The following is an excerpt from an episode of the TV talk show “Badass Lady-Folk,” featuring guest Jada Bennett, a dancer, singer, actress, and Brooklyn Cyclones entertainment coordinator based in Bay Ridge. Hosted by Christine Stoddard and filmed at Manhattan Neighborhood Network, “Badass Lady-Folk” is a feminist talk show that originated on Radio Free Brooklyn, where it airs on Fridays at 9am.
This transcript has been edited and condensed for print purposes:
Christine: You’re watching “Badass Lady Folk.” I’m your host, Christine Stoddard and this episode, my guest is Jada Bennett. Hi, Jada!
Jada: Hi, Christine!
Christine: It’s so wonderful to have you, Jada. Actress, singer, Brooklyn Cyclones–what is your title there?
Jada: [I’d put it as Entertainment Coordinator and Captain of the Surf Squad.]
Christine: Yeah, so we met at “The White Blacks” [at Theater for a New City] which is a production that has come up on this show a couple different times because I had Melanie Goodreaux, the writer-director on. When I met you at that production, I was immediately struck by your range because you played a couple different characters and you also sang beautifully in it.
Jada: Thank you.
Christine: No one else really sang in that show, so it’s nice to have some singing.
Jada: Yeah, I had to sing in the audition for that show.
Christine: Were you told you’d be singing?
Jada: No, not initially. I auditioned for that show [in 2022], and I came in–I knew that the show had already been done before and that I was coming in and I wasn’t sure how many people had done the show before that were coming back. I wasn’t sure how everything was gonna work but I went in and I knew that I would be playing a couple of characters, but I also didn’t know the extent of all of that. So I read for both Raunika–no, Raunika doesn’t have lines–I read for Gladys and Patricia, only one scene for each one, and they were very different from each other, and I was like, “Okay, all right, let’s roll with this.” That show definitely tested how much I could do at once.
Christine: Yeah. (laughs)
Jada: Because even though I had smaller, shorter time on stage, I knew that I had a lot to convey in that short amount of time. So I was just making sure that when I was in that character, I was in that character just living in that person’s world and making that world as big as I possibly could, so that the words that I was saying still had the story behind them. Yeah, that was a lot of fun. I would do that show again in the heartbeat.
Christine: Yeah, that was a beautiful show. So then during the audition, they were just like, “Hey, can you sing?”
Jada: Yeah, so I was reading for Patricia and there’s a story– you and I are in the scene together,
Christine: I’m the mean white girl.
Jada: You were a passé blanc in the street and I knew you and knew who you were. So I had to read that in the audition. And it said, “The hills are alive” because I was singing “The Sound of Music.” And so I just went for it and sang it, and they’re like, “Fantastic, great. So you’re gonna really sing this then.” She was like, “Can you sing it? Can you do it?” So I just, I sang it, and I went for it, and she’s like, “That really did it for us. So now you’re doing this on the show.” I was like, “Sounds great.”
Christine: So how did you get into acting?
Jada: Oh, I mean, I have always been doing it since I was little. I was always that kid that was, like, doing performances for my stuffed animals and for my family. Like, I did it all the time. I made my little brother do it. So I’ve always been around art. I started as a dancer first. And then, when I really got into acting and shows would have been my fifth grade year. I had just moved to a new town and I met some people and they were doing the school musical and so I decided to do it as well.
Christine: Aw, so you would have friends?
Jada: Yeah, correct. It was “Cinderella” and I got the fairy godmother. Ever since then, I did every school musical, like, from then on till I graduated. In sophomore year of high school, I was doing “Hairspray” and decided that I just wanted to do it forever. So here we are.
Christine: Aw. So what kind of dancing did you start doing?
Jada: I did what every little girl who did dance as a little kid did. I started at like two, three years old, and did the same tap /ballet combo class: half of the class is tap and half of the class is ballet.
That’s the end of the excerpt! Watch the full episode at Youtube.com/@badassladyfolk or below. Find out more about Badass Lady-Folk at BadassLadyFolk.com.