After listening to Jeannette Bayardelle sing, one wonders if you have just had a sneak peak into the world of angels. From the Bronx to Broadway and beyond, she has traveled to over fifty countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and the Caribbean, sharing her gift.
Her success has landed her in the national media spotlight with television appearances on Oprah, Live with Regis & Kelly, KTLA, TBN and many more!
As a fellow Bronx-born woman I am completely in awe of her voice and encourage you all to enjoy her chilling performances.
Jeannette is currently starring in Girl from The North Country as Mrs. Neilson on Broadway. She also starred in the revival production of Hair on Broadway as Dionne and in The Color Purple as Celie on Broadway.
Jeannette originated the role of Celie on the First National Tour of The Color Purple where she received an NAACP award for best lead actress in a musical. She recently won the 2020 Off West End Theatre Award for Female Performance in Shida, which was written and performed by Jeannette.
Shida premiered in NYC Off-Broadway, had a successful run at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge MA, The West Angeles Theater in Los Angeles, CA and in London at The Vaults Theater.
Her extraordinary performances on stage lead her to work on Disney's Princess and The Frog, Little Mermaid III Ariel's Beginning (I WILL SING) and performing for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Jeannette created and stars in the web series "I Take Thee Zoe" which premiered in Dec 2015, Off Broadway: Rock Of Ages (Mother, Justice), Best of Both Worlds (Serena).
As a woman of color, I was so curious to see how Jeannette has been going about the Black Lives Matter movement and how her career has been affected by COVID-19.
Why did you start performing arts?
As a child, I loved singing, acting, creating skits and making my family laugh. It felt so natural. I was fortunate to have a family that encouraged it which eventually helped me hone my skills.
What do you love most about performing?
I love telling stories and evoking an emotional response from an audience. It brings me joy to see the transformation of an audience as I sing a song, tell a story, or do a dance. The ability to transport individuals is very powerful.
What is the current state of your studio?
As of now, I am working out of my home studio. I have been fortunate enough to equip my studio with tools necessary to continue to work in this season.
What is the best way to register for your Broadway show?
You can get information on Girl From The North Country at https://northcountryonbroadway.com/.
What character do you play?
I play Mrs. Neilson. Girl From The North Country takes place in the 1930's during the great depression. It's written by Conor McPherson with music by Bob Dyaln.
The story is centered in a boarding house where the guests are trying to survive and make the best of their situation. My character, Mrs. Neilson is the glue that helps keep the boarders together although she has her own personal issues.
Why did you choose to pursue this play?
I feel like this project chose me and I am grateful everyday. I got a call from my agent letting me know that I had an offer to the reading. I wasn't really familiar with Bob Dylan's music but after I read the script and heard the songs, I was sold. There was something spiritual about it.
I felt it was a destiny appointment for me. It was God ordained.
What is your favorite part of the play without any giveaways?
I have several favorite moments in the show. Being that it is an ensemble piece, the favorite moments in the show is when the entire cast is on stage singing the beautiful words of Bob Dyaln and speaking Conor Mcpherson's genius script.
What is your biggest takeaway regarding COVID-19?
There are so many takeaways from this situation. Life is short and we shouldn't take it for granted. Also, isolation is difficult but necessary to accomplish the task of growth. It is out of an uncomfortable situation that greatness is born. Be of good courage and know that better is coming.
What long-term effects do you see COVID-19 having in Broadway?
I believe that because of what the community and the world has endured, Broadway will be appreciated like never before once we are back on stage.
We took the privilege of theatre for granted. I remember the last performance I did before the shutdown.
I took in each moment. I knew, in my inner knowing, that this performance was the last in this season. Although it was hard to let it go, I am in great expectation of Broadway's rival. I believe it is going to be magical, spiritual, uplifting and transformational. It will help catapult the world into a new season of hope.
What is one thing you want the world to know about Broadway in light of COVID-19?
Broadway is deeper than a song, dance, lights and glitter. To some it's a church, to others is a family. To me it's a necessity. It's a teacher, a healer, a motivator, an innovator, a mirror, and most importantly, a blessing from God.
How comfortable do you feel being back in the studio?
I believe once we have a safe form of treatment and or vaccine, I will be extremely comfortable being back on stage.
When do you think you'll be back on stage?
Hopefully, we will be back before 2022.
What extra precautions do you anticipate Broadway is taking to ensure that participants feel safe?
Broadway doesn't work unless all participants are safe. Depending on how far we come along in science by the time we open, I don't know what precautions will be in place. I do believe that every precaution necessary will be done to make sure everyone is safe when we do open.
How did you contribute to the BLM movement?
Being a Black woman, I know Black lives matter. I live it and contribute to it everyday of my life.
It's not a movement for me. It's my life. Black lives. We matter. We always did.
Unfortunately, we are not treated as if we do. I will say that with everything going on from dealing with a pandemic and watching my Black brothers and sisters being murdered by police.
It was and is overwhelming. My prayer to God was "I'm Tired." I wrote a song about it. On April 2, I took my first guitar lesson. Since then my guitar has been my life line during these difficult times. This song "God I'm Tired" is the first song I wrote with my guitar.
"God Im Tired" by Jeannette Bayardelle
You can also find her on SPOTIFY.
How was the #PASSTHEMICBROADWAY experience?
I really enjoyed #passthemicbroadway. Bernadette Peters graciously shared her Instagram platform with me allowing me to share my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with her fanbase.
It was pretty awesome. I answered questions, shared music, and gave a message of hope during these difficult times. I am thankful for people like Dionne Figgins who facilitated this initiative. Dionne is a fierce leader.
What is one message you’d like to share to guide us all through this incredible year?
Have faith. Embrace change. Trouble won't last always. Allow these hard times to bring out the best in you. Don't be afraid to try new things. Share your gifts with the world. We need what you have. The other side of this is victory. I'll see you there. Love you!
National & International Tours: The Color Purple (Celie), Deaf West's Big River (Alice), Rent (Season Soloist).
Regional Tours: Mama Mia (Rosie)/ North Shore Music Theatre, Company (Susan)/Berkshire, Freaky Friday (Ms. Meyers)/La Jolla, Sister Act (Deloris)/North Shore Music Theatre, The 12 (Mother Mary)/The Denver Center, Best of Both Worlds (Serena)/American Repertory Theater.
Film: Disney's Little Mermaid III.
Awards: NAACP Theater Award (best lead Actress in a Musical) for the role of Celie in The Color Purple, AUDELCO Award (Best Performance) and Offie award for Shida.www.Jeannettebayardelle.com