Who: Jasmine Easler
What: Actress, currently playing Joanne Jefferson in Rent 20th Anniversary Tour
Where: Originally from Toledo, Ohio and so excited to be calling New Orleans home from April 17-22 while touring with RENT 20th Anniversary Tour.
Q: What is something that you feel like is an equal trade?
JE: I often trade food, especially on this tour. We will get to the end of the week, and someone will post that they have extra avocados or bananas that they have to get rid of. I find myself running around and putting something together in order to trade
Although, I always feel like I come out on the better end with trades. I see what I like, I offer a sac or a bag of tea in trade thinking they’ll never go for it, and they make the trade. I think that has more to do with the person being nice more than anything. I don’t feel like I have things that people want [laughing].
Q: This question could possibly be incredibly annoying, but how would you measure 525,600 minutes?
JE: I would measure in road trips. This tour has been such an open door for me to road tripping. Before this tour, I never had a huge interest in travel. I was really comfortable in Toledo, Ohio; everything I knew was there, and I felt fine with that. My fiance is a big traveler and always on the move, and being with Rent has opened my eyes to how incredible it is to travel the world, go places with amazing people, and all the fun that comes with that.
As soon as I got the offer to play Joanne I realized that the possibility of travel and playing this great role was being presented to me, and even though it didn’t make sense in how I had looked at myself in regard to travel and whether I was ready for the new opportunity, I decided I would just go for it. If the people who auditioned me believed in me, I should as well.
Now it is my second year with the tour, and it fits me like a glove.
And I’ve found all these places that I’ve love. Pittsburgh was a great vibe. It was like New York but cozier and tighter. New York is of course amazing, and Portland has such a fantastic vibe. And nothing tops Japan. We went to Tokyo last year, and we were there for a month. It was so incredibly magical that I can barely explain it. We all felt so comfortable there in no time–riding the trains, heading to the theater, knowing where to get your ramen, everything.
Jasmine Easler and Lyndie Moe in RENT 20th Anniversary Tour (photo credit: Carol Rosegg, 2017)
Q: If you had to have a hang out with one of the characters you’ve played, who would it be and what would you do?
JE: I would love to hang out with Angelica from Hamilton. She’s on top of her game in life, so I’m thinking we would do something really chill, like have pizza. I want to have modern day pizza with Angelica Hamilton, and it would be in New York. Then I could show her all around New York, and I could hear her insight on all that is happening in today’s world.
Q: What is a ritual you have when it comes to performances or acting?
JE: I’m still in the beginning stages of my career, so I’m finding out what ritual I need. One thing that remains consistent, so far, is the need for physical activity.
I usually try to find a space in the theater–and this changes with every theater you visit, so it may be a stairwell, a dark corner, or a spot outside the dressing room–where I can get physical [laughing]. That could mean running up and down the stairs, doing twenty push-ups, or anything that will get my blood flowing. I’m almost always alone when I do that because it’s a good way to go inward and get in my zone.
Because then you get on stage and you are this new person. With Rent, I feel really close to the role of Joanne, so the pre-show rituals of the physical activity and being with the company is a way to breathe and respect what we are about to do as a company, a way to respect all the people that are about to spend two-and-a-half hours listening to us on stage, and a way to honor who the characters are and what they’re saying. Not to mention that Joanne has been my favorite role since high school [laughing], so that makes it even more amazing.
The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour (photo credit: Carol Rosegg, 2017)
Q: What are words you never want to hear again?
JE: I am actually in the process of taking a couple of words out of my own vocabulary. I want to stop using the word “try” and the phrase “I think.”
I will say “I think” when I actually know what I’m saying. I want to trust that what I’m saying, thinking, and feeling is real, and I don’t want to second-guessing that.
And I want to stop trying to do things. I want to dive in and do it. If I want something, I want to go for it. Sure, I might fall on my face, I might succeed, but, overall, I did it.
Jasmine Easler (Joanne Jefferson) is thrilled to be a part of her very first national tour with RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, which will be at the Saenger Theater from April 17-22, 2018. Tickets are available for evening and matinee shows, and you can purchase them here . Some of Jasmine’s favorite credits include: Hot Mikado and Fences both with Wright State University, and Crowns with the Human Race Theater. She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Wright State University