Genesis Lynea’s theatre credits include Six (Arts Theatre), The Wild Party (The Other Palace), In The Heights (King’s Cross), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air), Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix) and The Bodyguard (Adelphi). Most recently seen the phenomenal Sylvia at The Old Vic.
We caught up with Genesis and asked her about her favourite roles and wig malfunctions!
How did you get into acting, was there a particular performance you saw that resonated with you?
Erm. My mother is an actress and a singer so I grew up around her always running to auditions and sitting in on her rehearsals. I was always performing from a young age and I think it was just an inevitable path for me take. One performance that I saw that stayed with me was Wicked. I went with my mum and was blown away by the vocals and the set and costumes. Plus my mum and I would blast the soundtrack in the kitchen and have a good old time.
What has been your favourite role you have played and why?
Betty 5 – Collective Rage. I feel like I got to play a character that is an exaggerated hyperbolic extension of myself. I always like to think I could be as cool and suave as Betty 5. Alas. I’m not! But yes it was a great challenge for me and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring comedy and acting alongside a great female cast. Plus I was unashamedly playing an unashamedly queer person of colour who boxes. Don’t get better than that!
…and Oscar D’Armano (The Wild Party). Just because.
Where did you train?
Arts of Educational. BA – Musical Theatre
Can you tell us a bit about your last show Sylvia what drew you to the role and is it true it may come back!?
It’s definitely coming back! Next year. Sylvia is a friggin underrated legend! She is so important. Plus Kate, DJ Walde, Josh and the team really welcomed me as a performer and allowed me to bring myself to the character and tell Sylvia’s story in a very raw way; not placing precedence on how high I could sing or anything pedantic like that. Hip hop funk and soul was at the heart of the show along with a beautifully fierce story of fighting for truth and breaking the rules.
And…I got to Krump! Brownie points!
Where has been your favourite place to perform on stage and why?
Open Air Theatre – Jesus Christ Superstar – when it was sunny or just dry and (not wet from rain). Beautiful atmosphere. You feel so connected to the earth and the audience and your fellow cast mates. It was eerie when the birds would sing and the breeze would rustle through the trees during Judas Death. Every night would be so different! I just couldn’t believe I was performing such a monumental show with this incredible band and cast. The opening got me every time – that sexy guitar riff. Dreamy.
What is the most rewarding thing about your work?
Connecting with people and expressing myself through a story that isn’t my own.
What’s been a funny moment for you on stage? Any mishaps you want to share!?
Bodyguard at the Adelphi
At the end of ‘How will I know’ dance break , on the button of the song my wig flew off revealing my wig cap. Beverley Knight had to exit the stage. She was howling. The rest of the ensemble were in bits. Then I had to go downstage and retrieve my wig in character, but my cast mate was standing on it and was blissfully unaware she was making my exit painfully hard and embarrassing.
Legally Blonde – Leicester Curve
Hat flew off revealing wig cap in Whipped into Shape. Couldn’t stop laughing. Very embarrassing. Had to keep skipping though.
So basically wig malfunctions!!
If you hadn’t have been an actor what would you be doing?
Making Film Documentaries or playing professional football ! Football was my first love. Or a DJ/Producer!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Eat. Write music. Dance with my puppy. Or binge on Netflix.
Who are your influences and inspirations?
Ellen. Oprah. Whoopi. Lauryn Hill. Whitney Houston. Pharell. Maya Angelou. Iyanla Vanzant. Emily King. Sylvia Pankhurst. Harriet Tubman. Rize – The Documentary. Jill Scott. Uzo Aduba. Janelle Monae. Michaela Coel, My mother, My girlfriend Aimie Atkinson; anyone who follows their dreams, spreads light to the world and is unashamedly themselves.
What’s next for you on stage, what do you have planned?
A few little projects here and there! I’m doing some choreographing on new projects too. Also writing new music – hopefully be out soon.
What’s your go to song for auditions or just singing in the shower?
I love a ‘House is not a Home’. Just so juicy and simple. AND short ! Don’t want to bore anyone in the audition room
Is there a role (regardless of gender) you would love to play in a musical?
Tracey Chapman – where’s the musical people!?!?!
Sylvia and Spiderwoman/Aurora (again)
Where can people follow your work on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube etc?
Spotify – Genesis Lynea – new single out “Wild” – Save it on your playlists!