Lena Hall is wearing the Ruffle Cut-Out back sleeveless dress
Lena Hall’s career has been incredibly busy this year. Her overwhelming success hasn’t gone unnoticed either. Between taking broadway by storm in Hedwig and The Angry Inch and Kinky Boots, singing with Josh Groban, the fall release of her newest CD, Sin & Salvation, and many more accomplishments, what can’t Lena Do? Nicopanda got to sit down with Lena to talk about how her upbringing in the Haight-Ashbury district and how her bohemian family played a significant role in her passion for music and career today.
Panda Blogger: How has music been apart of your upbringing and life?
Lena Hall: Music was always around when I was growing up. My parents kept the radio playing all day from the moment we woke up to the moment we went to bed. My entire life has revolved around music from ballet to acting to musicals to being in bands. It's always been there and will always be a huge part of my life.
PB: Growing up in a bohemian-esq environment, how did your family play a role in your evolution and creativity?
LH: My parents never let me loose sight of where I grew up, with whom I grew up and what my path was supposed to be. At one point in high school I said I wanted to be a doctor and they both pushed me away from that and more towards the arts.
Lena Hall is wearing the Ruffle Apron Dress
PB: Your Performance, The Villa Satori Growing Up in Haight Ashbury, incorporates songs that resonate with your upbringing in San Francisco and the psychedelic rock era surrounding the scene. How do the chosen songs in your performance relate to your musical and personal progression?
LH: All the songs have a deep meaning in my life growing up in that house. They are directly related to specific events from my childhood so they have become markers of strong emotional moments and when I hear them I am always pulled to those memories.
PB: It’s truly an accomplishment to win best featured actress in a musical. Being casted as Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, how would you describe your connection to the role? What was it like to embody him?
LH: Yitzhak was misunderstood and unwanted. I connect with that greatly. Constantly pushing yourself to your personal limits in order to make the person you love love you back and keeping the hope is something I've done not only personally but professionally. If it hadn't been for the release at the end of the show and midnight radio I probably would have been depressed everyday playing him.
PB: What has been the most challenging experience with being a broadway performer?
LH: Staying true to yourself and knowing what you want. Accepting rejection around every turn along the way.
PB: A lot has been accomplished this year. From singing with Josh Groban, winning a tony to performing as leading roles in Broadway, your career has been a transformative journey. What's next for you?
LH: I have many projects that are being developed right now And most of them I can't say anything about yet. But my first solo album just came out called Sin and Salvation live at the Carlyle and it's selling like hot cakes! It's available on iTunes and cdbaby!
Lena Hall is wearing the Lambskin Shirt Dress
Photography: Heath McBride
Photo Assist: Heath Latter
Hair: Calli Carvajal
Makeup: Lena Hall
Art Direction: Arrash Jalali Image
Retouching: Jeton Memedi
Shot at: Dune Studios