Los Angeles native Mehry Eslamina is a professional actress who's lived in Denver long enough to call herself "a Denver gal." She's currently in Appoggiatura at the Ricketson Theatre. We spotted her outside the Denver Performing Arts Complex, rocking a furry Betsy Johnson jacket, and stopped to chat with Eslamina about her fashion sense, where she shops and this latest production.
Eslamina plays six roles in Appoggiatura. Only one has a name: Kate, the lesbian lover of Sylvie. She also plays a street musician, two tour guides, a waitress and the voice of a dog.
Instead of a style mantra, Eslamina has a life mantra. "My style mantra follows my life mantra, 'Do what you love and the rest will follow.' I say this to to myself constantly," she tells us. "It is something that has propelled me through life professionally. If you surround yourself with what you love to do, work isn't work, it's just what you love, and it throws you into all of these incredible experiences. Which is what I've been experiencing lately. I do what I love and everything has kind of just fallen into place."
As for where she shops, Eslamina says: "I don't trust buying clothes online because it's important for me to try them on because I'm a bit curvy. I love Buffalo Exchange. The location on South Broadway and the annex on 13th are both good. I'll also find clothes at H&M, thrift stores, Urban Outfitters and Target. The majority of things I buy are from Buffalo Exchange and thrift stores. I like crave being unique. I like when people ask, 'Where did you get that?' and it has a story behind it."
This striking, full-length coat by Betsy Johnson "is the most expensive thing I own and also the warmest," she says. "My dad bought it for me when I was in high school. I've grown into the personality of the coat because it is so bold and catches your eye. That is a testament to my personality. To be honest, I love attention. I think if you're a performer there's an aspect of you that loves attention. This coat says a lot of about my style."
Here Eslamina models her favorite accessory: her bracelet/ring from Buffalo Exchange. The black purse is from True Love. Black is Eslamina's favorite color; it's her power color. "Black makes me feel most like myself," she explains. "It makes me feel sexy and strong. When your whole wardrobe is black, you don't have to think. Black is the majority of my wardrobe." Her style inspirations are Yoko Ono and New York; she auditioned for the role of Princess Jasmine in the Broadway production of Aladdin. The Science of Sleep is Eslamina's favorite film because "It's whimsical and magical," she says.
Eslamina's boots are from a thrift store in SIlver City, New Mexico. "I can throw an outfit together, but when it comes to accessorizing, it takes me an extra breath," she tells us.
Her purse contains items that help tell her story. There's a 2015 planner because she has to write things down or she'll forget, black leather gloves, MAC lipstick — color Darkside — and a MAC compact, a black snakeskin wallet, matches, a journal she's had for years, and a guitar capo, which corresponds to the ensemble character that plays mandolin guitar in Appoggiatura.
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"Working with [playwright] James Still has been amazing. He let me voice the the two tour guides in Spanish and Farsi, which are both are my parents' native tongues,.so that's special to me," she says. "It's the first time I get to speak both of those languages in the same production."
Watch Eslamina play six distinct roles in three-time Pulitzer nominee James Will's new play, Appoggiatura, playing now through February 22. For more information about the play and to purchase tickets, click here.