Actress transforms into Mina after cutting off 18 inches of hair

Student feels attuned to character due to personal experience

By Valerie Lugo
On October 16, 2015

Contributed Photo
Mina, played by Sabrina Idom, converses on stage with Dmitri Millero, who is cast as Idom’s dad and Arianna Gonzales, who plays the role of Idom’s mother.

Sabrina Idom, a sophomore and theatre major, fully immersed herself into the world of Mina, a young, 28-year-old woman who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer in the play “keepingabreast,” written by ASU alumni Jackie Rosenfeld.

In the play, Mina has to decide whether or not to have a mastectomy. To prepare for the role, Idom went as far as to cut 18 inches of her hair off.

“I used to have my hair to the middle of my back,” Idom said. “Dr. Doll came up to me asked, ‘how do you feel about cutting off all your hair?’ and I said ‘I don’t know!”

Idom waited two weeks before going to get her hair cut. Idom said that cutting her hair helped her relate to Mina, but it was nowhere near on the same level as actually having breast cancer.

Doll, director of the play, felt that Idom cutting her hair was crucial to the role of Mina.

“It helped for Sabrina to feel lighter and not have anything to withdraw or hide behind,” Doll said.

Idom said that the role of Mina was very personal to her because her grandmother has stage three breast cancer, which has spread to her lymph nodes. Idom said that it was interesting to see the different experiences. Her grandmother is 68, so it contrasts greatly to Mina. It put things into a new perspective for Idom.

For Idom, acting isn’t simply becoming someone else.

“It’s taking your experiences and forming that with your character,” Idom said.

Doll said she did a really great job portraying Mina, she knows the play solidly, and she’s really bright.

“Sabrina’s performance conveyed the pain, not only physically, but also emotionally,” sophomore and theatre education major Julia McDaniel said. “She really conveyed the amount of importance we put into a woman’s body, especially their breasts, and how it defines us as individuals.”

In the future, Idom would like to do a show where she plays multiple characters and see where it takes her.

“For me, it’s cathartic to be able to let those emotions out on stage,” Idom said, “Keepingabreast is a really vulnerable show.”

Contributed Photo
Idom and her husband Doug, played by Dmitri Millero, share an intimate moment on stage


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