Jeremy Pope is having the kind of year most young actors dream of: He’s currently making his Broadway debut in the title role of “Choir Boy,” the play by Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (“Moonlight”), and four days after he leaves that show, he’ll start performances in “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” playing Eddie Kendricks — one of the founding members of the legendary Motown music act.
It’s been a fast rise for him following the 2013 Off Broadway premiere of “Choir Boy,” his first gig after graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He’s learned a few things along the way.
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“I almost quit AMDA because I was having to learn traditional musical theater things that just weren’t in my wheelhouse, and didn’t feel like things I would ever be able to do,” Pope recalled on the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety‘s theater podcast. “I had this pop, R&B sound to me … but I think what I realized is just the power in being everything and whatever it is that you are. That is the thing that is going to separate you, and give you an advantage in this business. I think sometimes you feel like you need to strip away whatever it is that makes you different, to become the next young Norm Lewis, or the next Denzel Washington, or whoever it is that people tell you [that] you remind them of.”
Also on “Stagecraft,” Pope talks about the importance of representation, the potentially embarrassing costume he wore in his high school production of “Cats,” and his trip with an Oscar winner to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
New episodes of “Stagecraft” are available every Tuesday. Download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on iTunes, Stitcher, or anywhere finer podcasts are dispensed. Find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.