Q – Why did you decide to audition for Esley?
A – Actually a friend of mine pitched me for the show to Micheal Lilly and he contacted me. I’ve been itching to get on stage again after a year and a half hiatus. However after reading the script from Jeff Messer, I also had to jump at the opportunity to play such an inspirational black man.
Q – What was your favorite moment from rehearsals?
A – My favorite moment in rehearsal has be when the choir for ‘Working on a Building’ came together. We struggled with it for a long time as a group. One dress rehearsal we finally just circled up and just sang it. Really bringing our soul in it. We added in a special element just to tie it all together, which is our soloist.
Q – Do you have a favorite song in the show?
A – ‘One kind favor’ has to be my favorite song. To me it’s about dealing with your own mortality and the company you keep.
Q – How does it feel playing an actual person?
A – Of course, playing a man who turns out to be so influential in musical history, yet still has been in the back ground and maintained a humility unlike many people presents a unique challenge to make a character big enough for the stage but still maintain the authenticity and honor the true to life person.
Q – What’s the #1 reason why folks should come see this show?
A – One should come see this show because we all know the story of the Carter. But this cast, this interpretation presents a unique perspective and but also a truly authentic rendition of the origins of their unique and legendary style.
Come see JJ and the rest of the cast of Esley: The Life & Musical Legacy of Lesley Riddle, running until July 11th!
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