Full given name: Jeanne T. Arrigo. It was Jeanne Louise Arrigo before I got married, but I took "Thornsberry" as my middle name rather than changing my last name, and so my professional name is now Jeanne T. Arrigo. Don't ever forget the "T" or you'll hear about it :-)
Song: "By My Side"
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born near St. Louis, MO and grew up about an hour from there. My family (mom, dad, two brothers) moved to a small, 7 acre farm in Moscow Mills, MO when I was 12. Dad still lives there, and both brothers live closer to him than I do. Mom just died March 10 - less than 6 months ago - and I can't yet think about home, Dad, my family - without thinking she is still there, too.
Special skills: Guitar, hand-percussion, baking (I make a killer banana-nut-dark chocolate chip bread, and a phenomenal cherry-pie, crust and all!), crochet.
Something you're REALLY bad at: This list could be oh, so long. Maybe I'll do just the top 10:
1 - being patient. 2 - tolerating frustration gracefully. 3 - whistling a tune (I can't whistle unless it involves my fingers in my mouth and is a "wolf whistle"). 4 - driving when late to an appointment. 5 - withholding tears during a confrontation. 6 - cleaning any portion of the house regularly (just ask my husband, who unfortunately ends up doing most of it). 7 - recognizing that my mom is no longer on this planet. 8 - staying off Facebook when I should be doing something else. 9 - practicing monologues regularly. 10 - Warrior III and Chair poses in Yoga.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor? My high school drama teacher (David Surber), college acting professors (Michael & Candace Pufall), Meryl Streep. That was all so long ago, you know; I am realistically no longer a "young actor," though in my mind I still am!
Current Chicago show you have been recommending to friends: Boss; okay, I know that's tv, but it's shooting locally. I'd say Eastland since I was in it for two months, but it's closed. Unfortunately, I haven't seen many shows due to having been in that show full time and now in rehearsals. But, in the near future I plan to see Steep's Moment, Timeline's 33 Variations, and Lookingglass's Metamorphosis.
Favorite Chicago neighborhood: I lived in Andersonville for so long so I still have a soft spot for it and go there to shop and eat.
You personal acting idols: Robin Wright; Julia Louis Dreyfus; Kate Winslet; Cate Blanchett; Diane Lane; Julianne Moore; Holly Hunter; Frances McDormand; Colin Firth; Tom Hanks; Edward Norton; Sean Penn; Daniel Day-Lewis; Philip Seymour-Hoffman; Laurence Fishburne; and of course Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep.
MAC or PC? MAC; don't be silly.
Most played song on your iPod: I don't have an iPod, actually! On my iPhone, I am most often listening to books, as that is the only way I get to "read." But when I do listen to music, it is most often standards or singer/songwriters (both those who are famous, and those who are not but are personal friends). I do have a couple Pandora channels which might give you some insight: Bruce Springsteen; Jackson Browne & Bonnie Raitt; Frank Sinatra/Tony Bennett/Tommy Dorsey swing; Jonatha Brooke; and Ellis Paul.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: That's hard, because I've never done this. Maybe those who would come closest would be Jonatha Brooke and Ellis Paul.
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Do you mean, like, wasting hours on Facebook?
Three favorite cities: New York! CHICAGO! Boston!
First stage kiss: High school, during Annie Get Your Gun. I was terribly nervous about it, and it hasn't gotten much better since then.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Although I always loved acting/singing/performing through high school and college, I dropped out of pursuing performing after grad school, when I got a full time "real" job. However, in the winter of 1997/98, I saw Rent and then shortly thereafter, Les Miserables (both Broadway in Chicago), and I realized I could not continue to work a day job full time, which drained me, did nothing to fulfill me, and disallowed the more full-time pursuit of my dream.
Most challenging role you have played onstage: "Chloe" in Lips Together, Teeth Apart because there was sooooo much dialogue, it was so fast-paced, and I barely ever left the stage, plus the costume changes were very fast and there was a plethora of props which were mainly handled by my character.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Wish I could have played, "Puck" in Midsummer ... but I'm too tall and now, too old. Would still like to play the Emcee in Cabaret.
Leading lady role you wish you could play: Wish I could have played "Ophelia" in Hamlet, but I'm too old!
Three things you can't live without: Family. Friends. Music. (and I have to say two more - Chocolate and Sushi)
"I'll never understand why…": It usually takes huge mistakes to learn and change.
See Jeanne in The Brown Paper Box Co.'s production of GODSPELL September 20 - October 7, 2012 at Collaboraction Studio 300 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 North Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For tickets and additional information, visit brownpaperbox.org.
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Maybe some hilarious Youtube cat videos in between.