Meet a Mom: Lani Corson, Jagged Little Pill - Greater Lansing Area Moms

It is Meet a Mom Monday!   And this week, GLAMoms had an opportunity to speak with Lani Corson of Jagged Little Pill!   

Lani is a mom, wife, actor, aerialist – yes an aerialist – you read that correctly.   She shares about one of the roles as Mary Jane in Jagged Little Pill – an intense, but incredible part, how she balances being a mom to an AAAH-DORABLE 3 year old, her incredibly supportive husband and more!

Also… you will want to read on to learn more about the cutest story about gummy bears and how this sweet treat helps establish routine while she is away.  

Jagged Little Pill is headed to Wharton Center Tuesday, January 31 and runs through Sunday, February 5.   

Thank you, Lani for joining Greater Lansing Area Moms this week, we are so glad you are here!

How did you get interested in acting?
I always was doing community theater as a child. I did my first theater camp when I was 5 and got hooked! 

There was a great community theater in the town next to mine so I started doing all of the shows, started dancing and always sang. I didn’t think I was going to go to school for musical theater, I thought it would be musical education, when my dad took me to my college interview, I was asking all about the theater and how to get involved with shows- I was told that I think you need to be in the theater department 🙂

My dad is a very practical person.  He worked at a construction company his entire adult life, but he had gone to art school, he was the one that said, if you don’t at least try, I think you’ll always regret it!

He said I know you want to do the responsible thing, but maybe you shouldn’t 🙂 So I did it and its worked out well so far!

You’ve played many different roles, do you have a favorite?

I love Jagged Little Pill for its music.  I got the Jagged Little Pill CD for my 13th birthday, so getting to sing this music every night is awesome!

Wait…. are you an aerialist?  How did you get into this?

I fell in love with it after a friend recommended it – silks, trapeze and acrobatics!  I also got certified in Pilates during the pandemic because I didn’t have any skills that didn’t require me from hanging from a ceiling 😉  That is my regular job in New York City where I teach aerial and pilates at Aerial Arts NYC. 

Jagged Little Pill – would you tell us a little bit about your character?  

I am in the ensemble and I also cover the role of Mary Jane. 

Ensemble role: we are the conscience, so we are the storytellers and the physical embodiment of the emotion and the things that are going on within the story- through dancing and singing. And we play small roles throughout the show.

Mary Jane: then I play the matriarch of the family that the show is about. 

What is it like playing the role of Mary Jane?

It is intense and a pretty incredible role to play. It is the first time that I have gotten to play a mom as a mom, which also has been really interesting. 

There’s not a lot of great roles for women as we age and I think this show has so many sides and such a complex character that it is such an honor to do it.

Besides being a Mom, are there other ways you can relate to the character, Mary Jane?

I think I have always been a bit of a perfectionist in my own way and trying to strive to have that “perfect life”.  There is always the other side that no one else sees. 

There is the relationship with her husband, as we all know as a new mom that is relationship is ever changing. The fight scenes I can definitely feel 🙂

There’s a fight scene between the mom and dad — that feels very relatable to many. 

How do you balance family life and traveling for the show?  

It is not easy. To be honest, my initial reaction was oh I can’t do that.  It just seemed impossible. It is my first theater job since having Zöe It’s been tough.  Luckily the schedule in the beginning we had some layoffs, a few days here and there. They have also been able to come to visit me.  I saw them every 2 weeks, which wasn’t terrible. Then I think the longest stint was 6 weeks when we were on the West Coast. 

Does your family travel with you?

Unfortunately, no. Just the way with the realities of the contract it didn’t financially make any sense. My husband can’t work remotely, so that was never an option. 

Fortunately, I have amazing in-laws who decided to move to New York City when I went on the road. They help with the day to day things and my husband has been Super Dad! We are making it work. 

I am finished with the show at the end of February.   I will have been gone for a little over 6 months. If I could be at two places at once, I would love to continue with the show, but we’ve done it for as long as we can handle it as a family. 

What are some must haves while you travel to make it feel more like home?  

I definitely travel with kitchen basics – camping cookware, a hot plate! A steamer for my voice! 

I HAVE to make sure I have a bag of gummy bears. Zöe and I have a “gummy bear date” every day.  We get on a video chat, eat gummy bears and talk about our day! We have our individual bag of gummy bears and we go 3.2.1. Open!

My good friend said to me, I hope those gummy bear dates continue and we can have gummy bear and wine dates when she gets older! 

Do you seek out something particular at every tour stop? 

Actually my friend Jenna, from the show, we find the best  Mexican restaurant that the locals recommend. I also seek out aerial studios so I can keep up my skills and train. 

What are some of your favorite places you have traveled to?

Tel Aviv and Buenos Aries are favorites!

One thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m from a very small town in Maine where there was one stop light. And I grew up on a farm riding horses. 

Some fun ones to get to know you better:

If we were to grab you coffee, what would we bring?  An almond milk latte

Early bird or Night owl?  Early bird by necessity with Zöe. I would rather be a night owl!

Beach or Mountains? Both! 

If you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would your career path be? I might have been a chorus teacher!

Anything else we should know about Jagged Little Pill? Be ready for an emotional evening. We touch on a lot of different issues, some of which could be triggering, but I think it’s handled really well. There’s some amazing performances and voices!

Lani, thank you so much for making time to chat with Greater Lansing Area Moms!  This has been amazing.  We look forward to seeing you at Wharton Center and hope you find some delicious Mexican food during your visit! 

And we would like to thank Wharton Center for facilitating this chat with Lani!  GLAMoms is so grateful for the opportunity and we enjoy sharing what we learned with you!

Images provided by Lani Corson

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