makers palomino small
Image: Adam Levey

THE MULTITASKER

Amy Palomino Actress

Dressed in blue sweats and perched at a table at the Portland Center Stage (PCS) Café, Amy Palomino furrows her brow as she pores over notes to the score for the theater’s upcoming production of Guys and Dolls, which opens September 23. What she really seems to need, though, is a map. A compact, remarkably animated woman, Palomino gestures with her hands as she recounts the many entrances and exits in store for her this fall: four dancing parts; a half-dozen costume changes; understudy work for one of the leads, Adelaide. Then there’s her role as company dance captain. Palomino looks up from her notes. “I’m wearing a million hats.” She pauses. “OK, maybe four.” A million or four, it doesn’t matter: She’s the most versatile actress/dancer/manager/singer currently working the Portland stages.

Since her arrival three years ago from New York City, the 29-year-old’s schedule could only be described as hectic. Her first role was playing the tomboy Anybodys in a 2006 production of West Side Story. She followed that with a Drammy Award for her lead role in 42nd Street. She’s also choreographed, acted, and danced with Lakewood Theatre, Blue Monkey Theatre, and Portland Opera. Funny, then, that her original reason for moving to town was to slow her pace after two years running herself ragged on Broadway. “I kept dreaming of a place where I could have a dog,” she says. “And where I could visit a neighbor and come in for coffee.” Palomino does get her coffee; it’s just that it’s nearly always in a to-go cup. —John Chandler

Read more of Meet Your Makers in our Arts & Entertainment section.