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The Artist’s Journey: Zoë Chao – Week 2 - La Jolla Playhouse Blog

The Artist’s Journey: Zoë Chao – Week 2

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Each week, The Artist’s Journey will provide an insider look at the creation of a production, from first rehearsal to opening night, through the eyes of one of the show’s key players.

Zoë Chao is an actress in the UCSD graduate theatre program and is co-starring in Surf Report. This is her first professional production.

Zoë Chao

Zoë Chao

My Nana (who is about to turn 80) read my first blog and wrote back, “I was happy to read your blog, but it doesn’t sound nearly as lively and vivacious as YOU…but good photo!” So for blog #2, I will try to be a bit more “real.”

Week 2 of Surf Report rehearsal is going swimmingly (wince). We are learning all this new surf jargon from our hefty information packet graciously supplied by our team of dramaturgs, but also from our resident surf expert, Gregory Harrison, who plays Bruce in the play, a wealthy surfing entrepreneur.

Fact: Did you know that the first surfboards in Hawaii were made using Wili Wili or Koa trees, and were extremely heavy, ranging from 10 to 16 feet long depending on social class? With this knowledge, now all I need is a Pontiac Woodie to be on my way to Surf Bunny status. Instead I have a not-so-cool black PT Cruiser.

Bethany the blowfish

Bethany the blowfish

In likening the characters from Surf Report to underwater creatures, Bruce is the shark; Bethany’s mother Judith (Linda Gehringer) a trout, always swimming upstream; Bethany’s father Hal (Matthew Arkin) seems to draw from the bottom-feeding Demersals; and Jena (Liv Rooth), an Ugg-wearing high school classmate of Bethany’s who is desperate for friendship, seems to be the human equivalent of the colorful Cortez Rainbow Wrasse. My Bethany would have to be the blowfish – always puffing up and full of hot air but easily deflated by her mother.

Last night, the cast met at Pizza Port, a hub for local surfers in Solana Beach and an inspiration from Annie Weisman’s childhood. It was an evening of “research” and bonding. Pictures will be included in Blog #3. Drinking with my onstage parents…there’s something surreal about that.

Lastly, there is something that has been weighing heavily on my mind – I have yet to find the fish tacos in town…please, oh, please let it be soon. What do you think, where are the best fish tacos around here?


  1. I just wrote about this very topic. Would have to say South Beach in OB. I crave them as I type this.

    La Jolla Mom

    5:09 pm

  2. One of the things I miss is SD’s Fish Tacos. I second South Beach bar in OB- the food is great, but you’ve gotta be prepared to fight for a table.


    6:25 pm