Kevin Ray Johnson
I would like you to meet the wonderful Rashidra Scott. She will be performing the role of Josephine in Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and times of The Temptations on Broadway at The Imperial Theatre. Previews start February 28th with the official opening on March 21st. Rashidra Scott has also been seen on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Sister Act (also in the 1st National Tour), Hair, Finian’s Rainbow, and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman). She has also performed regionally with Goodspeed Opera House, The Marriott Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, STAGES St. Louis, Arizona Theatre Company, and Walt Disney World Entertainment. I absolutely love the temptations music so for me it was quite a thrill to have the chance to interview Rashidra!
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?
I actually don’t remember at what age I definitely knew. Singing was something I always remember enjoying, but the more popular career choice to share in my childhood was to be a doctor. I definitely remember making the decision to talk to my mom and convince her to let me pursue music in some way the summer going in to my junior year of high school, though.
Where did you study? Are there any mentors that truly helped make you the performer you are today?
I did local community theatre growing up (The Hurrah Players in Norfolk, VA) and went to a half day performing arts high school (Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts). For college I completely abandoned all musical theatre and got a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Business/Management from Berklee College of Music in Boston. That was when I wanted to be a recording artist, but (musical) theatre kept calling and happening. I guess I’ve had a lot of kind of informal mentors. Since I never really thought Broadway would be in the cards for me I didn’t necessarily reach out to people for much advice. Some people who’ve made a world of a difference from either talking me in to moving to New York and pursuing musical theatre, instrumental voice teachers, or Broadway vets who had kind words of encouragement to share are: Warren Adams (Walk Run Fly Productions), Monique Midgette (Maryland Performing Arts Academy), Michael Francis (Fiasco Theater Company Associate Producer), Marlon Saunders (The Seamless Voice), Jeremiah Abiah (The Abiah Way), Carla Renata (actress, author, Black Hollywood Live Host)
Congratulations on Ain’t Too Proud! What are you most excited for about this show?
Thank you! So much excites me about this show- the fact that it’s a story about and showcasing black men, many of whom I’ve considered my brothers for years; the quiet and easily overlooked strength and presence of the women in the show; our book writer, Dominique Morriseau- I could gush about her for an eternity, but I’ll stick with the fact that she’s written such a realistic and accessible book of characters that has made it so easy for us to connect with and embody. I’m excited for every single one of us involved and excited for the masses to be introduced to each and every one of us in ways they’ve never seen us before, as performers.
Are there any shows (Prior to Ain't Too Proud) that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart?
Hands down one of the most special shows I’ve done was Hair at Arizona Theatre Company. Our first day of rehearsal was Election Day ’08 so we started the day with our meet & greet and ended it watching the election results come in as a cast (minus maybe 2 people because of some of our cast were students and they had homework). There was just so much perfection in the entire experience from our director, David Ira Goldstein, to the costumes (by Kish Finnegan) to the cast, music direction, choreography and the process of making it all organic to who we were as individuals. Every once in a while I still go down the rabbit hole of watching some of our stuff on YouTube (that’s one experience I don’t mind having access to, but it was also done responsibly and with permission… just saying).
What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business?
Don’t burn bridges. Be the person people want to work with. There are innumerable talented people available for every project, but have a good attitude, good energy, and be flexible. You never know where your current castmates or co-workers will end up. I got my agents because a former castmate stopped performing and was working for them. I told him I was moving up here with the thought of just re-connecting and hanging out and he ended up introducing me to the office and I’ve been with them ever since.
To learn more about Rashidra please visit – www.rashidrascott.com and for more info on Aint Too Proud make sure you visit – www.ainttooproudmusical.com