Lindsay Czarniak: Sports Fan and Actress?

Local NBC sports anchor WRC’s Lindsay Czarniak is taking a time-out from the Caps and the Redskins to break a leg on the stage.

Czarniak will perform in the 17th Annual Benefit for Community Engagement at the Crystal City Arena Stage next Monday, March 16th. She’s cast as the role of Dorothy in “Arena Stage in Oz.” More details about the show can be found here.

FBDC caught up with Lindsay on her upcoming performace and we were surprised to find this isn’t exactly her acting debut… she appeared in an independent film Aquarius, as a characted named “Mist” a few years back.

Has acting always been a passion of yours? I’ve always been interested in it. I really love theatre and acting as another form of self expression- I did a play while working as a reporter in Jacksonville at the community theatre and it was a great way to unwind a bit (if I didn’t have to miss rehearsal for breaking news). I was a studio art minor in college and like to draw and create things, so I guess that fits.

What ranks first with you- sports or the arts (theater, acting, etc)? I don’t put one in front of the other because I love them both for different reasons. Covering sports is my world on a daily basis and its a lifestyle. You can consider theatre a sort of sport in itself- I was recently taking an acting class in which we were pantomiming animals and it was physically exhausting but a ton of fun. I love sports because of the stories- because of the challenge to get people to share their triumphs, etc. and in theatre, I love the challenge of developing a character.

Do you get stage fright- at work on in a project like this? Heck yeah. I get it all the time- I get nervous before I perform on stage or even in a class and I definitely can get nervous energy before doing a liveshot or even on set, however, I feel like being nervous makes you feel alive and that’s a big part of anything you do. You have to feed off of it and channel it into positive energy.

Will your co-anchor Dan Hellie ever be joining you on the stage? I hope so. Hellie’s the kinda co-worker that makes you better- he really can handle any situation and is just fun to be able to react to in live situations. He’d be great to co-star with on stage. I can absolutely see him as a gangster in Guys and Dolls.

Continued after the jump.

Does your TV career fulfill your interest in being on stage or in front of the camera? It’s totally different. I love my job so much and yes, there are times that you definitely feel the rush and excitement of a live atmosphere, but I’m definitely not in character when I’m in the field or on the set. I get a different kind of “high” from that part of my daily job just because of the thrill of being live and really “telling a story” or the rush of breaking news. The one thing that is similar is the entertainment factor. I really believe that sports should be about entertainment and making people laugh or listen up. Thats a different fulfillment for me.