Jessie Mueller is Broadway royalty, but she worked her way up the ranks to get that crown! In honor of the first month of the year, we caught up with The Minutes star to hear about some of her firsts: from her humble beginnings on stage to her teenage angst, here are some of the most important milestones for Ms Mueller.
Broadway Spin: What was the first show you were ever in?
Jessie Mueller: It was a school pageant. I played a “wiggly worm” with my buddy Joshua. We sang “All God’s Creatures Got A Place in the Choir.”
BS: How did it go?
JM: I think I really nailed it. I don’t remember if there was choreography…
BS: And what was your first Broadway role?
JM: Melinda Wells in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.
BS: Was there anything that surprised you about being on Broadway?
JM: The most surprising thing about being on Broadway for the first time was all the workings behind it. The press, the advertising, it was a whole new world to me. The biggest lesson I learned for next time: Ask for help and say no when you need to.
BS: Did you ever have a survival job?
JM: Babysitting! I babysat on and off for years; I lived and worked in Chicago after college, and when I was between gigs, I’d babysit for my friends’ kids. Then was I was working, I’d meet all these new moms that needed help when they were working. We all really had each other’s’ backs in that community. I left this job whenever I got work again, or their gig ended!
BS: When did you get your first paycheck for acting and what did you do with it?
JM: Once Upon A Mattress at Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre, Oakbrook, IL. I probably paid down my credit card or student loans? Or bought food…
BS: What was your first on-stage kiss?
JM: I think it was in high school. We did a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Age-appropriate, no? I was Stella and I had to kiss my Stanley.
BS: How did it go?
JM: I think the lights started to dim pretty much right as it happened. It was high school!
BS: And last but not least, who was your first crush?
JM: Bono. I used to sit in my room and sing “With or Without You” along with him and think, I know, Bono, I know your pain. I know you’re singing about me. Don’t worry, I’m thinking about you too.
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