hours to record two songs and three scenes for a virtual audition.
She advanced to a nerve-wracking Zoom callback with producers, directors and artistic directors of the show. A month passed, and while Diaz was taking two of her friends to get their COVID vaccines, her car broke down. At that moment, her phone rang, with the casting director’s name appearing on her caller ID.
“It’s kind of a crazy story of how it all came to be,” Diaz said. “This is something that I always thought I would do eventually. I didn’t think it would happen this soon in my career.”
Diaz started rehearsing right after Christmas, and the tour began in the Midwest in January. She performs up to three shows per day, including two days at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach in March. The tour concludes at the end of May.
Diaz got a taste of a career in theatre at PBA, where she made industry connections and honed her technical skills, becoming a better dancer, actress and singer, she said. As a student, Diaz performed in productions including The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Spitfire Grill, Little Shop of Horrors and two one-act plays.
She wanted to study theatre at a school with a small program where she could get one-on-one time with professors and classmates, she said.
“PBA’s program was so perfect for that,” Diaz said. “I definitely got that time that I needed to grow, professionally and personally.”
Since graduating, Diaz has been performed as Diana Morales in A Chorus Line, Anita in West Side Story, the “Day by Day” soloist in Godspell and Cha-Cha in Grease, in addition to other roles in Beehive and 9 to 5.
Diaz was drawn to theatre because she’s always loved the idea of telling stories and getting into different characters, she said.
“There’s something beautiful about telling stories and being able to impact people in ways that you don’t even know,” she said. “It was a gift that I was given and it’s a way for me to be able to give back. I wouldn’t change my choice to do this as a career for anything in the world, ever.”
Photo 1: Andrea Diaz performs in Beehive at Titusville Playhouse.
Photo 2: Andrea Diaz performs in The Marvelous Wonderettes in 2016 as a PBA student.
Photo 3: Andrea Diaz performs in The Spitfire Grill in 2016 as a PBA student.
Photo 4: Andrea Diaz performs as Anita in Theater West End's production of West Side Story.