Kathy Brier: from Soaps to Hairspray
updated 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
DAY JOB: One Life to Live's Marcie Walsh
NIGHT JOB: Tracy Turnblad on Broadway
•All work, no play:
With her double life, Brier's days start at 7:30 a.m. at Life's set and end at Hairspray's 11 p.m. curtain call. "I only get three to five hours of sleep," she says. "My family hardly sees me. My friends never see me. But I think it's all worth it."
•Use it, don't lose it:
To the horror of Hairspray's producers, dancing for three hours a night led Brier, who took over as the musical's queen beehive in August, to drop 10 lbs. her first month on the job. "They freaked out!" Brier says. "I'm supposed to play a chubby, overweight teenager." To maintain her size-10 frame, the 5'1" singing spitfire hired a nutritionist who created her a protein-packed diet topped with lots of nut butters.
A year before landing Hairspray, the Staten Island native was cast as One Life to Live's feisty Marcie. "I was only supposed to do two episodes," she says. But after positive fan response, ABC made her a regular. "I look like your average American woman," she explains, "and I get the guy."
"I worry terribly, because any normal human would collapse" under Brier's schedule, says her Life love, Nathaniel Marston. But "she's a human dynamo."