Homecoming for was a couple weeks ago. For Christine Mild, homecoming will be Wednesday when she returns to Frankfort to perform the one-woman show .
"I'm excited," the 1999 Lincoln-Way High School grad said. "It's just so crazy that life leads you back to places. I think it's really cool, and it's going to be a really nice coming-home experience.
"It has been a while. I'm excited to see Frankfort and see if everything is still there that I remember," she added.
Of course, the most noticeable Frankfort addition will be the venue where Mild will be performing her sold-out, one-woman show. LW-North didn't exist the last time she was in town.
For the past 12 years, Mild has been following her acting dreams and building a strong stage career. She's starred in productions of Cats and Les Miserables and performed in theaters from Chicago to Key West, Fla.
"I've just always truly loved to sing and perform in front of people," she said. "It's my form of expression. I'm happier when I'm doing it than when I'm not doing it. I love performing. That's pretty much what drives me."
Patch talked to Mild, who currently lives in Chicago, about music, her time high school, the frantic pace of New York City and waiting on the president.
On going to L-W High School
"My high school experience was great. I was in all the plays and musicals. Performing was my focus, performing and academics," she said, adding that she was an honor student, a mathlete and part of the choir and Key Club.
On the challenges of Sister Robert Anne's Cabaret Class
"This show I'm doing ... is probably the hardest I've ever done because it's a one-woman show. It's a hard show to do. There's nobody to play off of except the audience. ... There's a little bit of an unexpected quality that makes it exciting. For this show, every show is really different, and you never know what's going to happen, and that is exciting."
On living in New York City
After graduating from Northwestern University with a major in theater, Mild headed to the East Coast.
"I moved to New York because that's where the work is. I loved living there, but it was exhausting. The pace of New York City is just really fast. There's a lot of nervous energy, frantic energy. People are constantly on the move, getting one place to the next. It's just hard to maintain that, that constant pace. It wears you down. And you can't avoid it. ... I don't know if it was a culture shock, but it was definitely an education."
On music's role in her career
Music has been an important part of Mild's professional life, and not just because she's primarily performed in musicals. She's portrayed Patsy Cline on the stage, but she also has covered pop songs on the ukulele. The idea of doing her own musical show with the ukulele has crossed her mind, but she has no aspirations of becoming recording artist.
"I thought the theater industry was hard, but the music industry is harder."
On the unusual jobs she's held
As a way to make ends meet between acting gigs, Mild has had her fair share of odd jobs. She's been the executive assistant for a bank CEO, given tours of New York's fashion district, unloaded kayaks for a boat race and served food to Beyonce.
But her most unusual job was working for the caterer of a United Nations event that had President Obama and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair among its guests.
"It was really strange because there were men with Uzis in the kitchen," she said. "It was like bomb squads were watching us carry in hors d'oeuvre."
On her future in acting
As she moves into her 30s, Mild said she's interested in pursuing more leading lady roles, as well as performing in more dramatic productions. She also wants to work on more Broadway productions and national tours.
"I have no plans to be a director or producer or run a theater. I just want to perform."