Heather Jane Rolff
Q & A with Heather Jane Rolff
BB: Where did you got to college for theatre and/learn the trade in order to move to NYC to pursue theatre as a career?
HJR: I went to the University of Central Florida. But growing up in South Florida, where there were so many wonderful professional Equity theaters and training programs, I had the privilege of learning from professionals starting at an early age.
BB: As far as schooling/training what were some great attributes to studying there and/or some negatives if you are willing to offer that?
HJR: Back then, I was the first class to go through their BFA program. I feel like they spent so much time "finding their way". I spent much of my college years as a "regular" college kid. I was in a sorority, active on campus, etc. I think having life experience outside of a program was invaluable.
BB: What is one thing that you learned while actively pursuing a NY stage career that you wish you would have known/learned before moving to the city that you could impart to others?
HJR: To be myself. There really is only ONE you. Let the people behind the table invest in you and what you offer instead of trying to fit inside a box. Also, never stop learning from the people around you. In every situation, find an opportunity to stand back and observe.
BB: How was the transition from going from college to pursuing a NY career?
HJR: I got very lucky (in my opinion). I moved back to South Florida after college, and was cast in the World Premiere of a musical called "Sophie, Totie, and Belle". after a super successful run, the producers moved the show to New York. We had a pretty healthy Off-Broadway run, and once we closed I decided if there was ever a time to make "a go" of it, it twas then - so I just stayed.
BB: How/when did you get your first Broadway job?
HJR: My Broadway debut was Shrek the Musical. The journey started with an ECC. Jason Moore was in the room, he saw that I had voiced cartoons, he asked me to do a few of the characters on my resume, we laughed a lot (as said characters are pigs, gnomes, and even a venus flytrap), and then about 5 or 6 callbacks later I was cast. Dream come true. To this day, I can't look at a gingerbread man without my heart growing three sizes.
BB: Can you offer a piece of audition advice?
HJR: The best audition advice I ever received was from a dear friend and coach Michael Kostroff (look up his Audition Psych 101 workshop - it is GENIUS and the best thing I ever did for myself)... "You're not getting the job, so it's just a chance to act on a Tuesday". The short of it - that I can't explain as well as him - is that you should never go to an audition to get a job. You should go to (and prepare for) an audition because it's a chance to do what we love each and very time. That time in the room is yours alone - for that brief amount of time In that room, you and only you are that role. Enjoy it.
BB: What was/is your day job/other ventures in between gigs or do you do both simultaneously?
HJR: I am super crafty, so I have created that kind of work for myself over the years. I am a professional scrapbooker, I make children's accessories, I have an Etsy store and craft business. I love it, it makes me happy and keeps me creative.
BB: Do you still train/work on your craft? How? Where?
HJR: Absolutely. I still take class, I sing or at least do a vocal warm - up almost every day, I love taking workshops and dabbling in things that will add new skills to my tool box :)
BB: Any last words of advice?
HJR: As hard as it is sometimes, just be you and do what you do to the absolute best of your ability. It's a very competitive industry, and the only thing you can really control is you and what you bring to the table. Other people's successes are NOT your failures. If you can't define success in your own terms, then you won't survive. If there comes time that you don't enjoy it, get bitter, or can't feel lucky to do what you love for a living - then it's probably time to find something else to do.
Heather Jane Rolff was born in New York, grew up in Florida, and feels blessed to be back in New York City living her dream.
She starred in Off-Broadway productions of Sophie, Totie & Belle, Pirates of Penzance and Wanda’s World before making her Broadway debut in the original cast of Shrek The Musical. She then went on to tour the country as part of the original cast of the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables.
Heather Jane has played great roles in regional theatres across the country including Paper Mill Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus, The Muny, Stages St. Louis, The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Florida Studio Theatre, Trump Plaza Atlantic City and The Actor’s Playhouse. She has been nominated for Carbonell Awards and a BroadwayWorld Award.
Her voice can be heard on two different cartoons which aired on the Cartoon Network - Peppa Pig, and Gordon the Garden Gnome.
In addition to performing, her passions include her fuzzy orange tabby Tallulah, a small addiction to hilarious reality television shows and crafting for her Etsy store - HeatherJaneOriginals