Call Answered: Linton Smith II: "Playing Hot" at Pipeline Theatre Company's Theater 511
Like Madonna says, “Music makes the people come together” and that is what I love about this new show Playing Hot, “an explosive new show that takes you inside a brassy New Orleans dance hall, where the incredible untold story of the birth of jazz is brought to life. Retracing the rise and fall of Buddy Bolden, the radical trumpeter who pioneered America's Art Form.”
Produced by Pipeline Theatre Company, “Playing Hot is neither play nor musical, neither biography nor period piece -- but a singular theatrical event in the style of jazz. With the help of a live brass band, Buddy's legend and infectious sound echo through time, riffing on history and pop culture much like his music riffed on the notes on the page.”
Playing Hot plays at Theater 511 (511 West 54th Street) through the recently extended date of May 18. Click here for tickets!
For more on Linton follow him on Instagram!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? When I was 8 or 9 I had my first ever performance. I sang and danced along to “My Girl” for my grandmother’s birthday party in front of my entire family. It was such a great feeling making all of them feel something, and since then I was in love with performing.
2. What made you want to audition for Playing Hot? Honestly, my teacher George Fontenette called me and told me there was a play that needed a New Orleans trumpet player. He didn’t mention it was acting or that it was the lead role, but acting is something I really wanted to try anyway, so I went for it.
3. Playing Hot is your theatrical debut! Has it been everything you dreamed of us thus far? It’s been so much more than I ever could’ve dreamed. The play is such an amazing project and the cast and crew are such amazing people to work with, I’m beyond grateful for it.
4. What was something that made you nervous beforehand, but now that you have been performing the show for a few weeks, you thought, why was I so nervous about this fear? I’ve had and have many fears around my acting performance, but working with everyone in the cast has reassured me that no matter what might happen with me, they’ve got my back.
5. You are playing, Buddy Bolden, who is widely considered as the founder of jazz. What are some qualities you relate to him that you have not mentioned in previous interviews? The qualities Buddy and I share are an unrelenting dedication to our visions for music and a strong desire to push art forward. I think he had a desire to leave his mark on the world and that’s something I really want to do.
6. What is one characteristic of his that you are glad you yourself do not possess? From what I’ve heard about Buddy, he had a very grating personality and an overly-strong ego. I don’t think I have those qualities, or at least I hope I don’t.
7. What should audiences know about this show prior to attending? I think the most important thing audiences should know coming in is that this is not a normal theatrical experience. The more open you are to the experience, the better time you’ll have. Be prepared to party!
8. In addition to acting, you are an accomplished musician yourself. What music projects do you have coming up that you can talk about? I have a single out now with a great talent, Alayisha Goddard, called “We Got Them” under my artist name Oba. I’m currently working on two more singles, one for myself and one for a duo I’m a part of and I’m producing 4 EPs. If you follow my IG @lintwan.the.conqueror you can keep up with it all!
9. Who do you want to make music with that you haven't had a chance to yet? There are so many people I’d love to make music with. I think the two biggest artists I can think of are Frank Ocean and Donald Glover. I’d love to work with Donald in any of his artistic mediums!
10. If you could have dueted with Buddy Bolden on any song of his, which one would you want to perform with him? It would have to be “Oh Didn’t He Ramble.” Growing up in New Orleans, that’s always been a favorite of mine!
More on Linton:
Linton Smith II is a musician from New Orleans, LA. He is making his off-Broadway debut in this production. He attended NOCCA in high school and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. This is his first experience acting and he is immensely grateful for the cast and creative team for welcoming and supporting him. He currently has a single out and he’s working on a few projects that will come out after the show.