Jess Val Ortiz Wears Many Hats in “Spamilton, an American parody”

The theater has been a joyous escape for Jessica Val Ortiz for a lifetime.”I love how it transports me into a new world. I can be having the most horrible day, but when I listen to my showtunes, or go to the theater, it instantly puts me into the best mood ever. Singing has always been my one true passion in life, so being able to express myself through the music and my voice has always been the most amazing experience. I’m very lucky to be able to do this as a career.” The actress and content creator is busy juggling her Broadway aspirations with her audience of 7.7 million on TikTok. “It’s very difficult to make a schedule for both because when I’m out on the road performing, content creation tends to take a back seat. So typically, what I’ll do is make several videos in one day while I’m home, save them, then post them when I’m traveling. I do sometimes try to film a bit of content when I’m traveling if I have the time! I’d love for my supporters to see what I’m up to!” Her ideal role is a classic character who is apparently a bit more age-appropriate then the rest of her résumé. “Ever since I was 6 years old, my dream of all dreams has been to play Christine in the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. If you’re familiar with the production, Christine has a very high, lofty soprano voice. When I was getting my BFA in Musical Theater at Penn State, I didn’t particularly train too much in my higher register, because I was always set up to play older, brassier roles. It was fun, but…I was 20. I shouldn’t be learning how to play 50-year-old roles. Now that I’m out of school and no longer in that environment, I would like to go for roles more my age – like Christine!”

Jess currently stars in Spamilton, an American parody. “I was in the cast at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (CLO) back in 2019, and we worked with the original director and music director for the show! Once the tour picked back up in December of 2021, the producer for the tour reached out and asked me to be their Leading Lady on Tour. Of course I accepted the role-it was my first time back on stage since the pandemic hit! It’s so much fun and I’m so lucky to be a part of the show for so long!” The job is challenging to say the least, but in the best way possible. “Not only do I portray all of the female characters in Hamilton, but we also parody other characters from multiple hit Broadway Musicals! I have to do impressions of Barbara Streisand, Bernadette Peters, and Liza Minnelli as well, so there are multiple vocal styles I have to execute throughout the show. I absolutely love the challenge, and I try to bring something new to the roles during every performance.” She finds the interactive experience of parody to be electric. “What makes doing a parody so fun is seeing the audience’s reactions throughout the performance. Once we hit the punchline of the joke, the crowd goes nuts! It’s so hard not to laugh with them, because as an actor you have to just keep going. I love seeing the audience get so into the music, and truly follow along with the trajectory of our spoof. That’s how I know I’m doing my job right.”


As far as what the future holds, she is staying open minded. “Although I have a huge passion for theater, I could absolutely see myself getting into film/ TV and modeling as well! Growing up as a musical theater performer, I was always trained to be as well rounded as I could when it came to my skill sets, and I was also really pushed in the dance world. As I grow older, I don’t necessarily see myself as a dancer anymore. The more people would push me to dance, the more I would fall out of love with it, but that’s totally okay. My passions for singing and acting could never be stronger. As long as I’m doing what I love, I will always be happy.” The heart of a true performer beats eternal. 

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Jess Val Ortiz Wears Many Hats in “Spamilton, an American parody.” Photo Credit: Sub-Urban Photography (first two photos) and Garrett Curfman (last photo).

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