By Jim Schutze
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Wyly, 32, moved to Dallas three years ago after living for a year in Chicago, where she studied the acting style known as "the Meisner technique." The University of Texas at Arlington grad has a BFA in theater and supports her acting career with a day job working at Hooters corporate headquarters.
Her first role on a Dallas stage was at Pocket and she remains loyal to them, acting in several shows a year despite the next-to-nothing pay. She's also worked at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, where she had a small but memorable role as the bossy pageant coordinator in The Miss Firecracker Contest.
Citing Madeline Kahn (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) as an inspiration, Wyly says she incorporates a little Kahn into every part. As what she describes as a "stylistic performer" and "character actor," Wyly has always gravitated toward "strange roles," she says, one of the strangest being the lead in Pocket's spoof of Charlie Chan movies, Shanghai Moon. She also played the bad girl in Pocket's High School Hellcats in Heels, written by Dallas playwright Andi Allen.
Wyly specializes in vixens. "I love playing evil, bad, naughty women. If there's any type of goodness to the role, I don't want it. I like taking a character who may not be likable and making her likable to the audience," she says.
Only one thing scares this actress: "Someone not liking my performance."
Wyly says she realized something important as she hit her 30s. "When I was younger, I was afraid of looking ugly onstage. But when you let that go, it really makes a difference with comedy. And as I've gotten older, I've let that go even more. Doing that, you become freer and more beautiful."