Interview: Catching Up with 2023 Jimmy Awards Winner Lauren A. Marchand

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 Lauren A. Marchand
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Just last summer, Lauren A. Marchand's world was turned upside down when she was named a winner at the 14th Annual Jimmy Awards. As a participant from New York City's Roger Rees Awards, Lauren was awarded Best Performance by an Actress and received a check for $25,000 to further her education.

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

What have you been up to since winning last year?

Since winning the Jimmy Awards, my world has opened up in amazing ways! I just finished my first year at NYU Steinhardt, studying Vocal Performance in Musical Theater, and I couldn’t be happier with how my first year went! Since that life changing night at the Jimmys, I have developed a magical bond with Disney Theatricals. In November of 2023, I was asked to headline the 10 Years of Frozen “Let It Go” Singalong live on Good Morning America! I traveled with Disney to New Orleans, Louisiana, and met with the most stellar group of students who were also putting on the full production of Frozen. Soon after in January of 2024, I made my 54 Below debut when I was asked to perform at the 15th anniversary of the Jimmy Awards. I got to sing on the same stage as some of my Broadway inspirations! I have also been fortunate enough to perform at my Regional Awards Program, the Roger Rees Awards, at several events including The New York City Center, Sardi’s Restaurant with the Broadway Education Alliance, and most recently and importantly, at this year’s Roger Rees Awards competition and what a full circle moment that was! In a few weeks, I am off to Vicenza, Italy to sing the role of Eponine in Les Miserables with the International Lyric Academy. I am so excited to perform in another country for the first time! 

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?

The biggest takeaway from my Jimmy Awards experience was the validation of my years of hard work, affirming that I am on the right path towards achieving my career goals. As a college student pursuing a career in theater, this affirmation was invaluable and helped catapult me in my first year of college, increasing my confidence whenever I perform on stage.   

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

Yes, with the help of social media, a lot of us keep in touch on the regular! I have since developed very close friendships with many of my fellow nominees, some who are returning this year, and I am so excited to see them shine on the Minskoff stage!

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

I will always look back on this life-changing experience positively. I would say though, it is easy to get caught up in the fun of socializing into the late hours of the night, so one thing I probably should have prioritized was getting to bed earlier to feel well rested for the next day of rehearsals. I would also say, last year’s Jimmy Awards had such a large social media response, because of that, on occasion there were negative angry people who sought to bring me down. I would have told myself to stay out of the comment sections and not fall down the rabbit holes of negativity, after having such a positive experience. So, for this year’s nominees, don’t let negativity on social media mar your experience.

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

I was coached by Telly Leung, and when it came time to select a potential finalist solo, I was really set on the song, “Astonishing” from Little Women, but Telly was insistent that we choose my eventual winning solo song, “With You” from Ghost. I was nervous about this at first, but I’ve come to learn that you need to hear other people’s perspectives in this field, especially those who have been working in it for a while. I am very grateful to Telly for believing in me and providing my coaching group with such a warm and welcoming environment during our sessions.  

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

One piece of advice I would share with this year’s nominees is to really try and forget about the competition aspect of the Jimmy Awards once you’re at Juilliard. If you are stuck in that competitive mindset, you will not absorb the vital advice from your coaches, the industry professionals, and your peers. What worked for me was challenging myself to really bring it, while remembering to block out those doubts and irrational fears of failure. My experience prior to the Jimmy Awards was a rollercoaster – since at my Regional Awards program, I was the runner-up! In a turn of fate, I was able to step in and go to the Jimmy Awards. The mindset I developed then remains now; when you're given an opportunity, you have to go for it and make the most of it. 

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!