Erica Rhodes and a Prairie Home Companion in Hawaii

Erica RhodesErica Rhodes and a Prairie Home Companion in Hawaii and a Brief Interview

A Prairie Home Companion had its start not in the early twenties as some might think, but back in 1974.  Since its humble beginnings and a brief hiatus in the eighties (87-89), A Prairie Home Companion has become an American Tradition, something that each of us can say, “Hey, I know that program, damn good program.”

The radio program is now heard by over four million listeners, is broadcast on more than six hundred public radio stations and is heard over Armed Forces Radio.  American Home Companion is a way of life for both the listeners and the performers.  In fact, the radio program has been a travelling road show for some time and has visited the US, UK, Canada and other parts of the world.  If you are in Hawaii, you will also have a chance to see APHC live this New Years; tickets are on sale at local Hawaii Walmart locations and at Ticketmaster right now.

Prairie Home’s regular Saturday live broadcast begins at 12:45 p.m. HawaiiTime. Then, at 4:45 p.m. (HT) it’s “A Prairie Home Companion’s Hawaiian New Year’s Eve,” a three-hour special broadcast that will ring in 2012 across the country. Check local public radio listings for tune-in times in your area.

Thank you to the PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION OF ENGLISH MAJORS™ (Trademark Garrison Keillor) for the helpful information regarding the Hawaiian New Year’s Festivities.

A Brief Interview with Erica Rhodes

Michael-WhitlatchSo, Erica Rhodes, I count more than nine pages of your performances with APHC on the A Prairie Home Companion website.  Names like Martin Sheen, Garrison Keillor (obviously), Meryl Streep and others appear right alongside your name as performers.  How does it feel to be part of such an Iconic American work?

Erica-Rhodes-ADI-ArticleIt feels great! It sort of happened at a very young age, so now it sets the bar pretty high for future projects. Some people set as their long term goal to one day work with Meryl Streep. I guess mine is to work with her AGAIN!


Michael-WhitlatchHaving worked with so many well-known actors and having grown up and lived a life in the spotlight of creativity; what do you believe is the perfect role for you?


Erica-Rhodes-ADI-ArticleI think the perfect role for me would be something very similar to the role I played in the indie film, ‘Big Sky.’ Liz is very guarded and manipulative in ways, but she means well and ends up being very strong. I guess someone who is slightly tortured but also strong. I think I’ll know her when I see her. I usually get cast as sweet, bratty characters. So I play that well too.

Michael-WhitlatchYou change up your roles enough not to get type cast, but with three years of Upstairs Girls, was that becoming a concern of yours (being typecast as a ‘Sandy’)


Erica-Rhodes-ADI-ArticleOh, I’ve never been worried about being type cast. In fact, I would LOVE to be type cast, if only I could figure out exactly what my type is. That’s sort of the constant exploration of “self” we go through as actors and why who we are is so important, since we are the product. But, I do think I was growing out of Sandy a little bit. She’s definitely still a girl and I am looking forward to growing into more womanly roles.


Michael-WhitlatchOk, What is the deal with Foxfur?



Erica-Rhodes-ADI-ArticleI am in Foxfur. I started out as FoxFur, but my role was changed to her sister Dewshine. It is still being made, but Damon is incredibly resourceful and works sort of when he can and when the money comes in. I think the short is finished, but I believe he wants to make it into a feature. Not positive, but that’s the last I heard, anyway.  I tend to work with these creative geniuses who don’t quite go by the “book” as far as filmmaking goes. But they end up making really cool films!


Viewers, be aware that this film has intense and disturbing images.


Michael-WhitlatchWith the tremendous success of web programs like Upstairs Girls,  The GuildThe Jace Hall Show and others – do you feel that it is a viable launching pad into films or is it just a nice start into TV acting?


Erica-Rhodes-ADI-ArticleI think it is a nice start into TV acting.



Michael-WhitlatchIf given the opportunity which would you prefer – starring in a film likeCasablanca, that has stood the test of time or starring in a long running television program like Cheers?




I would rather be in Casablanca any day!


Michael-WhitlatchWhat color would your light saber be if you were a Jedi?



Erica-Rhodes-ADI-ArticleMy light saber would be yellow.



Michael-WhitlatchDo you have an amazing memory that allows you to soak in lines or do you spend hours fretting and smacking your head with scripts until it is transferred via osmosis? What is the process for memorizing lines that best serves you?


Erica-Rhodes-ADI-ArticleI used to be really, really good at memorizing lines. But since I have been doing so much improv the past 3 years, I haven’t been as good. I start saying, “WHAT? You’re telling ME what WORDS I have to say now???” You get a bit spoiled with the freedom of improv, but I do think it’s good for one’s acting, just need to keep my memory muscles flexed too.

Michael-WhitlatchThis year, we know how you will be spending your New Years (APHC in Hawaii), but what have been your favorite ways in which you have spent New Years in the past?


Erica-Rhodes-ADI-Article1)      My childhood best friend Natalie and I used to have a tradition of spending NYEs together. We were about ten and made our own little world in my basement. Homemade confetti, boom box music and truth or dare. Staying up until midnight was a pretty big deal back then.

2)      My first love and I spent NYE’s eve together at my house. I was about 16. He opened a coconut which I thought was the coolest, gave me a rose, and told me he loved me. Sweet sixteen love is the best.

3)      The Y2K year my mom was convinced the world was going to end so she let me throw a big party. All the cool kids came and got drunk at my house. Don’t think I ever felt cooler in high school than having a Y2K party at my house!

4)      Last year I spent NyE with my whole family because it was the night before my sisters wedding.  I got a little tipsy with my cousins but couldn’t get too crazy cause I had left writing my maid of honor speech until the last minute. Plus I didn’t think a hung over maid if honor would be appropriate.

Thanks to Erica for the fun, yet brief interview conducted via Facebook.  If you would like to read more about Erica Rhodes, check out this article or her IMDB.

A Prairie Home Companion can be reached at this website.


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