Getting to Know WICKED’S Nessarose: Megan Masako Haley
San Jose-born Megan Masako Haley’s very first time seeing WICKED was at the SHN Orpheum Theatre when she was just a teenager. Now that the Broadway blockbuster is back in San Francisco, Masako Haley couldn’t be more excited to be play Nessarose in the national tour of Wicked in the theatre where she first experienced the show. Get to know more about this Bay Area native behind the Wicked Witch of the East—see what she had to say when we asked her few questions inspired by our favorite Broadway show tunes, below!
Ten Minutes Ago: What are your pre-curtain rituals?
I do vocal warm-ups in the car before, get here an hour before the show, eat a ginger candy or two or three, do almost all my makeup, brush my teeth, THEN put lip-gloss on.
My Favorite Things: What are your top five…
Favorite shows: Hamilton, Miss Saigon, Curious Incident, West Side Story, and King and I. Dream Roles: Elizabeth Schuyler, Hamilton; Sibella, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder; Kim, Miss Saigon; Luisa, Fantasticks; Eponine, Les Miserables. Influences: Lin Manuel Miranda, Lea Salonga, Mindy Kaling, Sutton Foster, and Beyoncé. Songs to perform: “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan, “Hold My Hand” by Jeff Blumenkrantz, “If I Loved You” from Carousel, “White Boys” from Hair, “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. That’s a pretty random bunch…! Place to perform: Opening Wicked at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis was pretty spectacular—it’s a gorgeous, old, 4,500 seat theatre. My shower is a close second. Third is an audition room with good acoustics, then in my living room jamming with friends. And last, but not least, right here at the Orpheum in San Francisco! I saw Wicked here when I was 13 or 14 for the first time and it changed my life forever. It makes me feel weepy if I think about it too much.
Now/Later/Soon: Which current shows on Broadway would you like to watch… Now? Later? Soon? Hamilton, Waitress, The Color Purple.
The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened: Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter.
I was walking out of the stage door at a show in Charlotte, and this little girl ran full speed at me and gave me a really tight hug. Then she looked up at me and said, “thank you,” and ran away. It was overwhelmingly sweet and so adorable!
Agony: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment on stage.
I have a line that has the word, “disgraced” in it. One time I forgot what the word was mid-sentence and I said, “dishayeahoayed” instead. Emily Koch was such a champ and didn’t even break character, but I was absolutely MORTIFIED.
If I Were A Rich Man: If you just won a TONY, what would your speech be like? Who would you thank?
😳 You can’t just ask this! I don’t know! I would definitely thank my mom and dad and my husband. I am so lucky to have so many supportive friends, family members, and teachers, so I would probably thank them, too. I don’t know!
Now You Know: What would you, today, tell your younger self when you first started in show business?
Keep working hard. Every setback is refining you to be the person you are supposed to be!