September 5, 2007

JBB EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Sara Schmidt!

September 5th, 2007

We’re excited to present another interview with one of the Jersey Girls–Sara Schmidt! Before her Sunday afternoon performance on August 5, Sara chatted about what’s been happening over the past year, the excitement of her upcoming “Journey to Jersey Boys” show, how she thinks the show and the many characters she plays have evolved since the early days, and some other surprising details.

JBB: Thanks for meeting with us, Sara! Great to see you again! The last time we chatted was right after the Tonys. Have there been any major unexpected surprises over the last year or so?

SS: The fact that we’re all still here. The fact that as a company, not many people have left. Some have moved on to play Jersey Boys on the tour, but we’ve been really lucky to stick together as a whole group. We get along; it works really well; it’s still a fantastic show; and it’s fun. I’m just amazed that a year later, we’re all still together.

JBB: Your upcoming “Journey to Jersey Boys” show sounds incredible! Are you excited about the big show next week?

SS: It’s an honor to be a part of it! We had our first rehearsal a couple weeks ago. These are the people that I sit with on a nightly basis and see every day and I know they are talented in Jersey Boys, but when these girls and Travis opened their mouths to sing, it was very special! It’s so nice to hear everybody do what they do best–Jennifer, Erica, and Heather, especially!

JBB: How do you think Jersey Boys has evolved since the early days on Broadway?

SS: That’s tough; hopefully it hasn’t changed too much because the director would be upset with us (chuckles).

Compared to the very beginning, it’s a lot smoother; it’s slick; and it just flows together really quickly and seamlessly. Where, in the beginning, you’re just still getting used to it and you’re not sure what’s going on with costume changes, wigs, and backstage patterns. That’s all really simple now. Also, when you’re doing a show this long, there’s more of an understanding of how to conserve your energy and give exactly what you need to do, so you can maintain yourself and the show for the whole three hours a night.

JBB: What percentage of the show happens backstage that we don’t see?

SS: There’s a whole process backstage with everybody. You know if you’re going on the right side or the left side of somebody, and the same thing happens every night, and you expect that person to be there. If they’re not there, we think, ‘What’s going on?’ There’s a whole different thing going on backstage!

JBB: You play so many characters in Jersey Boys. How do you think they’ve changed or evolved over time?

SS: I hope I’ve gotten better at it with the timing of jokes. I also think I’ve gotten better at set changes, or simple things like the pushing in of a chair—not to take away from what the main characters are doing on stage.

For example, in the church scene, I think the five of us that are on stage at any given night have a really good sense of how to read the audience and how to play the joke. We’ve done it so many times. If we have a really dead audience, you can do a little bit more; if we have a really smart audience, we can do a bit less. At that point, you can kind of read it, and then that sets it up for Frankie and Mary Delgado’s pizza scene. Then, they can have a sense of what the audience is on any given night. Friday audiences are much different than Tuesday nights; Wednesday afternoons are different than Sundays. So, you just have to have a sense of who you’re performing for, and that’s gotten easier as we’ve done it so many times. I know you have to keep the show the same every night, but there’s a delicate balance of being able to sense who you’re with.

JBB: Do you think there’s a certain audience that brings out the best in the production?

SS: All the audiences we have are great; and every single person that comes is great. But the people who are truly from New Jersey and grew up with this music at this time, those men that stand up and get weepy thinking about it, bring out the best. They are just so excited. The four actors that play The Four Seasons stop becoming actors and the audiences are so taken with them, that it becomes a reality rather a Broadway show, which is pretty cool. It looks like the men in the audience have just had the best three hours of their lives that they’ve had in a long time.

JBB: Is there anything that you’ve discovered about yourself since becoming a Jersey Boys cast member that you didn’t know before?

SS: That I really like this job! I’m a happy person; I enjoy coming to work! It’s the best part of my day. It’s nice having a job that you know you’re going to have for a while. You don’t have to stress about the auditions. At one point, I looked through a newspaper one day, and realized that I had auditioned for 80-85% of the shows. I’m proud of being in Jersey Boys, and it’s really nice to come to work every day!

Thank you again to Sara Schmidt for taking the time for this fascinating interview and we wish her all the best on Broadway!


  1. A very nice interview. Sara is such a beautiful girl. It’s interesting that she and Jennifer Naimo both talked about how the personality of the audience can effect the show. It had never occurred to me that we, as an audience, have an influence over the cast. Pretty cool. These cast interviews are very enlightening – I’m loving them! Thank you!

    Comment by Catherine — September 6, 2007 @ 6:57 am

  2. Sara continues to amaze me. She is such a great actress/singer, I just wish we got to hear more of her voice during the show! She is SO nice too! She usually slips out the stage door very quickly, but is always willing to stop and chat for a few minutes.

    Comment by Courtney — September 6, 2007 @ 7:13 am

  3. Sara, You are so lovely, talented and kind. It’s always a pleasure to see you on stage, so into every character you play. I love your “blob” line and I ALWAYS laugh!! You have an incredible voice and I wish we heard more of it in the show. Here’s hoping that you girls get to perform “Journey to JB” again sometime soon, I so want to see it! Will be seeing JB again soon and it’s always a treat to chat with you afterward. I know you love Williamstown, come for a visit sometime & bring Jen with you!! All best & all of us all hope that you, and the rest of the cast, stay with the show forever!! All best to you, Wanda

    Comment by Wanda — September 6, 2007 @ 10:23 am

  4. Sara is not only a beautiful girl, but can she ever sing! You’ll note how far she is standing from the mic in the pic above. I was there that night at Ars Nova and she’s a belter! If she ever decides to quit acting, she could always do toothpaste commercials…her teeth are flawless!

    Comment by Gary — September 6, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  5. Gary, I wonder if Sara and JLY use the same dentist! She does have real talent.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — September 6, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

  6. Sara is such a beauty…and every bit the princess she dreamt of being when she was little! Her voice is crystal clear, whether she is belting out a number Broadway style or singing to an intimate cabaret crowd. Thank you, Sara, for such a wonderful performance in “Journey to Jersey Boys” and your nightly “gig” in JB!

    Comment by LuluThompson — September 6, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

  7. During every visit to see Jersey Boys I enjoy Sara’s lead singing role in “The Angels!!” She has a terrific voice!!

    Comment by Beverley Micciche — September 8, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

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