Kevin Ray Johnson
Let me tell you, I have had the privilege of doing interviews for OnStage Blog for well over a year now, and some stories are just so amazing, surreal, and inspiring. Some of these interviews and hearing these artist stories strongly remind me that if you work hard for your dreams, your dreams will work hard for you.
With that said it is my honor to introduce you to the wonderful Sarita Amani Nash.
Sarita is making her Broadway debut in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts 1 & 2) at the Lyric Theatre. What makes her debut so special is that before making her Broadway debut on the Lyric Theatre Stage, Sarita’s ‘survival’ job was ushering at the Lyric Theatre for four years. The very people that she was showing to their seats at the Lyric are now sitting in those very seats watching her perform on that stage eight times a week. How cool is that? Some stories truly write themselves, and I feel this is only the first chapter for this amazing young actress.
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?
As far back as I can remember, performing is what I wanted to do. My mom, dad, and sister are all musician/singer/dancer/actor types, so it was pretty inevitable! And it's the thing that makes me so, so happy.
What was your first reaction when you got the call of all calls?
It probably took every ounce of my being not to scream into the phone at casting, who called me about a month before rehearsals were going to start to let me know I had the offer. I remember I was about to go to a voice lesson and couldn't imagine how I was supposed to focus on that 32-bar cut anymore. I was home alone too, so once I did hang up the phone, there was a lot of screaming, crying, and jumping. I ran at least four laps around my apartment. Then I called my mom.
Congratulations on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! What an amazing and very inspiring story and an awesome show to make your Broadway debut with! How has your time been in Harry Potter and do you have any favorite moments in the show?
Thank you! It has been an amazing full circle moment to debut in this play at the Lyric, after working there as an usher for four years! Harry Potter was an incredibly instrumental part of my childhood, so this is a dream come true. We're all having the best time together - our cast is a fantastic group of talented, loving humans. I can't say what my favorite part of the show is because of spoilers, but I will say that I love being a swing because I will have the opportunity to tell parts of the story in so many different ways.
Are there any shows (Prior to Harry Potter) that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart?
I did a production of Raisin (the musical version of A Raisin in the Sun) in Astoria that I will always cherish being part of. I also got to play Deena Jones in Dreamgirls, which was just a blast.
What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business?
Trust the journey, even when you don't understand it. I can't remember where I first heard this advice, but it resonates with me because it's one of those lessons you have to keep teaching yourself. Before this, I was in final callbacks for another show that I wanted more than I've ever wanted anything, and I didn't get it. People will tell you to let go of things like this because it's out of your control, but I'll be honest, it's hard for me. It wasn't until I was in finals for Harry Potter that I thought, well I guess the universe knows something I don't know and I didn't get that other show for a reason.
So, yes be persistent and be consistent, but trust the journey. And remember that YOUR journey will look different than the person's next to you and that is absolutely okay!
To learn more about Sarita make sure you visit her website at - www.saritanash.com and to learn more about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child make sure you visit - www.harrypotterplay.com