Jennifer Sanchez might not be a household name yet, but the talented beauty has had over 30 roles (yes, 30) in six different Broadway shows and is currently a cast-member of Pretty Woman in Chicago, which heads to Broadway later this year. On May 17, Sanchez headlines her own show called Gin and Jazz at The Green Room 42, where she’ll perform jazz arrangements from her hit Broadway shows. Oh, and in between all of that, she raised a son who is now a teenager. In other words, she’s one impressive mama. To kick off Mother’s Day right, Broadway Spin sat down with the industry vet to hear about her journey so far and what lies ahead.
Broadway Spin: Where did your Broadway career start?
Jennifer Sanchez: My Broadway debut was with West Side Story in 2009, and I booked that job from an open call. I had been auditioning for about a year, didn’t have an Equity card or an agent, and just showed up to the open call on a Tuesday. I had the job offer on a Wednesday. It was so crazy. That’s really what opened the door for me. Now, I’m working on my seventh Broadway show.
BS: Now that you’ve had such success, do you still get nervous to audition?
JS: Yes! I have horrible auditions and wonder if I have any talent. But that kind of thought process will mess you up. I have to focus on the work only, bringing the best version of myself, and truly letting go of the outcome.
BS: And through this whole process you’ve been raising a son on your own?
JS: Yes! At that open call for West Side Story, he was around 6 or 7. He was just waiting for me in the hallway to finish my audition. Since then, he has grown up in green rooms. I just take it one day at a time. They say it takes a village, and it certainly does. I have called up friends to help pick him up from daycare. The universe supported us.
BS: What does he think about having a mom who is on Broadway?
JS: He’s very adaptable, mature, and very chill, so, he was the perfect child for this journey. I feel like that is no coincidence. He also has excellent taste in theater! He has seen everything that there is to see. I am talking dark plays to light musicals, and he has the most interesting things to say about them.
BS: You’ve amazingly managed to balance your demanding careers and motherhood. So, what’s your dream gig?
JS: When I got to go on twice for Laura Benanti for her character Candela in Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown it was the best time I’ve had on stage. Roles like that are what dreams are made of. I also really enjoy doing comedy, so I just continue to look for a great comedic role – but writing my own Broadway show would be a dream come true. It seems so big but, in another way, it seems like it could happen too!
Strong Female Lead is a new column on Broadway Spin that shines a spotlight on inspirational women working in the theater industry. If you know a wonder woman we should feature, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s hear it for the girls!