Courtney Reed of Broadway’s ‘Aladdin’ on Being an Actor of Mixed Ethnicity: “They have a hard time putting you in certain categories”

courtney-reed-aladdin

Most young girls have their favorite Disney princess character, but few of them have the opportunity to play that princess on the Broadway stage. Courtney Reed, who plays Jasmine in the Broadway version of Aladdin, is one of those exceptions. Reed managed to find a moment in between playing sold out show after sold out show to speak to Vanity Fair about how being of “mixed ethnicity” hurts and helps her career and about whether or not she gets scared during the production’s high-flying magic carpet scene.

Reed says she is of “mixed ethnicity,” but she doesn’t clarify what that mixture is. The reason for that is she does not want to be pigeonholed as an actress of a particular racial identity. She explains, “It’s tricky in this business, because when you’re someone who’s mixed ethnicity, they have a hard time putting you in certain categories, because maybe you’re not Latin enough, or Native American enough, or Asian enough, or white enough. It’s really hard when they’re looking for something very specific. So, a lot of times, for me, it’s better for them to guess, or want me to be what they see. I guess most people don’t identify me as one ethnicity very much, but then again I get cast pretty much Latin most of the time.”

Besides acting, starring in Aladdin requires stuntwork from the two leads in the stage version of the animated film’s famous magic carpet scene. While the stunt itself might seem scary or exhilarating to the audience, Reed admits that it’s not actually as scary as it seems. She reveals, “We’re totally strapped in. People ask if it’s scary. It’s totally fun, especially the first couple of times. We’ve never been able to just ride it. We always have to be singing and thinking about a million other things, where the lighting is hitting you in certain ways. It’s all pre-set and they just click go and then it does the whole thing. It was very rollercoaster-y the first time. Now that I’ve done it so much, it’s not scary at all. It’s sort of normal to ride a magic carpet every day!”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/young-viggo-mortensen.jpg
Viggo Mortensen on His First Movie Role and Why It Didn’t Bring Him Instant Success
"I’ve always stuck to a similar approach with each job. Show up on time and prepared, and pay attention." - Viggo Mortensen
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Octavia-Spencer-Hidden-Figures.jpg
Octavia Spencer on Period Pieces: “I don’t come out of the time period; I stay in it”
"I listen to music of the time and I only deal with family and friends that are on the film" - Octavia Spencer
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Tom-Hardy-Taboo.jpg
Tom Hardy on How He Prepared for His Role in ‘Taboo’
"I really think about acting in two different parts. There’s convincing and not convincing acting." - Tom Hardy
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/greta-gerwig.jpg
Greta Gerwig’s Advice to New Actors: “Make your own things”
"When I suddenly feel like I can't find my footing, I listen to a song or look at a photograph or read an essay, and reconnect with what I felt the essence of the character was." - Greta Gerwig
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/viggo-mortensen-captain-fantastic.jpg
Viggo Mortensen on How He Became an Actor
"It didn’t occur to me to try acting it until I was, for an actor, relatively pretty old — 22 or 23." - Viggo Mortensen