BEAUTIFUL ON BROADWAY: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHILINA KENNEDY

You’re a total Broadway veteran. What would you say that you love about Beautifulthat’s unique to this particular show?
“I love the message of this show. It is powerful and positive. It’s a love story and also a story about forgiveness. I feel uplifted at the end of every performance and that doesn’t happen with every show.”

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Your schedule must be grueling. What are your favorite ways to prepare for each performance, and how do you wind down after curtain call?
“I find new ways to prep for my show every day. Sometimes I do a lot of prep and sometimes just a little, depending on how I feel that day. Music is often a great way in and I almost always do a physical warm up to connect to my body. Sometimes silence and stillness is what I need. After the show I like to go home and have some quiet time.”

What are your favorite fresh products, and why?
“I love all fresh products but the deodorant and the scents have been my favorites over the years!”

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
“Perseverance. And to try not to compare myself to others. To be myself.”

What advice would you give to a young woman just starting out in her acting career?
“Probably the same advice. Stick with it. Especially if it’s something you really want to do. And stay loving and positive towards yourself and others.”

What career accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
“Probably my Theater Company in Toronto. It’s brand new and it takes a lot of work but I’m very proud of it. I also wrote a musical, which is having its 3rd reading here in the city. That makes me feel very brave and fearless.”

Can you tell us about women who inspire you?
“Well, aside from Carole King, there are so many! I’m inspired by many women. It’s always the kind of women who persevere, sometimes quietly, that touch me the deepest. Jane Goodall has always been a big role model. Greta Thunberg is wonderful. Incredibly smart and brave.”

What’s a mantra that you try to live by every day?
“To be kind and compassionate. And to keep breathing.”

Can you tell us about a particularly challenging moment that you’ve had in your career? How did you handle it, and what did it teach you?
“I’ve faced some rejection, and that always feels awful. I took some time to sit quietly with my sadness. Then I actively let go of the event and allowed it to make me both tough and vulnerable. You need both of those qualities in this business.”

What’s something that you’re looking forward to in your career—a role you’ve yet to play, a venue you’ve yet to perform at?
“The Lincoln Center. Carnegie Hall. There are so many roles I’ve yet to play and shows I’d like to write, to direct. I’d love to see my son perform someday.”