12 Mar 5-Star Journeys – Jonalyn Saxer
Meet Jonalyn Saxer – currently in the Broadway tour of “Mean Girls”
I believe my first show with 5-Star (then Cabrillo) was “My Fair Lady”. I was a “cartwheel girl.” My dad was in the ensemble of the show, and during a scene change, I believe I literally cartwheeled across the stage. I think I was 5 or 6? Many members of my family had done shows with Cabrillo, my sister Jennifer starred as Laurey in “Oklahoma!”. I went on to perform in eight shows, throughout elementary, middle, and high school. It was vitally important to my growth as a person and artist.
Something I love about Cabrillo/5-Star is the commitment and openness to nurturing, casting, and encouraging the youth in the community. As a highschooler, I was treated as a professional and cast as an adult in shows. Those experiences helped me realize that theater is what I wanted to do with my life.
I think as teenagers we’re always looking for an opportunity to be taken seriously and believed in for the things we love. 5-Star has a long history of doing that for the teens and kids in this area. I’ve seen it with my friends from those shows and again with many people afterwards. These experiences also put me in places where I didn’t need to find celebrities to look up to and be inspired by. I was constantly inspired by the people I was working with. I learned to look from side to side to find inspiration; to uplift those next to me and also be inspired to greatness from those around me. I truly have Cabrillo/5-Star to thank for that!
I’ve talked at length at how directly my experiences with Cabrillo led me to booking my first professional job. I take the things I learned way back when into every rehearsal room and show. I’ve been lucky to have such success in my life, performing in five Broadway shows and most recently starring as Karen Smith in the “Mean Girls” National tour. I’m also lucky to still have family in this area, and so I still feel very much connected to the 5-Star community. I always try to find ways to give back even a portion of the inspiration that was given to me.