Jaron Barney is currently an ensemble member in the Broadway touring production of Book of Mormon. He was nice enough to agree to an interview with him while he was performing at The Kennedy Center, and here's what we learned about his life, career, and interests!
Did you always want to be a performer? Can you tell us a bit about how you got your start?
I started singing at a really young age. My mother and brother are beautiful singers and music was a big part of my family life. I begged my parents for a piano for Christmas when I was 8 years old, and they reluctantly bought me a small keyboard. Ever since then I was completely hooked and music became the main focus of my life!
How did you end up getting cast in BOM?
I went to an open call for Mormon a few weeks after moving to New York City. I was lined up around the block with hundreds of other people, but was luckily called back a few months later. I continued to do callbacks for the casting company for about 2 years before a spot that was right for me opened up.
Can you tell us a bit about the audition experience?
My first few auditions I was very nervous and I honestly don't know how I got through them. After I got to know the casting group and the associate directors over the course of a few years it became much easier and I became more comfortable. In my very last audition I left the room with a deep feeling that it was finally my time, and a few weeks later I got the call that I had been cast!
Do you have any tips for young performers like us that want to be professional performers some day?
Be patient! Work hard! Have fun! It's easy to get frustrated and take it personally when things don't go our way as artists. It's extremely painful when we feel like our work isn't appreciated. But be patient with yourself and keep your head level so you can stay focused on your goals. The FUN part of being a performer is the work we do. Take lots of classes and enjoy them! Do lots of shows and enjoy them! Work as hard as you possibly can and have fun doing it! Everything else will fall into place when the time is right.
What's your life like throughout the year? A lot of traveling? Off time? Long hours, etc? Can you tell us what it's like a day in the life of Jaron?
We do travel all throughout the year, with only a few weeks off here and there. The work is hard, and sometimes the hours are long depending on the week, but it is SO rewarding and people in this company are so much fun. I would say it is the best job I've ever had by far.
Most of our days revolve around getting ready for the show in the evening. On a normal day I usually wake up and start hydrating immediately, go for a jog and hit the gym (staying physically fit is vital for surviving this show), cook or buy a meal for before and after the show, and then begin my warmup before the show. I also try to fit in sight seeing and fun activities when I have time. When I was in DC for example I spent ALL my free time exploring museums and monuments!
I feel like my motto on tour has been to try and work as hard as I play. Our schedules can be demanding at times, but we also have an amazing opportunity to see and experience so many parts of the country on tour. I feel so very fortunate to be a member of this company and strive everyday to make the most of it!
If you'd like to listen to Jaron Barney and "take lots of classes and enjoy them," check out our Studio Classes for voice, dance, and acting, enrolling high school and middle school students from the Washington, DC area all year round!