Jordan Bloom onstage in New York
Eleven-year-old Jordan Bloom is not your typical sixth grade student. When she`s not at Coleytown Middle School, Bloom spends her time studying voice, acting, ballet and jazz, all to make her a well-rounded actress. She is a busy girl, to say the least.
Bloom`s mother, Elana, explained, "Jordan started acting when she was nine. Her little brother, Zachary, told her that the Westport Country Playhouse was auditioning children to be in A Christmas Carol and she asked us to sign her up to audition. She had two voice lessons with local voice coach Ivan Rutherford of Fairfield, and she was cast in A Christmas Carol."
To date, Bloom has acted in seven shows over the past two years. "Four of them have been professional Actor`s Equity productions," Elana noted. "So far her favorite has been the Equity Showcase production of Ragtime. "¦ She loved the music and the story. "¦ In addition, the cast was so incredibly talented and fun to work with."
Bloom has also been in two film shorts and has sung in a professional recording for Rocket Boys, a new musical in its development stages. "Jordan is also currently participating in her middle school`s production of Annie in the role of Annette, the maid," Elana added.
To date, Bloom has performed in Ragtime as Little Girl; A Christmas Carol as Belinda Cratchit; By Proxy as Sarah; and Les Miserables as Young Cossette (at Centerstage in Westport).
Bloom will perform the role of Girl in Martin McDonagh`s The Pillowman, an Astoria Performing Arts Center production in New York, starting Thursday, Nov. 5. Known to be controversial and risqué, The Pillowman won the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Play, the 2004-05 New York Drama Critics` Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play and two Tony awards.
The plot of this dark comedy involves the interrogation of Katurian, a fiction writer in an unnamed totalitarian state, whose short stories are eerily similar to several local, horrific murders of children. It has been labeled "McDonagh`s least forgiving, bravest play" by Variety. McDonagh is known for writing and directing In Bruges (2008), starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.
Bloom`s role in The Pillowman is the most demanding she has taken thus far. As Elana explained, Girl is "a very physical role and Jordan needs to convey a lot of emotion without the use of words. She needs to express love, compassion, pain and joy without the benefit of lines. Her director, Tom Wojtunik, is essential in helping Jordan tell her portion of the story, and her fellow cast members make it much easier. The fight scenes involve complex choreography and she has been working closely with Fight Director Ryan Kasprzak to make the scenes believable and safe."
Bloom herself commented that it`s "cool to die onstage," and thinks her role is "great."
"She adores "¦ Wojtunik and would follow him to the ends of the earth," Elana commented. "It`s harder than other roles, but it`s fun being carried around and making people believe that she`s in pain."
As for Elana`s feelings toward her daughter`s role, she said, "Without wanting to give away the play, the thought of watching our daughter get crucified made Jordan`s dad and I pause. But she is an actress and we accept that there are going to be roles that are difficult for us, as parents, to watch. Jordan has a dream of becoming a great professional actress and working with "¦ Wojtunik; the creativity he brings to his productions will help Jordan move forward in her career. Moreover, this is a play that has won numerous awards, and good art is often controversial. Shielding Jordan from controversy would also be shielding her from growing both intellectually and as an actress."
Set to run for 15 performances from Nov. 5 through Nov. 21, Bloom is already considering her next move. Elana reported, " Jordan plans to continue training with her voice coaches, Ivan Rutherford and Beverly Lambert; acting coach Gary Nastu at Next Stop NY in Fairfield; and dance instructors at New Canaan Dance Academy. Her agency "¦ is working hard to get her seen for Broadway shows, movies and television."
With so much time dedicated to the performing arts, Bloom`s time has been stretched thin. Nevertheless, as Elana said, "Right now, her grades are great. Jordan is super smart and can absorb material quickly."
In the small amount of free time Bloom has at this time, she enjoys skiing and horseback riding when she is not tapping, singing and acting.
The Pillowman is showing at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent St., Astoria, NY 11102. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, available online at www.apacny.org or by calling (866) 811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the Theatre Box Office 30 minutes prior to show time.