At still only fourteen years of age, Jaime Adler has appeared in a number of stage shows in London’s West End including Matilda the Musical and The Nether, where she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Most recently being seen as Tiara in an episode of Channel 4’s Damned alongside Alan Davies, she’s due to be seen in the upcoming film Pretty Outrageous set for release in summer. Having recently moved from the UK to the US, Jaime has settled into her new life in California and took time out to speak to us about musicals, new film Pretty Outrageous and being nominated for an Olivier Award.
What age were you when you got into acting?
I was seven years old when I was cast as Gretl in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of ‘The Sound Of Music’.
What can you remember about your first acting role?
I was only seven years old at the time and I can remember thinking I was going to be touring different venues, throughout the UK, without my Mum and Dad. I loved it though. Being on tour was like having sleepovers with my best friends, every night! I was very close with all of the other cast members, so that made being away from home a good experience and a lot of fun. I can remember vividly the first time I went on stage to perform the show live – I was so nervous, but every time I came off stage I couldn’t wait to go back on.
Where did you train for music, dance and acting?
I’ve trained with many brilliant professionals, teachers, mentors and schools for acting, singing and all forms of dance, both in the UK and now in LA. I’ve always loved taking classes, pushing myself and learning more of my craft. Some of the best places I’ve attended include Sylvia Young Theatre School, Pineapple Dance Studios, West End Masterclass, West End MT, Totally Lit, Dominique Moore Arts, Ryan Jenkins Dance Company ID and Rob Kelly’s Company YSF. Out here in LA I attend a number of Actors’ Studios as well as West Coast Dance which is an awesome and award-winning dance school with incredible students and teachers.
How was it recording a track for the album ‘Wish’?
I’ve been really lucky to have worked a number of times with the amazingly talented writing duo, ‘Anderson & Petty’. I was honoured to be asked to record a track for their album ‘Wish’, which features such talented artists from both the West End and Broadway. The process of recording and producing the song in the studio was brilliant. There is such a diverse range of performers on the album, from young to old, from pop to soul to jazz, all singing original Anderson & Petty songs. What made this project even more special is that all of the proceeds are going to New York based charity ‘Housing Works’.
Can you see yourself releasing your own album in the future?
I would love to! I’ve been fortunate enough to have recorded a number of music tracks in different studios and laying down the vocals is so much fun. So yes, if I was offered the opportunity to record an album I’d jump at the chance and perhaps write some of my own lyrics and songs.
Out of all the musicals you’ve appeared in so far, which has been the most fun and the most challenging?
Matilda was the most fun! And Matilda was the most challenging!! You train for ten weeks before your opening night in Matilda The Musical. It’s really intense. You need a lot of stamina for the show so as part of the training we had to run laps around the rehearsal rooms while singing ‘Revolting Children’. We also had to do press-ups, sit-ups and various tumbling training for the show number Phys Ed. Everyone is amazingly committed, it was brilliant training and such a fun show to perform in every night.
What can you tell us about the film Pretty Outrageous and your character Amy?
Pretty Outrageous is about a newly formed British girl band, all of whom live in LA, who want to enter a music competition and win first prize but find out you have to have a band member over sixteen to participate. They need to find a member quickly! Through copious amounts of auditions and with the help of deadbeat Uncle Wayne they find a new member. But do they actually make it to the auditions on time? That’s the big question!
My character Amy is very sweet and kind, but she stands her ground when she needs to. I loved my wardrobe for my character Amy as it was based on a young Aria from ‘Pretty Little Liars’.
Do you know whether it will be released in the UK?
Yes, it will be available to watch this summer.
How was it filming your episode in the Channel 4 series Damned alongside the likes of Alan Davies and Jo Brand?
I was really excited to shoot my scenes with Alan Davies, who’s so incredibly talented. But I must give special mention to the Director, Natalie Bailey and Executive Producer, Morwenna Banks who are two of the nicest, most supportive and inspiring people I’ve met in the industry so far and who helped me through some pretty gritty scenes. In the Green Room too I couldn’t stop laughing because Jo Brand is probably one of the funniest women I have had the pleasure of working with.
What was it like appearing on TV for Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Paul O’Grady Show?
In the Ant & Dec sketch which was shot in a classic City of London Boardroom, parodying a scene from Alan Sugar’s ‘The Apprentice,’ they both arrived on set and spontaneously started doing a show for us. I remember us all being in hysterics before we even started filming. They are both great comedians and naturally funny.
Appearing on Paul O’Grady’s ITV show to perform a number from Matilda The Musical was another fantastic experience. He really spent a lot of time chatting with the cast and making us all laugh. Another fantastic comedian! He also told us lots of his secrets performing to a live TV Audience. When you perform on a West End stage you don’t get the opportunity to watch yourself and your cast members back, so to perform such a great number ‘Revolting Children’ and to always now be able to watch it back, is brilliant.
How’s the experience so far living in America?
I love living in California. We live near the beach and the weather is amazing out here, pretty much every day. It’s definitely an outdoors life. I’ve met some lovely people and made good friends who have helped us all settle in quickly.
How different is schooling in America opposed to the UK, and is it easy fitting around castings?
Schooling in America is very different to the UK. The way Maths is taught is wholly different and Social Studies – History as we call it in the UK – is now focused on learning all about American History. My academic studies are very important to me and I like to be challenged. I attend a school called Halstrom Academy which offers flexible hours and one-to-one tuition. This is brilliant as I’m able to be a Grade A student in all of my classes, whilst still pursuing my acting career. When I need to meet with Directors, Producers and Casting Directors in LA, I am able to re-schedule my classes so I don’t miss out on any of my academic work or the pace of learning the Academy advisors have set.
Do you think living in America will give you more opportunities in your acting career?
I am very lucky to have such fantastic representation in London (Sainou) and in LA (Echo Lake Entertainment) looking out for my interests. I’m hoping there will be lots of brilliant opportunities in the US for me especially as I now have my 01 Visa and work permit. I do feel that in the industry today you can be anywhere in the world though, as often you are required to film self-tapes for castings and send them in.
What would be your favourite Broadway show to watch and which would you like to appear in?
I’m hoping to go to New York one day very soon, especially as I am so much closer now. I would take the opportunity to see as many shows as I could on Broadway. I love theatre, especially the musicals. Given the choice I would jump at the chance of appearing in the Tony Award winning musical ‘Fun Home’, by Lisa Kron. It’s a great story and I absolutely love singing the song ‘Ring of Keys’.
What was it like being nominated for an Olivier Award and what was the atmosphere like at the ceremony?
Incredible! Oh wow, yes it was one of the best nights of my life. The atmosphere at the ceremony was unbelievable. I met some great people in the industry and all the other nominees were so amazing to us, as we were so young to be nominated for ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’.
How was it meeting Angela Lansbury?
After the ceremony Dame Angela Lansbury was leaving the venue with the Olivier Award, surrounded by her team and her entourage. I called out to her and one of the men looked around and said, “Angela, it’s the little girl from The Nether that was in the same category as you”. She kindly stopped so I was able to talk to her and have my photo taken with her. She’s an amazing and inspiring actress who has been so successful on screen and in the theatre, and I can only hope to follow in her footsteps more one day.
Can you describe the feeling when you’re preparing to walk the red carpet?
I felt a mixture of nerves and excitement all at the same time. I was really excited to be interviewed and to have my photos taken on the red carpet. I think it made it more special sharing this experience with my friends that also played the role of Iris. This was definitely an experience I would happily re-live every day given the chance!!
Do you have any roles coming up in the near future?
I have got a couple of projects that I’m waiting to hear back on… so fingers crossed!
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