Five Friday Questions with Jasmine Jean Sim

Jasmine Jean Sim is an actor and Cornish alum from California. Most recently she’s been in Dirty with Washington Ensemble Theatre, John Baxter is a Switch Hitter and The Children’s Hour at Intiman, and A Christmas Carol at ACT. Last month she was named to ACT’s first Core Company, a yearlong endeavor in which she’ll serve as a regular performer and creative ambassador for the house.

Next up, Jasmine will play Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5 at Seattle Musical Theatre, running February 19 through March 13. Then she’ll play Nina in Stupid F#@*ing Bird at ACT, April 8 through May 8. Sim joined me for this week’s installment of Five Friday Questions.

What’s the best performance you’ve seen lately?

I was lucky enough to be able to go to New York right after New Year’s and caught The Color Purple on Broadway. A friend I had met working at the Intiman last summer—who was, of course, brilliant—was starring in it, and I couldn’t miss his performance. I wasn’t completely familiar with the story, but my mom has always been such a fan that she and my dad came as well.

The whole show was stunning. The revamped set was breathtaking; we marveled at the gorgeous wooden set and simplistic chairs draped around like art. The direction was simple and helped to highlight the relationships, story and actors more than the normal flashy Broadway set.

I was utterly astounded by how strong all the female characters were and how empowered they made me feel. Their voices were uplifting, especially Cynthia Enrivo who played Celie. What a powerhouse! She had such a command of her voice, truly using the music like Shakespearian language. We were all moved.

What’s the best meal in Seattle?

I’m sort of a simple eater. I love places like Denny’s and Olive Garden, and once I’ve been somewhere and found that one dish I like, I will order it every time. But specifically in Seattle, there’s a lovely breakfast place near the Northgate Mall called Patty’s Eggnest. I used to live in Greenlake and that was the go-to place. I still go there for breakfast anytime I want to eat out. Huge portions and lots of protein really feels like the best start to the day!

What music gets you pumped up? What do you listen to when you’re sad?

I’m quite eclectic when it comes to music! If I wanna feel like I’m ready to take on the world, I’ll throw on something like Missy Elliot or Kid Cudi.

But my favorite styles of music are songs from the 1940s–70s (such a general time period, I know!) Songs that always brighten up my day and make me feel like everything’s alright are “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes” by Edison Lighthouse or “Good Morning Life” by Dean Martin.

Conversely, when I’m sad, I like to get real dramatic and wallow in it like the actress I am. I love to listen to Sammy Davis Jr. (“Here’s That Rainy Day”) or Billy Joel (“She’s Always a Woman”).

What’s the most crucial element of any production?

Passion. I feel that any theater I find uplifting or inspiring or fun comes from a depth of passion for what you’re doing, whether it be passion to make someone laugh, passion to tell a certain story, or the passion to promote change in your audience. Passion is what drives me beyond anything, even outside of art. Passion is what pushes someone outside of their comfort zone to break through to something new. Passion is what creates change in the world with new stories, new opinions, and new cultures coming to light more and more.

What’s the most useful thing anyone’s ever taught you about working in theatre?

I feel like I’m constantly changing that answer. At each new point in my life, something new is the most important thing to strive for. At the moment, I’m trying to focus on gratitude. I’ve gotten so many opportunities within this last year since graduating college that I constantly have to remind myself of all I’ve been able to do. I also like to believe that when you work for gratitude, it works its way into all aspects of your life and attracts the right people. Being positive attracts positivity!