‘Badass Lady-Folk TV’: Jada Bennett of the Brooklyn Cyclones

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.

St. John’s ends season on a high note

The St. John’s baseball team used a six-run second inning to end the season on a high note, taking down Villanova, 6-1, on Saturday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Stadium on the Queens campus.
Tyler Roche tossed what was arguably the best outing of his young St. John’s career, allowing just one unearned run over 6.0 innings of work to pick up his first collegiate win.
He scattered three hits and five walks while striking out eight, a season high. The freshman from the Bronx lowered his ERA to 3.44 on the season and made it three straight appearances at home (16.2 IP) without an earned run to end the campaign.
Joe Joe Rodriguez threw a scoreless seventh before Ethan Routzahn struck out three over a pair of one-hit innings.
Following his Sunday performance, Routzahn closed the campaign with a 1.19 ERA, the lowest full-season ERA by a St. John’s pitcher since Thomas Hackimer turned in a 1.17 effort before being selected in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Marty Higgins wrapped a stellar redshirt freshman season by going 3-for-4 with a run scored, his fourth game of the year with three of more hits. Higgins closes the campaign with a team-high .333 batting average.
Justin Folz went yard for a team-high fourth time while Carson Bartels wrapped his collegiate career with a with a two-RBI performance.
David Glancy and Colin Wetterau added singles for St. John’s (19-21, 10-16 Big East).
After the Johnnies went down 1-2-3 in the first, Folz led off the second with a blast off the batter’s eye in center, putting the Red Storm ahead 1-0 in the early going.
With the bases loaded and two outs later in the inning, Bartels hit a slow grounder up the middle that looked like it would be easily picked up by the second baseman for the last out of the inning.
Instead, the ball ricocheted off the bag, shot into right field and allowed a pair of runs to score, pushing the St. John’s lead to 3-0. The Wildcats’ bad luck didn’t end there, as two errors by freshman shortstop Cameron Hassert allowed three more runs to score and gave St. John’s a 6-0 lead after two.
Villanova (21-14, 9-12 Big East) got on the board in the top of the fourth, as Hassert singled to center, advanced to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch.
St. John’s wraps up the spring with a record of 19-21, marking just the third time since World War II that the Red Storm has endured a losing season.

Queens College Knights make All-ECC teams

Four Queens College Knights were named to the East Coast Conference All-Conference team.
Freshmen first basemen Reed Hoskins earned a First Team selection. Freshmen outfielder Andrew Smith, sophomore left-handed pitcher Liam Pulsipher, and sophomore left-handed pitcher Dean Fazah made the Second Team.
Hoskins is the second freshmen for the Knights to earn First Team honors. He started in 24 games and in 77 at-bats went on to lead the Knights in batting average (.351), doubles (7), total bases (41), hits (27) and triples (2).
On the season, Hoskins was awarded Rookie of the Week honors in the last week of the regular season.
“Reed was a big part of our success this season,” said coach Chris Reardon. “He transitioned into a new role and excelled at first base and was a mainstay in the starting lineup while batting in the middle of the order for us.”
Smith was a consistent performer in his first year as a Knights as he appeared and started in 21 games either in right field or as the designated hitter in the starting lineup.
He ranked among the top five leaders in several categories, and he produced eight multi-hit performances on the year.
One of two pitchers to be named all-conference for the Knights, Pulsipher was a pillar in the starting rotation. Starting seven games, he produced a 3-2 record pitching 38.2 innings with a second-best ERA of 3.26, with opponents batting only .196 against the lefty.
Among the Knights pitching rotation, he ranks second in strikeout (40), while tied for eighth among conference pitchers.
Nationally he is ranked 42nd in Hits Allowed Per Nine Innings (6.12).
He opened the season with a win pitching 5.0 IP, allowing 4 hits, ER, and struck out five in the Knights 7-4 win over the Cougars.
On April 10, he produced a complete-inning gem, as he shut out the D’Youville College Saints, allowing only three hits and striking out a career-high 12 batters.
Fazah showed his experience throughout the season as one of the backbones in the Knights pitching rotation.
On the season, he appeared in eight games and made four starts to finish the regular season with a 3-1 record. He pitched 32.0 innings, leading the Knights in strikeouts (42) with an ERA of 3.94. He held opponents to a .260 batting average.
Nationally he ranked 41st in Strikeouts Per Nine Inning (12.49).
“In his first year with us Dean showed us his versatility and value throughout the season,” said Reardon. “He could be a spot starter as well as being a relief pitcher out of the bullpen.”

St. Joe’s sends off seniors

Senior Kevin Reyes went 4-for-4 at the plate and scored a run while Anthony Hernandez went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, however, the St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn) baseball team dropped the first game of Sunday’s twin bill to SUNY Maritime College, 7-5.
Joining Reyes and Hernandez with multi-hit games were Floral Park Memorial product Chris Leary and Nick Tapio, who both hit doubles and recorded an RBI each. Louis Lombardi also drove in a pair of runs.
Reyes would go 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored in the nightcap while Leary drove home both runs for the Bears (2-20, 1-14 Skyline) as the Privateers (10-5, 7-2) took the 14-2 win.
Along with Reyes, SJC honored their six graduating seniors from Gregg Alfano Field: C.J. Bunnicelli, Darius Cadle, William DeLuca, Nicholas Hernandez, and Maspeth native Matthew Rienzi. All six seniors would see action on Sunday.
In game one, the Privateers took an early 2-0 lead in the first thanks to a double that found the left-center field gap. Reyes’ leadoff double began the bottom half of the inning, scoring on Leary’s single to put the Bears on the board.
Hernandez followed that up with a single up the middle before he and Leary scored on a two-bagger by Lombardi; giving the Bears a 3-2 edge.
Vasilios Vafakos drew the game even at three with a single in the away half of the second. The freshman outfielder batted in the go-ahead run on a sac fly in the fourth, 4-3.
Leary doubled to begin the fifth. Hernandez blooped a single over the head of the Maritime first baseman and down the right-field line to once again tie the game, this time at four apiece.
It remained knotted until the eighth, when Danny Green’s RBI single gave the Privateers the lead at 5-4. Bunnicelli was pulled after 7.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and settling for the loss.
In the nightcap, a combination of passed balls and wild pitches plated Vafakos for the opening run of the game in the first, adding a couple more later in the frame.
As was the case in game one, Reyes led off the Bears’ half of the first with a double and scored on Leary’s single up the middle, grabbing a run back at 3-1.
Maritime saw their three-run lead restored in the second, but the Bears once again cut the deficit to two in the third with Leary bringing Reyes home, this time via a sac bunt, 4-2.
The Privateers further distanced themselves by scoring in each of the final four innings, headlined by a pair of doubles in that stretch and a seventh-inning homer, to win the non-conference game 14-2 and sweep the series from SJC.
DeLuca started the game on the mound for the Bears, tossing an inning and being dealt the loss. Rienzi played his 45th and final game in a Bears uniform, extending the program record for appearances by a pitcher, coming on for DeLuca in the second.
It was followed up by Cadle’s longest outing of the season, pitching 2.2 innings in relief and striking out three.
The seventh inning saw Reyes fan a pair in his first-ever appearance on the bump and Bunnicelli, entering as a pinch hitter, notching his first collegiate hit in the bottom of the inning.

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