From the time she was 7 and sang her one line as Milkmaid Number One in Oliver, Carrie St. Louis knew that she had to be on stage. Over the years, she performed at the local McCallum Theatre in her native Palm Desert, California before getting a degree from USC’s Thornton School of Music. And then along Rock of Ages.
Just three months after she graduated from USC, St. Louis auditioned for Rock of Ages on a lark. “I studied opera in college, so I thought, oh, they’ll never cast me,” she says. But much to her surprise she was given the starring role of Sherrie in the Las Vegas production. “I packed up all my stuff and moved to Las Vegas. It was a whirlwind,” she recalls. And just last month, after playing Sherrie for more than a year in Vegas, she moved to New York to perform the role in her Broadway debut. And she’s having a blast. “I was telling my mom, ‘in what other job do you expect people to clap for you every single day?’ In the office nobody stands up and gives you a standing ovation for working. But that’s what we feed off. There’s no feeling like it,” she says. Here, St. Louis’s takes us on a tour of her dressing room.
I did [Rock of Ages] in Las Vegas before I came to Broadway. After we’d completed our first 100 shows I had those lighters made for the [actor who played] Drew, who is my love interest, and me. His said “Drew” and mine said “Sherrie.” I brought it with me to New York. I just love looking at it because I feel that it, brings me back to how accomplished I felt after the first 100 shows. Now if you put them all together, I think I’ve done over 500. It’s a nice little reminder.
This is a collection of things that are really important for getting through the show. The glitter is the basic makeup that was given to me by the makeup team. I don’t know how many Broadway shows there are where you get four different kinds of body glitter. One is silvery, another is pink, one is more of a highlighter that you can use for eye shadow. Only in Rock of Ages. It’s very eighties. I was born in 1989 so I came into the world with this music. But I didn’t know much about it. It’s crazy that I am transported to a different decade, you know, every night. I’m definitely sad that I missed out on it the first time around. In the background, you can see the Godiva chocolate caramels that my dressing roommate gave me on our opening night just a few weeks ago.
Above left: I legitimately have all three of those things on my station every night. I love aloe juice when I’m singing and drink it after every number. For some reason, I don’t know if it’s mental, but it just makes me feel the best. It’s backstage for me. And I believe it coats my throat and helps me from feeling dry or tired. It’s very sweet and has a little bit of pulp in it. I drink coconut water just to stay hydrated. It’s a big show. You need a lot of energy. And I love these Pine Brothers honey-flavored pastilles. I always have those around me at all times.
Above right: My mother gave me this card on my opening night in Vegas, which was my first big professional show. I just love the quote on it: “She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of shoes and went out to change some things.” I also like that it’s from my mom. I’ve kept it with me all along and now it’s on my dressing room in New York. It’s a nice little reminder to have in my dressing room and on my mirror. Also, my mom is a watercolor artist and she always says, “pursue your dreams.”
This is something that is very specific to Rock of Ages. The walls in the dressing rooms have quotes all over them. You can find funny things people have said. There’s a lot of silly humor and jokes, especially with a show like Rock of Ages. And things that go wrong on stage. That was just lining the walls of my dressing room when I got here. I’ve since added one quote. But we’ll see, maybe over time I’ll add some more. It’s been fun just being able to sit, look around and read them. Since it’s five years since the show opened, it feels like you’re a part of history. There are a lot of different quotes from different people on the walls. If somebody says something really funny backstage they just grab a sharpie and write it on the wall. “I met him at the DMV” is one of them or “my butt pad is making its Broadway debut tonight.” It’s just so ridiculous that somebody will say, “Oh my God. That needs to go on the wall.” There’s no rhyme or reason.