An acting teacher once told me, “An actor needs to remain curious… Question everything”.
I ran with that. On and off stage. It keeps me sharp. Honest. Awake.
I earned a BFA. from Penn State University. It was not an easy time, honestly. The theatre department was redefining itself, and the growth process was painful. I am however, so grateful to a few stand out teachers and mentors, and grateful to currently serve on the theatre departments Alumni Board of Directors. And I’m thrilled at what PSU now represents, and I am proud to have come from there.
In my senior year, a professor sat me down, with the The New York Times Theatre Directory.
He circled all the shows I could do with a red sharpie. There were 2 musicals I could do. Musicals? I don’t do Musicals! FYI, I graduated with a BFA in acting. I was being groomed for a career in regional theatre. My Professor said, “Go to LA" … and all that that implied. But before college even ended I booked my first Off broadway show. The decision to move to New York was made for me. I had to take my final exams via mail. That show ran for 6 weeks. We often played to houses of... 2. Starting off your career humiliated, leaves a career no where to go but up. And it did. Unexpectedly, I started doing many musicals, but I had no training in musical theatre. Then I was blessed. I landed a spot with renowned voice teacher, Joan Lader and acting classes with William Esper and later Tim Phillips. Having foundations in the classics from Penn State, deep character work, both PSU and with later teachers, only strengthened the depths I willingly traveled to in my musical theatre life.
That first show, “MY NAME IS PABLO PICASSO” by Mary Gage, got me my first agent. And I’ve been playing various tawdry characters ever since. From Stileston, Arkansas to the very top of Albany NY where I could literally stand with one foot in the USA and the other in Canada. I worked my way up thru the ranks. From way the hell Off Broadway to star On Broadway. Along the way, lessons came, sometimes like an avalanche. Those lessons, and the lessons to come, are what have given me the best kind of training an actor can have. A full life.
I had Kidney Cancer. And I had a miracle. My son was not yet 6 months old, when I ended up in the Norwalk Emergency Room, with a ruptured Ovarian Cyst. That led to a CT Scan, and I was lucky enough to have a great radiologist who saw it. I had early stage Renal Cancer. Well, I’m here to tell you, cancer sucks. But I was so lucky to have found it early. With the help of great doctors I am fortunate enough to say, I am a survivor.
I am also a proud actor. This past 2 years I was nominated for 6 Connecticut Critics Circle awards.
Best Solo Performance for I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers at MTC
Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Gypsy at MTC
Best Ensemble in a Play for Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike at MTC
Best Featured Actress in a Play for Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike at MTC
Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Hairspray at STONC
Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Legally Blonde STONC
For my solo work, my often sold out show, “ A Broads Way”, has been a blast. My show is always a little different, because the stories are endless. “A Broads Way”, is music and stories from my journey in the theater.
I’m especially proud of the teaching I do. For 10 years I have been a Music Together specialist and an early childhood music advocate. Music does make you smarter. I have seen these young children grow and blossom from learning basic music competence.
I also teach Musical Theatre and private voice and speech at the Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan. Teaching kids and young adults is not only a job. It is a gift I’ve given myself. Teaching has made me better at everything.
I am also a Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister and Friend. So, that’s my story…..
Private Voice, Speech and Acting classes for the Winter/Spring 2018 Semester have begun and once again, we are SOLD OUT. Thank you to all new and returning students.
A Broad's Way
One Woman Cabaret Show, coming to a theatre near you. Stay tuned!
Stay tuned for further updates!
If you’re interested in learning more about Private Voice, Speech, and Acting classes click on the Teaching link in the menu above. Space is limited and acceptance is by interview only.
“Singing in the Rain” 2017
“Then, there’s Jodi Stevens, who steals every scene.”
- Charlie Hobbs, New Canaanite
“Jodi Stevens steals the show. Every time she opens her mouth, it’s hilarious.”
- Susan Granger, Connecticut Critics Circle
"I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Menger’s" 2017
“One practically hangs on her every word and gesture.”
- Zander Opper, Talkin’ Broadway
"Jodi Stevens is so compellingly charming and so natural a hostess that we, the audience, might well feel we’re in a tête à tête with her, or on a date, or on an audition. Behind the façade—and Stevens lets us glimpse its cracks—there’s the harrowing drive to know what others are saying and thinking and to try to control it."
- Donald Brown, New Haven Review
Connecticut Critics Circle Best Actress Nominee
Connecticut Critics Circle Best Ensemble Nominee
"Vanya Sonia Masha & Spike" 2016
“Her line readings are outright showstoppers.”
- Zander Opper, Talkin’ Broadway
“She is the quintessential bitch goddess.”
- Geary Danihy, Connecticut Critics Circle
Pictured with Jim Shilling and Christopher DeRosa
Connecticut Critics Circle Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominee
"Legally Blonde" 2015 - Video
- Brooks Applebaum, Connecticut Critic’s Circle
Pictured with Kara Dombrowsk
Urban Cowboy, 2003
Urban Cowboy The Musical, opened at the Broadhurst Theatre March 27, 2003
Live at Feinstein's/54 Below CELEBRATES THE BROADHURST THEATRE AT 100!
Dietrich and Chevalier the Musical, By Jerry Mayer
St. Luke’s Theatre NYC
Elisabeth Vincentelli from the NY POST says:
"Stevens, gets to play Dietrich like a super-cool, slinky minx: witty, sexy, resourceful, loyal, brave -- oh, and she could sing, too!”
Actors Fund of America Benefits through the years
"The Actors Fund of America is a charitable organization that supports performers and behind-the-scenes workers in performing arts and entertainment.”
Actor & Vocalist
Electronic Press kit
MY THOUGHTS ON TEACHING
Each person is unique and has their own unique voice. I guide you find your own voice, free of tension, and with lifelong vocal health.
I will coach you to be your best so you can feel great sharing your talents with the world. If you have Musical Theatre, Film/Television or College auditions, I will help you “get your act together”. Though my focus is on grooming students as entertainment and professionals, I also work with non professionals who desire to connect with their artistic self and find empowerment thru finding your own voice.
Yes, I’m talking to you.
Besides, it’s good for you.
Photo Credit: Suzannah Gold and special thanks to student model Hannah Sophia Grant
Here are what some parents are saying...
Music Together teacher, Jodi is a dream -- she does a truly amazing job building the classroom into a community, something as a parent new to CT last year, left me perpetually grateful. She delivers with verve, sincerity and kindness. Blessed are we who get to make music with she and our friends.
- Review from Westport, CT Mom
Jodi creates an effective, wholistic learning environment that cultivates a sense of mutual respect and integrity. When Jodi is teaching, she incorporates fun and laughter into her lessons all the while keeping our daughter on task, focused and interested. We love Jodi's clear communication, her high expectations and her wonderful sense of humor. Jodi is not just a wonderful teacher, she can be a mentor and a friend full of constructive criticism, great advice and kindness!
- Review from Weston, CT Parent
Jodi Stevens began working with my 8 year old daughter two years ago. From the start, I appreciated that Jodi took her young age and playful style into consideration and offered her an age-appropriate, gentle and fun voice training. Each year, Jodi has assessed my daughter’s progress and adjusted her approach & offerings including providing her with additional acting lessons and inviting her to participate in a variety of performances. She has also helped to prepare my daughter in advance of acting and singing auditions and is always flexible in her agenda and schedule. Their time together is my daughter’s favorite after school activity.
- Review from Weston, CT Parent