If Jamie Day looks familiar, you either pay close attention to 1-800-Ask-Gary commercials or frequent Florida Studio Theatre.
Day, 33, is the lone, female cast member in FST’s “Laughing Matters 2009,” a musical parody that pokes fun at Sarasota politics, personalities and culture. She performed in the company’s first run of the show in 2007, and this year she hams it up again in a new set of contemporary spoofs.
From ripping Sarah Palin in rimless glasses and brunette wig, to mocking downtown Sarasota’s roundabout turmoil, “‘Laughing Matters’,” says Day, “is like vaudeville meets sketch comedy meets ‘Saturday Night Live’ for Sarasota.”
A Southgate resident, Day is also one of several television spokespeople for 1-800-Ask-Gary’s lawyer and medical-referral services, a gig she landed after learning that the woman with whom she shared a StairMaster at the gym was the wife of Ask Gary owner Gary Kompothecras.
An Evansville, Ind., native, Day came to Sarasota in 2005 to work on an FST play called “The Last Schwartz.” After seven years in New York City and one hectic year in Los Angeles, the 5-foot-9 actress was exhausted and ready for a change of pace.
She began coaching acting classes and in 2007 founded Acting with Integrity, a program that offers after-school- and summer-camp drama lessons through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County and the Sarasota Partnership for Children’s Mental Health.
She now commutes once a week to Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, where she is studying to get her master’s degree in drama therapy and marriage-and-family therapy.
“Now that I’ve taken acting to a different level, my passion for it has returned a hundred-fold,” she says.
“Laughing Matters 2009” continues through June 6, at FST’s Goldstein Cabaret. To purchase tickets, call 366-9000 or visit www.floridastudiotheatre.org. For more on Acting with Integrity, call 646-221-8558 or visit www.actingwithintegrity.com.
DAY’S TOP FIVE MUSICALS
“I played Ado Annie a bajillion times, and ‘Overture’ still gives me goose bumps.”
“I would love to play Sally Bowles, even though I’m always told I’m too tall, or too voluptuous, or too corn-bred for the role.”
“I was in high school the first time I saw ‘Les Mis.’ I still cry every time I hear the score.”
‘The 1940s Radio Hour’
“It’s not an original musical, but it’s one of the most fun times I’ve ever had on stage. It’s set during World War II and centered around a holiday show for the troops.”
‘Crazy for You’
“I’m crazy about anything Gershwin. I just love music from the 1930s and 1940s. Berlin. Howard Arlen. They were such wonderful wordsmiths.”