J.J. Singleton Lights up Broadway
14 year old J.J. Singleton talks to BSN Columnist, Phil Andrews about Broadway Kids Care and his career as a child and now teen actor.
There’s nothing ordinary about teen phenomenon, J.J. Singleton. At the age of 14, J.J. already has to his credit, being the voice of Young Simba in the Disney musical, “The Lion King,” acing the role of Ariel’s best friend, Flounder in the original cast production of “The Little Mermaid,” he’s the voice of Juma from “Go Diego” on Nintendo Wii, a proactive member of Broadway Kids Care, and a whole lot more comes out of this young powerhouse.
Black Star News columnist, Phil Andrews interviews J.J. Singleton about Broadway Kids Care and his career as a child and now teen actor.
BSN: J.J. When did you know that you would enjoy acting, and at what age did you begin your stage career?
J.J. I knew I wanted to be an actor when I had to give up sports. I’ve always loved sports and my mom said either theater classes or little league baseball or ice hockey and that was one of the hardest decisions I had to make in my young life. I was about 10 yrs old when I began my stage career.
BSN: You are a member of Broadway Kids Care. What is Broadway Kids Care, and how did you become involved?
J.J. Broadway Kids Care is an organization made up of kids who are currently on Broadway or have been on Broadway. This organization is all about giving back to the community. We have done things like make bracelets for the Soldiers in Iraq and have done several fundraisers for different charities such as UNICEF. I became involved because giving back to the community is something my mom has always taught us.
BSN: J.J. , I heard that you were recognized along with Broadway Kids Care as NY1 New Yorker of the Week. What were you involved in to lead to this honorable recognition of your work?
J.J. If I’m not mistaken I believe at that time we were knitting scarves for the homeless. We’ve done a lot. So, sometimes I can’t remember but it was something to that effect.
BSN: What do you love most about acting, and what kind of feeling do you experience when you are on stage?
J.J. I would have to say just the whole idea of performing in front of a live audience gets my adrenalin pumping. I feel like I’m in my comfort zone and the world is looking at me. I’m humbled by the whole experience of people enjoying my performance while I’m onstage.
BSN: Do you have any favorite actors? If so, who do you admire most and why?
J.J. I would have to say Will Smith because he’s come such a long way. He was this goofy kid on Fresh Prince of BelAire and then he becomes this phenomenal movie star, playing in huge movies such as Ali and I Am Legend. You have to respect his talent and achievements.
BSN: What are some of your other talents in addition to acting?
J.J. I enjoy ice hockey,basketball, acrobatics, tap and hip-hop Dance, singing, playing chess and video games.
BSN: When did you fall in love with acting?
J.J. I was about 8 when my mom put me in these musical theater classes at an organization called City Lights Youth. It was nothing on a professional level but I knew then that I wanted to be an actor.
BSN: What advice would you give to other young people who want to follow your footsteps and begin acting at a early age?
J.J. Follow your heart, encourage your mom to put you in some classes, explore and see if it’s what you really want and if it is, go for it no matter what. Try and get involved in community theater, do student films and most of all have fun with it. If you want to get really serious where you want an agent, then you should ask my mom, she can help you. Smile.
BSN: Where do you see yourself in five years?
J.J. I hope by then I would have either made my movie debut or in an episode role on a TV show and definitely going to college, because education is very important.
BSN: J.J. I read your bio and I see you have been active in theatre, film, television, and video, and voice overs. Please tell us about some of the things you have done in these areas.
J.J. Yes. I’ve played Young Simba in the Disney musical, “The Lion King” and I was in the Original Cast of “The Little Mermaid,” which is another Disney musical. I played the role of Flounder who is Ariel’s best friend. I’ve done short films such as Kiari which I played Kiari, I’ve done an MTV video, I’m currently on Wii Nitendo and other games as the voice of Juma on the “Go Diego” game, I recently did a Pilot called, “Young American Heroes.” So, I’ve done a lot and I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity and look forward to doing much more.
BSN: J.J., what special training and unique skills do you have besides acting? Where have you been trained?
J.J. I take acting classes and voice training every now and then and I take tap and hip hop classes sometimes. I train with a lady named Janine who is a great dance teacher. I also take Acro classes every now and then.
BSN: J.J. It was great interviewing you today, and I’m very proud of your excellent work. Keep it up!
J.J. Thanks so much, it was my pleasure.
To learn more about J.J. Singleton and Broadway Kids Care, visit the following links:
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