"What would you do at 3am with no problem at all?"
This is what Jalynn Steele's dad asked when she was trying to decide the career path to pursue & lucky for us that path will lead her to The Hult Center on June 30 in The Lightning Thief. I got to talk to Jalynn & if her enthusiasm over the phone is any indication, this is something we all need our kids to see: someone doing what they love & putting everything into it.
Did you perform when you were young? How did that start?
Yes, the first time I sang was in church. I was 6 and I sang the song from the movie with the little mouse? An American Tale! Somewhere Out There, yes! I sang at church, my mom was a music teacher and I was in Little Shop of Horrors in high school.
Did you do theater in college?
Yes, I majored in musical theater. I performed on cruise ships and I auditioned for Fosse while I was in college. I got that role and toured. After the tour I went back to school.
Were you a fan of Percy Jackson before you got this role?
I knew nothing about the books, actually so I looked them up and found out all about the fandom. After callbacks and getting the role, I read all five books.
This is a question about playing Percy's mom from my nephews who are reading the books now:
How does it feel to be the only character who doesn't have powers?
Well, I actually play 7 different people in the production so I do have powers personally, but that's true, Sally doesn't. But you know, she has a great hold on and love for her son. Keeping him grounded and comforting him is a huge power that she has. And Sally does get to fight a minotaur!
So you play 7 different characters? That is amazing. How does it work?
Yes! There are 7 people in the show and we all play multiple characters. There are a lot of costume changes, one of the actors, Sarah Beth has 19 costume changes in the show. It's exciting! We get to know the different dressers in each city, they do a lot of work to help us go from role to role. It's fast paced and really fun.
What is your favorite scene in the production?
There is one where we play a giant game of Capture the Flag that I love. And I also sing a song called "DOA" that I really enjoy.
Is the production scary at all?
You know, I was worried about that before we started but we had a show in Detroit and in the front row was a little girl who was 4 or 5. I was concerned that it might be too much for her and that she might be scared but she sat and was enthralled the whole time. She may have napped a bit during act two, but most of the show she sat and watched. It was really great feedback to see her reactions.
I saw that you were on an episode of Sesame Street!
Yes! Oh, that was fun. it was a real New York moment. I worked for Lush selling bath and body products and we a party where I wore these fun pigtails. At the party a lady came up to me and said, "You should do Sesame Street!" She worked there and I did one episode with Telly and the Triangle Lovers Club. It was such a fun out-of-nowhere experience. I have tried to find that episode in the past but never have. I need to try again!
Jalynn was so fun to talk to! She mentioned that she plays 7 different roles including Selena, K-Ron, I love the idea of just a few people in the production doing multiple roles & can't wait to see if I can spot them.
Thanks so much for chatting, Jalynn! I can't wait to see you fight the minotaur!
We are giving away TWO sets of 2 tickets to see The Lightning Thief at the Hult Center Tuesday April 30 at 7:30!
Comment here with the power that you wish you had as a parent or the power that you wish your kids had.
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The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Silva Concert Hall, The Hult Center
Tuesday, April 30, 2019