Friday, August 10, 2012

Meet the Cast: Jenna D'Angelo (ANIMALS)

Jenna D'Angelo is thrilled to be a part of Animals in FringeNYC.  Since moving to NYC two years ago Jenna has been working consistently in theatre and film.  Theatre: As You Like It (Rosalind), Dracula (Lucy), Thrill of the Chase (MadDog Theatre Co.), Still Jackie (Tiny Rhino), Almost, Maine (45th St. Theatre).  Film: Silent Wave (Best Actress in a Short nomination), Madeleine Zabel (Madeleine, Cambridge Film Festival), Kin, Bruiser, Hello My Name Is (CollegeHumor).  BA: Western Michigan University. 

  • You’ll be performing in our upcoming production of Animals for the New York International Fringe Festival. Can you tell us some of your initial thoughts about the piece and your character? How are rehearsals going? 

I feel incredibly lucky to be working with Animals again.  I was part of a workshop / reading last year as the character Lisa. This go around I am playing Megan, which has been a blast so far because I get a chance to be in the skin of a different character and see the play in a new light through a new person's eyes.  

When I first read the play, I loved it. It has been great to continually work on the play and see how the characters and the story have developed and grown.  Rehearsals have been fantastic.  Kristin [Hoffmann] and Sam [Byron] are so great to work with; they play really well off of one another in the rehearsal room. This is a unique experience because we get to work with the director AND the playwright, which is pretty rare.  

  • When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started? 

I have wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid.  I always loved being on stage, telling stories and making people laugh.  In elementary school, I started doing school plays and musicals, and everything sort of took off from there.  I studied Theatre Performance in undergrad at Western Michigan University and then moved to NYC after graduating. 

  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why? 

Wow.  That is a tough question.  I guess at this point in my life, two years out of undergrad, I would probably say that my professors are still some of the people who have influenced me and shaped the artist I am today the most.  I was really lucky to have just unbelievably talented and passionate professors who helped me to push the limits creatively and keep striving and trying  if you don't get there today, maybe you will get there tomorrow.   
  • What is your favorite part of the creative process before you perform for an audience? Do you have a particular pre-show ritual that you engage in before curtain? If so, can you share it with us? 
I love rehearsing.  I love what you find when you get to put a scene up on its feet once you are memorized, and really find what is underneath these words that you are saying.  There is nothing more exciting than discovering a moment in a scene that you never knew was there.  In terms of pre-show ritual, it changes from show to show.  Each show you're in places different demands on you and a different energy.  For example, when I do Shakespeare, my warm-ups tend to revolve more around vocals because you are dealing with some really tricky language so you want to be ready for it. Other times, I'll listen to music that helps me get in the right head space, stuff that pumps me up or centers me, I'll do yoga.  It all just depends. For this show?  I'm not 100% sure yet what will fall into place. 
  • I believe this is your first time working with Wide Eyed. We’d like to get to know you a little better. Could you tell us a little bit about your last project? Is there something cool that you like to do in your spare time? 
My last project was a short film called Kin about a brother and sister who haven't spoken in years and are forced together by the death of their father. The project was wonderful and incredibly challenging the sister is bi-polar and incredibly reclusive, and I had a great time working to figure her out. 

Cool things in my spare time?  I just bought a bike!  And a really goofy helmet!  So now I ride my bike around in my spare that cool? Oh!  And I just hiked the Inca Trail in Peru last month.  That's counts as cool.   
  • Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Care to share with us? 
I am in a web series called The Fastest that starts filming right around when Animals opens, so I'll be shooting that on my off days.  I play this badass girl-next-door, so that will be fun. I get to use a knife to protect myself from a bad guy.  You can check out some info at And I have to finish up some ADR stuff for a film I shot a few months ago called Bruiser with director Mattson Tomlin, who is one of the most talented guys I know.  And then it's time to get back in the saddle again and hit the ground running auditioning.

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