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POLITICS

Kerry Washington recalls playing a singing frog during her time at GW

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab,Television

George Washington University graduates got a dose of Olivia Pope on Sunday as "Scandal" star Kerry Washington gave the school's commencement address on the National Mall.

"You're thinking we're celebrating our academic and intellectual achievement with that lady who is having an affair with the president on that TV show," Washington laughed. "I know. I get it."

But then Washington shared a relatable (albeit a little strange) tale about her own time at GW.

Because she received financial aid as a member of the Presidential Scholars in the Arts Program, Washington had to audition for every single performance produced by the school's theater department -- including for a musical called "Croak, The Last Frog."

"Now I have to be honest with you, it was not my lifetime dream role to play a frog," Washington explained. "In fact, the thought of it terrified me." That being said, the actress auditioned for the part and won the lead role. "I went to the zoo up in Woodley Park and I spent hours watching frogs," she said. "I read about frogs. I held frogs. I watched frog documentaries. I figured out ways to physicalize my performance as a frog without seeming to be a cartoon."

And in the end, she nailed it, noting that -- to this day -- it's still her father's favorite performance. "But the lesson here isn't how you, too, can be a frog," she said. "The lesson is that you are sitting here today because you, too, learned how to answer the call."

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