Interview with Aviva Winick
(Matilda from Matilda on Broadway!)
by Waverly W.
Instagram @kidsnewsnyc @waverlywinchester
Twitter @thekiditor @waverlywins
8 years old

A few years ago, I was in a tiny production of The Wizard of Oz with a tiny girl named Aviva Winick who played a very fierce Dorothy!  Well, guess what? Now she is the 9 and a half year old star of Matilda on Broadway and me and my mom are not surprised one little bit.  She and her mom got together with me and my mom over lunch one Sunday between shows and here is our interview:resized_20161001_171423001

WW:  Hi, Aviva, thanks for sitting down with Kids’ News NYC so kids can see what it’s like to be a young star on Broadway! How long have you been playing Matilda?

AW:  A little over four months now.  My debut was on April 24, 2016.

WW:  Were you nervous on your first day as Matilda?

AW:  A little…not really because I go onstage a lot and have done a lot of shows.  But there are a lot of things going on in that show and I was a little nervous because I was like, “I’m just gonna pop out today on Broadway! Who wouldn’t be nervous on their first day on Broadway?” But more than nervous I felt amazing.  My mom was more nervous than I was!

WW:  How did you find out you got the role?

AW:  My mom actually found out before me.  I was in rehearsal for a show I was doing called, “Junie B. Jones” – I was Junie B. Jones – and my mom was at a Geography Bee for my brother and she ran out when she got the call.  After rehearsal my mom was freaking out so I was thinking that I might have gotten the part.  My agent called me and she called me Matilda when I got on the phone!  So I asked her why she was calling me that name and she said, “Because you’re Matilda on Broadway.” I just started crying because I was so happy.  I started auditioning for this role two years ago and it took lots of auditions for the same role. Finally I got it after lots of work!

WW:  Is it hard to be Matilda?

AW:  It’s not really hard to be Matilda.  Well, with all the amazing, supportive people it’s not hard! The hardest part is when you have to do double standbys! That’s when I’m there backstage not performing just in case the girl playing Matilda gets sick.  On double standbys I have to do that twice in a day and…it’s kind of boring!  When I’m on standby I knit, watch videos, and do a little homework. If I have to go on, I just stop what I’m doing and immediately get dressed and join the show.
It’s a lot of work, of course, but the people around you make you feel comfortable in the role and there are lots of helpers and coaches.   One of them was “Miss Honey,” who is played by Allison Case. She is actually a real life Miss Honey!  She was really sweet and helpful to me and I’m going to miss her so much! Today is her last show!

WW:  What kind of coaches did you have to have?

AW:  I had a dialect coach to teach me a “semi-British accent,” not a full British accent! Also several dance coaches, a really sweet Children’s Music Director, an Acting Coach to coach us with our acting and we even have a cartwheel coach to do cartwheels with us every time for the end of the show! Lots of coaching but it’s all worth it.

WW:  What is your favorite song in the show?

AW:  I really love the song, “Quiet.”  I get to be in my own little world! I also love doing the song, “Bruce.”  It’s a ton of fun and we’re all going crazy dancing all over the place during that song!

WW:  How long did it take to learn your lines and dances?

AW:  We rehearsed for two months for a lot of hours every day.  I learned the lines in a couple of days but the dances took a couple of months.  We actually had homework during rehearsals!  We also had dance homework where we actually had to write everything out every night.  On my days off I would actually be sitting there for many hours writing down everything – not just the moves but the intentions!  It was hard!  And we had these things called “Blue Books” which is this special thing only for Matilda kids.  They would write our homework in our blue books and when you went back the next day it would have to be done.  It’s totally worth it, though, to be in such a great show!

WW:  Wow, and did you have to go to school during the day if you’re in a Broadway show?

AW:  I was out for the last part of the year doing home schooling but I’m going back next week so that will be interesting!

WW:  So you have a real life Miss Honey, is there a real life Trunchbull that you know?

AW: Well…The Principal of my school is kind of a real-life Trunchbull – last year when I was going on tour for The Sound of Music, she took my work out of my backpack so I couldn’t do it while I was away!  I hope this year is better.

WW:  I hope so, too!  She should be happy for you and have the school come see it to support you!  Did your friends and classmates come see it, at least?

AW:  Yes! Lots of my friends and classmates came to see it and support me and I am really happy and thankful for their support!

WW:  Great, and how about you? Do you get to see other shows on Broadway and if so, what is your favorite, besides Matilda, of course!

AW:  Waitress!!! I love that show so much and love the music! I listen to Waitress every single day and cannot get enough of it. All those pies they have baking!   I’ve seen it twice already and I’m going to see it a third time with some other people from the cast.  I would love to be in Waitress when I’m older!  Christopher Fitzgerald is hilarious and I love the song “Never Ever Getting Rid of Me.”  Jessie Mueller is amazing and I actually ran into her at a restaurant one day, she was just sitting there, eating her dinner and got to take a picture with her, she’s so nice! I was actually in the show that night and I was like, “My life has changed!!”

Also, I love The Color Purple!! The voices are so amazing!! I love all the songs especially “I’m Here!!!”

WW:  What was the first Broadway play you saw?

AW:  My first Broadway play was The Lion King and I remember being scared of the costumes!

WW:  What do you like to do when you have time off?

AW:  In summertime I like to go to the pool and I also like to play tennis and go to Broadway shows of course!  I imagine in the winter that I will be playing in the snow and making snow sculptures.

WW: What advice would you give to a kid who wants to be on Broadway?

AW:  My advice would be to work hard, practice every day, do a lot of vocal warmups and one day your dreams could come true!

Hope you enjoyed learning about the amazing Broadway Star Aviva Winick!  She is not only super talented but very sweet and funny as well.  Go see her in the show, quick, before it closes on January 1st!  Also keep up with her on Instagram – @avivawinick – so you can see her in her next show, and all the ones to come!  Hmm, maybe she can be the world’s youngest Waitress…on Broadway, that is!

Note from the Mom:  This kid really is amazing!  While you’re here, go check out the Review of Matilda the Musical by 7 year old Kid Reporter Lila P. from Brooklyn in our Reflective Review section!  Also, check out the little video Waverly and Aviva did to help speed the anti-bullying word by going to our You Tube Channel:  (Got to the home page for all our social media links)
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