VIDEO: On This Day, August 29- Remembering Kyle Jean-Baptiste
On this day we remember Broadway actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste who died the age of 21 after falling off a fire escape in 2015.
Baptiste made his Broadway debut in the recent revival of Les Miserables, appearing as Constable and Courfeyrac, when not understudying the leading role of Jean Valjean. At 21 years of age, Kyle was not only the youngest Jean Valjean to appear on Broadway, but also the first African American to do so.
A graduate of Baldwin Wallace, Jean-Baptiste also portrayed Enjorlas in Idaho Shakespeare Festival's Les Miserables. He appeared in a number of regional shows including THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (Idaho Shakespeare/ Great Lakes Theater Fest), MURDER BALLAD THE MUSICAL (Playhouse Square), LOVE STORY THE MUSICAL (Playhouse Square), LES MISERABLES, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and MUSIC MAN (New London Barn).
Writing on his web site, Kyle revealed how he found his passion and entered the world of musical theatre. "If you would of asked me what I wanted to be growing up I'd have said a cardiologist. I grew up in Brooklyn New York and had always sung, but never took it seriously. I decided to audition for Fiorello LaGuardia for vocal performance and got in(miracle) and the rest was history. Getting thrown into the world of musical theatre was terrifying and at first I didn't know if I could handle it, but through hard work and perseverance it all came together. Acting and singing have become an extension of who I am, and I strive to use my gift to influence and inspire others. I am now shooting for the stars and trying to reach my goal of becoming the best stage and screen actor that I can be."
Photo Credit: Jessica Fallon Gordon