Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS

By: Dec. 13, 2023
Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
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Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
Jason Schmidt as Prince Christopher in Theatre Under The Stars, Cinderella. 
Photo by Melissa Taylor

One of the most exciting things that happens in every December is Theatre Under The Stars annual holiday production. This year, Houstonians are in for a treat with The Enchanted Edition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. In this fantastic prodution, Houston can witness Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies star, Jason Schmidt. BroadwayWorld sat down with Schmidt to discuss his beginnings, and his life as an actor. 


Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
Jason Schmidt and Gemini Quintos in Theatre Under The Stars, Cinderella. 
Photo by Melissa Taylor

What initially drew you to performing? How did you get started in the industry?

When I was 9 my oldest sister started performing with the local community theater. The honest truth is, it just looked like she was having so much fun and making so many friends. So, I decided to audition with her for the next one. It was The Hobbit the Musical. It was three hours long. I played one of the dwarves at 9. I don’t know that the show was anything special but I was right, it was so much fun and I did make so many friends.

I got started in the industry in college. I was in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon. I had begun to submit tapes for projects here and there my sophomore year and was lucky enough to book a few tv spots. However, the true start to my career was doing the prequel to Grease- Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies.

Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
Cast of Theatre Under The Stars, Cinderella
​​Photo by Melissa Taylor

What has been your favorite role to date, and why does it hold a special place in your heart?

Tough question. I think all the roles I’ve gotten to play have taught me various things. I’m grateful for the journey each of them have taken me on. However, one does stand out to me. Earlier this year, I did the out of town tryout for The Outsiders musical, which is making it’s way to Broadway next year. I played Ponyboy’s older brother, Sodapop. Soda’s view of life, easy going attitude, and massive heart really speak to me.

Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
Brianna Kaleen and Jason Schmidt in Theatre Under The Stars, Cinderella
Photo by Melissa Taylor

Are there any genres or styles of musical theater that you find most challenging or rewarding to perform in?

For me personally, the more classical pieces are a bit more difficult. As an actor and artist I’m drawn to the rawer things. The very truthful, human stories. Those traits are in classical pieces but they tend to be more stylized. If you look at Cinderella trying to find a real, true human being in the Prince can be difficult. It’s challenges like that I look forward to though. It’s finding how to play the fantasy and fairy tale that the prince represents while getting to add dashes of the realism that I love.

In the ever-evolving landscape of musical theater, how do you stay creatively inspired and continue to grow as a performer?

Staying creative is simply a must for me. I’m blessed to be inspired by multiple different paths. I act, sing, and also write my own music. It works out great for staying creative because if I'm in a season of acting and I feel uninspired I put that hat on the rack, pick up a guitar and see what’s there for me. Going back and forth has kept me consistently inspired and growing.

Can you share a funny or unexpected moment that happened during a live performance? How did you handle it on stage?

In high school my pants fell off during “You Can’t Stop the Beat” when I was playing Link Larkin. I simply tried to hold them up and keep going. The show must go on.

Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
Jason Schmidt and Abby Yadan in Theatre Under The Stars Cinderella
Photo by Melissa Taylor

Are there specific rituals or routines you follow to warm up before a performance?

Warmups for me are all about getting mentally and physically loose. A vocal warm up is a must. Then, keeping my mind open to listening and new ideas is the harder part. I want to go on stage open to the different ways it might go that night. Keeping the character as a living breathing person rather than repeatedly finding him the same way. 

What advice do you have for aspiring musical theater actors who are just starting their journey in the industry?

Practice as much as you can. Whether you get to be in a show, have a teacher, or just alone in your room. Find a monologue online. Read about acting. Listen to other actors talk about it. There’s tons of Youtube videos with vocal scales. Would a private coach be better? Probably. But if you can’t have that then practicing every day will be your coach.

Any upcoming projects and where can BroadwayWorld readers find you on social media?

Next year I'll be in The Outsiders the Musical on Broadway. Come out and see me! You can follow me on Instagram and Tiktok at @jason.s.schmidt. You can listen to my music on any platform under Jason Schmidt!

Interview: Jason Schmidt of CINDERELLA at THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
Melrose Johnson and Jason Schmidt in Theatre Under The Stars Cinderella
Photo by Melissa Taylor

Cinderella by Rodgers and Hammerstein from Theatre Under The Stars will be in performance at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts until Sunday, December 24. Tickets can be bought at tuts.com or at the Hobby Center Box Office at 800 Rosine St. 




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