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Interview: Catching Up with 2023 Jimmy Awards Winner Langston Lee

The 15th Annual Jimmy Awards will be held on Monday, June 24 at the Minskoff Theatre.

By: Jun. 20, 2024
Interview: Catching Up with 2023 Jimmy Awards Winner Langston Lee  Image
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Just last summer, Langston Lee's world was turned upside down when he was named a winner at the 14th Annual Jimmy Awards. As a participant from Austin's Heller Awards for Young Artists, Langston was awarded Best Performance by an Actor and received a check for $25,000 to further his education.

As the 102 new Jimmy Awards nominees continue their preparations for the 2024 ceremony, BroadwayWorld is checking in with Langston to catch up on what he's been up to since his big win, as well as advice for this year's participants. 

What have you been up to since winning last year?

I’ve mostly been focusing on school and honing my craft as an actor! There were a lot of opportunities and amazing people I’ve met during and after the awards, and I really found value in finding joy in training at school with my peers and participating in workshops/readings on my off days. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know that this year of training and working helped immensely in my preparation for what’s to come next!

We know that just being a part of the Jimmy Awards (let alone winning) can be a life-changing experience. Reflecting back on it now, what was your biggest takeaway?

What I’ve found most valuable in my experience at the Jimmys was the importance of being authentic both on stage and off. When you’re a part of a community that has so many vibrant voices and overwhelming talent I found that to not be swept away you really need to present your whole identity and be an authentic performer/person. I think by trying to be myself amongst my fellow nominees, I’ve had a better chance to connect with them without letting the competition aspect and excess pressure of the awards get in the way of the overall experience of the week. It even helped my performance in a huge way, by allowing myself to be present on stage instead of trying to fabricate an emotion or story. I carry this lesson with me everywhere I go now and try to be myself as much as I can!

Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow participants?

Yes! Through events like the Jimmys alumni mixer, I was able to connect with so many past alumni and got to see some of my fellow ‘23 participants again! We also have a group chat for all of our year’s participants and I even have a group chat for the guys that I shared a suite with during our week. It's always great to see and talk to past nominees because there is such a unique shared experience that we all have.

If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently?

Not at all, I can definitely say that my Jimmys week felt perfect, in every way :)

Is there a piece of advice that you got from one of your coaches that has stuck with you?

My coach Mary-Ann gave me a note that struck a chord; to find the stillness and internalization within the piece. Especially with my song “Wondering,” where there is such an ease and repetition to the music, she gave me the advice that it was important to not show the whole story through action but let the song flow through you emotionally and internally. That really gave me a fresh perspective on how to portray that song in a more subtle way.

Do you have any advice to share for this year's nominees?

Please enjoy the week to its fullest, meet new people and work hard but never let the competition aspect dictate your experience! If you just be yourself and put the work in, you’ll have the absolute best time! 

The National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, better known as the Jimmy Awards®, is a coast-to-coast celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual talent in vocal, dance, and acting performance. The program impacts approximately 130,000 students who participate in regional high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. The 2024 Jimmy Awards anticipates welcoming more than 100 nominees from over 50 cities across the country as they make their debuts on a Broadway stage. During this exhilarating talent showcase, a panel of judges will select two students to receive the coveted awards of Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the Jimmy Awards has been the catalyst for more than $6,000,000 in educational scholarships.

Full list of 2024 nominees!