We had the good fortune of connecting with Nyla Sostre and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nyla, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
I had to leave a job that I thought I wanted so bad. I was lead in a Broadway show for 2 years and was asked to extend for a 3rd year in a California. At first I was like oh yeah! This will be amazing a new location a new cast to do this amazing show with. I changed my mind when I was told that people usually stay in the same show for up to 10 years. It’s good money and you won’t have to keep auditioning for other shows, I was told. I knew immediately that wasn’t what I wanted. This was my first Broadway show and I couldn’t imagine it being the end of the road. I wanted and still want to grow. I want to originate a role, I want to go on countless auditions. I wanted to actually work and not feel like I settled for money and comfortability. I know I chose correctly because every day I live this acting life and it’s a dream!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
At the age of 14, they hand you working papers in highschool and you are legally able to work. At that age I didn’t want to work for anyone so I got my guitar and headed out on the NYC Metro platforms and sung my heart out to strangers for 10 years. From those years came my first album of music Nyla Live. A collection of thoughts from a young musician. I then had the wonderful opportunity to play in Hamilton for 2 years and while doing those 8 shows a week I put together an album if music that personified the growth I had found doing that show. Spiritus Animalium, meant to sound like the spell I casted over myself to be able to channel these “spirit animals” I wrote about. Using my voice to create the production was new to me and so was shooting a visual album. Spiritus is easily one of my most taxing and yet comforting projects to this day. When I perform or create I source from my being. I use the things around me and inside me to tell the story I believe people need to hear. If I can help one person find a little bit more of themselves, then that’s a job well done to me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m born and raised in NYC and so I am bias but I believe we are the mecca of live music. The amount of jam sessions, jazz bands and open mics available weekly in the city always blows my mind. The access to incredible and way above average performances that you will experience here is sure to leave a mark on you. I would def take a friend down to That House Party Tho’s weekly jam session Thursdays and Fridays. We would hit a Sundae Sauuce session to see an up and coming artist. I would take them to Brooklyn Moon Cafe and Lips Cafe, two of my very favorite black owned restaurants here in BK. I would make sure they experience Prospect Park for its nature and hidden beauty. More specifically, I’d def take them to lakeside skating rink’s adult night. One of my favorite places to skate. For a cute drink and pedicure we would go to Noir Nails and then for a turn up we would head to Basquiats Bottle.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Katherine Kavanaugh was my professor at BMCC for my associates degree in theater. She was the one who cast me in my first role in a show at the school. She is the one who handed me the open call flier for Hamilton and told me to go audition. I got my first role, a female lead, in a leading Broadway musical (Peggy and Maria in Hamilton) because of her support and push for me to conquer my fears. I wouldn’t know how much I can actually handle or how much of a bad ass actress and performer I am without knowing her.
Issa Khari The Old Globe Michael Hull