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Meet our Las Vegas Christine  
In the second of our interviews with the Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular stars, we talk to Kristi Holden, who plays Christine

Who’s been the biggest influence on your career?

My biggest influence would probably be my family. Because throughout my upbringing they have always believed in me and supported me and never made me feel like I couldn’t do it. Also, artist-wise, I grew up listening to The Carpenters, Anne Murray and Barbra Streisand (my Mother’s influence) and we also listened to the Reader’s Digest records of Big Band and Classical Music. I also watched the Lawrence Welk Show. He is a big band leader from the 50s and 60s and had a Variety Show which I would watch with my grandparents.

What’s your favourite part of Phantom?

I have two favourites. The first would be “Think Of Me”, because I can relate to Christine getting her chance finally on stage. I am upstage and walk forward and although I can’t see the real audience as I walk forward I can see all the mannequins in the boxes and I feel like I am really in the Paris Opera House having my debut which equates to me here in Las Vegas having my big moment. And then at the end of the show when Christine gives the Phantom such compassion although he has tortured her emotionally. She is confused but she steps outside herself and realises what he has been through in his life and she gives him ultimate compassion and love in that one moment.

Have you ever had any scary moments in the show?

Yes! There have been a few, but the scariest was when our boat controller got us too close to the candelabra at the first lair scene. The boat can only turn upstage, so Tony (Anthony Crivello, The Phantom) had to take me out upstage, we usually go downstage, and so the boat started chasing us on stage! As I am singing I see Tony trying to avoid the boat! It was difficult but of course we managed to stay in the moment. We did laugh afterwards though.

Do you get nervous before a performance?

I get nervous when my husband is in the audience.. Or when a member of the creative team is out there! Usually I am more excited than nervous because I love the show so much and have such a great time every show. I love the cast and of course my leading men.

Do you have any lucky rituals before each performance?

No, I am not a superstitious person so I just like to prepare by having a great positive attitude every time I walk on stage.

What’s your dream role?

Well, as an ingénue I am living my dream role. I think this is the ultimate role for any ingénue. Because Christine goes through so many different emotions and it helps you grow in so many ways personally and as an actress, and as a singer. It is a very difficult role. Otherwise I would love to do a Gershwin or an Irving Berlin show where I get to tap dance!

What’s your favourite musical number?

First of all, in this production, Masquerade, because it is so amazing visually. I saw In The Heights recently and that production and the choreography just blew me away – I fell in love with every single character!

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

In New York. On Broadway. Or just being happy doing whatever I’m doing at that time.

How would you spend your perfect day off?

From the show here Las Vegas? That would have to be with my husband at Mount Charleston, which is 40 miles away from here and looks like Colorado, which is my home state. It is lovely to leave the desert for a while and get into the mountains, which we both love.

What is your favourite track of the moment on your iPod?

“All The Single Ladies” by Beyonce.

If your house was on fire and you could grab just one thing, what would it be?

My photo albums.

What’s your ideal holiday destination?

I would really love to go to India. Because it is so spiritual.

Have you every googled yourself?

Oh many times! Who hasn’t?!

Who is your biggest fan?

My husband …and my family!

Who would make you starstruck if you met them?

(Laughs) Well I admit I am a Xena, Warrior Princess fan, and I saw Lucy Lawless (sp) at an event in LA and I got really starstruck. I really wanted to be on that show so much. I would love to be an Amazon woman!!!

What’s your favourite item of clothing?

My bathrobe. It was my Grandmother’s. When I wear that I feel close to her.

How does Las Vegas compare to other places, do you feel there is a different audience?

I think the audience is very different here. Andrew (Ragone, Raoul) and I have talked about this. Las Vegas is a destination city. People decide to come here first and then they decide what shows they are going to see. Sometimes you get the audiences which make you feel just like you are on Broadway but generally we have such an eclectic crowd that come to see the shows that you never know what to expect.

How do you like Las Vegas?

I like it more than I expected! The strip is fun, but I live about 9 miles west and there is the Red Rock Park there which has gorgeous mountains and, as I said earlier, Mount Charleston is only about 40 miles away. So I feel like I can also have a life away from the strip. There is a strong theatre community here , everyone tries to get in touch and we bond as you would do in LA and New York so I am really enjoying it.

You can see Kristi as Christine in Phantom, The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas NOW. Click here to book.

Posted on: 9th February 2009

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