Ball State alumnus Jake Letts takes the stage in a whole new role in the touring cast of “Aladdin” – Ball State Daily News

When Jake Letts started out, he “couldn’t carry a tune, ” he said. Now, he takes the particular stage in the touring cast of “Aladdin. ”

When he turned 13 and his voice started changing, he was able to start singing lessons.  

“Once I was able to get lessons for it, that was something that was like, ‘Okay, I really love doing this. This is my main passion, ’” Letts said.  

He has been an involved student within the music program at Carmel High School, participating in the variety associated with show choirs and even being a founding member of the acapella group at Carmel High School.  

“You could tell that he was very serious about [choir], ” Kathrine Kouns, director of choirs at Carmel High School, stated. “He really was excited to pursue this and be a part of everything. ” 

Mike Letts had been 15 years old when he took the stage at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Carmel, Indiana, with regard to the first time.  

“I did their Young Artists Program – a production associated with Footloose – and I was hooked. At that point, We were kind of like, ‘Okay, this is most definitely what I want to do, ’” Letts said.

Letts was also included in musical theater while at Carmel Senior high school; the Carmel High College choir system runs music theater shows as opposed to the school’s acting classes, Kouns mentioned.  

Kouns also shared that Letts left the strong impression on the particular program whenever he played the Phantom of the Opera within the school’s production of “The Phantom of the particular Opera” while he was still in attendance.  

“It’s been six many years, ” Kouns said. “[Letts] has long since already been gone from high school, and people still talk regarding that role and remember him in it because he just really handled it well. ” 

When it came time to decide what to do for college, Letts said someone told him studying musical theatre was an option, and this individual found his footing.

“I had a teacher in high school who … said to pick an university when you’re there, ” Letts said. “There’ll be this particular general sense of … “Yeah, this [is] where I want to go, ” or “These are people who would like me. ”   

In his audition for Golf ball State, Letts said he or she remembered he got the sense of the theatre department wanting your pet there more than other universities.

He joined the Basketball State Department of Theater and Dance in 2021.  

During his time at Ball State, Letts was involved in a variety of productions, including “Detroit 67, ” “Winnie the particular Pooh, ” “Marcus; or The Secret associated with Sweet, ” and “The Gift. ” He also performed within theNew York and Chicago showcases their senior year.  

Michael Daehn is a professor at the Ball Condition Department of Theatre plus Dance and was the director associated with Winnie the Pooh , where Letts played Pooh. He discussed that not being positive and kind is a “deal breaker” regarding the theater industry, and Letts has been an actor who had that figured out.  

“Jake just experienced this very positive, engaging energy that, after talking to Jake for just a few minutes, you usually feel just a little bit better about whatever it is happening in the world around you. ” Daehn said.  

Daehn also shared that Letts was a leader among his castmates and classmates, something that happens by always bringing positive energy to rehearsals, he said.  

“Jake’s on my top 20 list in terms of those people that I’ve worked with, ” Daehn said, “that have gone into a company and used all of those things about their personality that I appreciated so much in order to bring everybody up to a different level with them. ” 

These days, post-graduation from Ball State, Letts is playing Babkak in the national tour of Disney’s “Aladdin. ” 

When Letts auditioned for the show originally, he didn’t think he would get a named role, he stated.  

“I thought that maybe I was being considered for the understudy or the standby, ” Letts mentioned, “and it was like, ‘They want you in order to play the particular part eight times the week. ’” 

  Letts said one day, he spoke to their Uber driver about typically the show, plus the car owner said he’d probably take his daughter to see “Aladdin. ” 

“I’ve never met this guy before, but it’s … such a known in addition to loved show, and it is really cool to get to be a part of something like that. ”

The COVID-19 pandemic had a serious impact on Letts’ academic career at Ball State, and it took a new toll upon his mental health, this individual said. He had been living at his / her parent’s house, sending audition tape after audition tape and waiting for it to pay off.  

“This job has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me, ” Letts said. “I’m reminded every day how much I love theater. It’s amazing to be able to have some sort of job that will I want to go for you to so badly every day. It is a dream come true. ” 

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