GLAMoms had the exciting opportunity to speak with a cast member from the hit broadway show, WICKED! Celia Hottenstein plays the beloved Glinda the Good Witch!
Learn more about Celia – how her parents chose theatre at a young age to help break her out of her shell and how hard she has worked to earn this role of Glinda. And learn just how amazing 2023 is going for her– think wedding planning!
WICKED begins at Wharton Center tomorrow and runs through May 28th.
Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms, Celia! 😊
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area in Pennsylvania.
Where did you go to school?
I went to the Boston Conservatory and have a BFA in Musical Theatre- singing, dancing, acting, ALL of the things!
What brought you to acting and did you have a mentor that helped lead you into this business?
Yes! Her name is Kait Kerrigan- a lyricist in this industry and she went to the same high school I went to, she is about 10 years older than me.
When I was in grade school, I actually became involved in theatre because I was paralyzingly shy. My mom and dad thought they needed to break me out of my shell, so they spoke with Kait and she said “You know, take her to the local community theatre and have her audition. It might help break her out of her shell.” So I did that and I still remember that audition! I sang “Do Re Mi” from the Sound of Music on stage and it was amazing- I have been performing ever since. Kait helped guide me in the right direction, I didn’t really know much about how to get into this industry, how to make my dreams come true. She helped me do that and she is so important to me.
My parents are great and very supportive. They have always encouraged me to chase my dreams and do this if you want to do it- put everything you have into it.
I auditioned for the Sound of Music at 7 or 8 years old and grew up doing community theatre. And then when I got into high school, I did a few of my high school musicals and then decided I wanted to go to college for theatre. That was a whole process of auditioning for colleges and finding the program. They are very competitive!
Did you enjoy your experience at the Boston Conservatory?
Yes! I absolutely loved it. Boston is such an incredible city and you’re right by Fenway Park. I still have dreams of going back to college, it was amazing!
Tell us more about Wicked and how you became involved with this incredible Broadway show!
I saw Wicked for the first time on May 8th, 2005 which is almost exactly eighteen years ago!I I remember that because I just debuted on the tour this month and it has been popping up in my memories- almost 18 years to the day! I saw Wicked in 2005 and always knew that I wanted to be in it and I always wanted to play Glinda. I had auditioned for Wicked about 5 times over the period of 6 years for various different “tracks”- either the Glinda understudy, the Glinda on tour, the Glinda understudy on broadway, the Glinda standby on broadway. I was finally cast, May 2019 in the ensemble and I understudied Glinda on broadway. And I made my broadway debut in July 2019! I was with that company for almost 2 and a half years in the ensemble and I understudied Glinda. I eventually understudied Nessarose as well.
And from there I was cast to play Glinda on the tour February of this year and I arrived in St. Louis about 3 weeks ago and I am 3 shows in (as of last week!) East Lansing and Wharton Center will be my FIRST city where I will have a press opening and I will be Glinda the whole time!
Speaking of East Lansing, have you ever been to Michigan before?
I have! I played the Wharton Center in April 2015, I was on tour with Phantom of the Opera. I was the Christine alternate and I went on for that part two times a week and we were in East Lansing about two weeks. And I was in the ensemble for the rest of the time. So I have been to East Lansing before and I am excited to come back and see the city again, eight years later. I have a list of things I want to do and I will have a car this time so I am excited to go see family in Grand Rapids. I have been to Ann Arbor as well.
Do you have a pre show routine while playing Glinda or any role you’ve played?
For this role I am still trying to figure it out! As of right now, I do a 10-15 minute vocal warm up in my apartment and I steam my vocal cords before the show-this helps to hydrate my vocal cords. I like to get to the theater about an hour before the show. I’ll do my makeup, they will put my wigs on and get my hair ready. I like to “chill out and get in the zone” and prepare. We will see how much that changes, but that has pretty much been my routine. I like to arrive early, warm up and get in the zone!
I do my own makeup, but we also have someone that travels with us. Her name is Tish, she tells us how to do our makeup- the show provides our makeup and it’s very specific. Andrea also travels with us and she will put my hair in pin curls, put a wig cap on me, put a microphone in and she styles all of my wigs!
What are some must haves while you travel to make it feel more like home?
I like to travel with photos of my family and my fiance. I try to make my dressing room look very zen and peaceful. It’s super important to me to have something aesthetically pleasing to get ready. I also bring candles and room spray to make it feel more like home!
I do bring my own spices, olive oil and a frying pan so that I can make food in every city!
You’re newly engaged!
Yes! Travis and I got engaged on New Year’s Eve of this year! I didn’t think there was anything better than getting engaged and then this role happened- it’s been a GREAT year!
Travis is in the Broadway company of Wicked and that is how we met. He was on this tour from 2014 to 2016, then he moved to the Broadway company. He’s been there since 2016- he’s in the ensemble and understudies Fiyero, the male lead, the love interest! Hopefully someday we will be on stage together!
We are getting married in September 2024 after I have finished the tour and will be back in New York!
What’s the most challenging role you’ve played?
I think it’s this one, playing Glinda. It’s physically demanding. She’s on stage almost the whole show. Singing, dialogue the entire time, dancing and physical comedy- the dresses weigh A LOT.
I’m figuring out my workout routine now that I am in the show schedule. I’m going to get into a schedule of running again because it’s really important to stay in shape physically. It helps get me through the show and it also helps get through the singing. Singing “Popular”, I am absolutely winded, you need breath support and to be in good shape.
We do not have a personal trainer that travels with us but we do have a physical therapist. And she is at the show every night which is amazing!
Tell us about Glinda the good witch!
She is a very fortunate and privileged girl who always gets what she wants. Everything always goes her way and she is the most popular girl at school! Everyone loves her and wants to be her friend. She tries to do good, be good and has a genuine heart. And I think it’s really cool because the show examines what it is to actually do good through these two characters. It’s an incredible role! The costumes are unbelievably amazing! It’s an absolute dream come true to play Glinda.
NOW SOME FUN ONES:
Early morning or evening person- definitely an evening person!
Favorite place to vacation? Ohhh, my fiance and I love outdoor adventures, we hiked part of the John Muir Trail in California, it’s a 211 mile trail that we backpacked sections of. That has been my favorite vacation. I also would love to go to Paris again!
Messy or neat? I am very neat!
Text or Call? It depends, but mostly text
Movie night- candy or popcorn? I’m a candy person, I love Sour Patch Watermelon or Daralee licorice!
Strangest thing in your makeup bag? Hmmm.. once in awhile I will find rogue pins or a wig cap 🙂
This has been great, Celia, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us! We are so excited to have Wicked in East Lansing. Anything else we should know?
Wicked is a show for everyone, all ages, all genders. I think you will really have fun seeing it!