Paw Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” is taking the stage for the first-ever live tour with four performances at the Fox Theatre on Sat., July 8 at 10 a.m., Sat., July 8 at 2 p.m., Sun., July 9 at 10 a.m. and Sun., July 9 at 2 p.m. SFL had the opportunity to chat with Olivia Sarafina Washington, who is playing the role of Mayor Goodway in the show, and learn more about her role and her acting experience.
1. What inspired you to begin acting and did you start in Atlanta?
The audience response to my 6th grade performance in The Lion King, at Atlanta’s own The Children’s School, had a big impact. I played Pumbaa and so many people came up to me afterward saying how wonderful my performance was. I was a little baffled, I didn’t really think much of it. But, I continued to pursue the performing arts ever since then and always have been appreciative of the audience’s feedback, as that definitely gave me an initial boost of confidence.
2. Can you tell me more about your role in the show?
In PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue,” I play the role of the melodramatic, yet lovable, mayor of Adventure Bay Mayor Goodway! She is following in the footsteps of her Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Grover Goodway, Adventure Bay’s first mayor. She strives to keep Adventure Bay clean, safe and kind, but to do that, she needs the pups to lend a paw.
3. What is your favorite part about playing Mayor Goodway in the show?
From her exaggerated voice to her groovy dancing, playing this character is the most fun I have ever had on stage. Everything about this character is honestly just a heightened version of myself, which makes it all the more fun to break “the fourth wall” and step off the stage to interact with the kiddos in the audience. I honestly feel like a rock star when I’m out on stage or in the audience because the kids love Paw Patrol so much. It is one of the most popular kid shows out right now. I’m honored to be a part of this production.
4. What has been your favorite role to date?
Snoopy from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. I played this role when I was in 8th grade at Woodward Academy. It was just so much fun. I received awards for Motormouth from Hairspray so I often reflect fondly on that performance as well, but I genuinely just had the best time playing Snoopy. The cast was super talented and just wonderful human beings. The musical is one of my favorites.
5. What is your process that helps you get into character?
The day of a performance, I do a lot of warming up in the morning. As soon as I wake up, I shower and allow the steam to hit my vocals. After that, I will listen to my favorite songs at the time. When I first get a script, I get into my character study, which consists of listening to sounds bytes so I can match their sound (specifically for Mayor Goodway). I then study their walk and attitude. I tend to study the physical attributes and then start studying their internal characteristics.
6. As an Atlanta native, what are some of your favorite places to go?
I absolutely love Flying Biscuit Cafe. Specifically the location in Midtown! It is actually located near my old elementary school, The Children’s School, on Tenth Avenue. When I am home my favorite thing to do is rent a bike from Skate Escape and bike ride through Piedmont Park. I’ve always loved bike riding, but I haven’t owned a bike in a while so I make it a point to rent one every chance I get.
7. What is your piece of advice for any young, aspiring actresses in Atlanta?
Do it or don’t. If you are not going to go out and give it your all and leave your inhibitions at the door, then stay home. If you are willing to throw yourself out of your comfort zone and use your talents to the best of your ability, then acting is the way to go.