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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Special - An Interview with Jeremiah James, Star of Sweetee, the Musical


Jeremiah James (JJ) is an actor currently starring in Sweetee, a new musical playing at Pershing Square Signature Theater located at 480 W. 42nd St., New York, NY.

How did you first becoming interested in acting and what was your first role?

JJ: It was the first show I ever did! My older sister tricked me into doing a community theater production of Anything Goes when I was 14.

What was your favorite role?

JJ: El Gallo in the The Fantasticks off Broadway.

What role would you like to have played that you never played?

JJ: Hedwig in Hedwig in the Angry Inch.

What is your favorite show?

JJ: Show boat. It's the show that started it all.

Who are some actors you admire?

Hugh Jackman.  He was Musical Theater Guy who made it big in Hollywood but always come back to the stage. And  he's supposed to be the nicest guy in all of Hollywood.

What is your favorite thing about your role in Sweetee?

JJ: The flawed nature of the character.

What is the best thing about working in the theater?

JJ: It makes people happy.  For a few hours people are taken away from their worries and stresses.

What is the worst thing about working in the theater?

JJ: I would have to say you miss a lot of holidays and b-days as you work holidays. Like Xmas is our biggest season! 

How did you first become a part of the vocal group Teatro?

JJ: I auditioned in the USA and was called back a few times then did a final callback in London and that was that!!

Do you prefer acting or singing?

JJ: I like them equally.  However, I would have to say if I had to choose between performing a monologue or singing a song,  I would choose singing. I just LOVE music!

Who are some singers and or songwriters you admire?

JJ: Ingrid Michealson.  I  am a HUGE fan. It's as if she is singing directly to you. I am floored with the ease with which she sings. 

As far as songwriters,  I would say my writing partner Jill Santoriello who wrote Tale of Two Cities on Broadway.  I have been in awe of her talent since we met. She wrote the book, music and lyrics with myself and Jason Huza for “It happened in Key West” ,and she was the ONLY one I wanted to write it. She writes music that is JOYOUS TO SING! 

If you couldn't be an actor and/or  singer what would you do? 

JJ: Police Officer. I believe in helping others

What advice would you give someone who wants to do what you do?

JJ: Learn as much as you can about every aspect of the business: the backstage, how shows come to life, how the financial aspects of things work. Focus on your weakest link.  If you don't dance, take more classes. Learn an instrument. Learn as many shows as you can. Build a wealth of knowledge. Always ask questions. But most importantly, always be willing to keep learning and growing.

We thank Jeremiah for taking the time to answer our questions. Sweetee is the story of an outcast minister, a young street singer, and a band of orphans in the 1930’s depression-era South struggling to make music and find their place in a world filled with bigotry and poverty.It will be running through June 19, 2017. For more information or to purchase tickets visit sweetiethemusical.com.  We will also be talking more about Sweetee in a future Theater Thursday post.

Tune in tomorrow for this week's Sunday Scoop.

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