Studio Visit: Bryan Jenkins

Studio Visit: Bryan Jenkins

Bryan Jenkins, 23, of Westville is a performer. He also works as a barista at Cafe 13 in Danville and is studying communications online via Franklin University. He has a lead role in the musical "Disaster!" presented through Aug. 6 by the Beef House Dinner Theatre at the restaurant in Covington, Ind.

When did you start performing?

My stage debut was in 2008 in "The Music Man." I was an ensemble member. It was a DLO Musical Theatre production.

How many shows have you done so far?

I've done 17, but by the end of the summer, I'll have 19 productions under my belt.

Who do you play in "Disaster!"

I play Charlie. I get to open the show singing "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer. It's an all-'70s-hits musical, and I would say I'm one of the heartthrobs of the show.

What character have you played so far that's most like you?

Oh, that's a good one. You know, part of me really wants to say Dr. Frank-N-Furter in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" or Chuck Baxter in "Promises, Promises."

What do you like best about acting?

Becoming someone who I might want people to know or becoming someone I'm not at all like. It's just all expression, and I love entertaining people. That's got to be a favorite part of it — making people happy and entertained.

Is it something you want to do professionally?

Absolutely. I've only auditioned professionally once, for a cruise ship, but I was lacking in dance skills. I've been in dance classes for a year now, and I'm going to keep on going.

Are you a good singer?

I would say I'm OK. Some people have been saying really nice things, that I have the best voice in the area. I don't agree with that. I think there are people a lot better. I could always get better. I'd say I'm a little above average.

Did you ever study acting?

The main acting courses I've taken have been at The Acting Studio of Chicago. They completely changed the way I thought as an actor. How you present. How you look at a script. How every single moment matters. Every step you take. Every turn you take.

And obviously, I've learned quite a bit through my experience with DACC (Danville Area Community College Players), DLO Musical Theatre and the Beef House Dinner Theatre.

Phillip Langley (theater director at DACC) told me you're a natural.

When I was a little kid, I was always theatrical and acting things out and being overly dramatic in certain situations. So I guess it comes naturally to me.

Don't you have relatives who are musicians?

Yes, all of my uncles are in music on the Jenkins side. Alex Jenkins and the Bombers — they're the only ones up and running right now. My dad (Jesse) plays bass, but he has stage fright so doesn't perform. Back in the '80s, they had the Jenkins Brothers Band, but I don't think he performed. My mom, Dena, did acting in school. She never really talks about it, but I think I get my acting ability through her. She's witty. She's funny.

Topics (2):People, Theater

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