Check out our interview with Colombian-American singer and actress Isabella Esler who has been performing on stage since she was very young. Shortly after graduating high school, she joined the cast of the first national tour of Beetlejuice as Lydia Deetz.
Follow Isabella @isabella.esler
Hi Isabella, please tell us a little about you?
Yes! I grew up in California in the San Francisco Bay area and I always loved music and singing so my parents put me in my first musical when I was 6. I grew up in an area with a pretty big performing arts community so I was able to do a lot of shows and take some classes. So acting and theater was kinda just my main hobby while growing up. I applied to colleges for theater and acting but ended up deferring when I got cast in Beetlejuice.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
I think genuine, loyal, and easygoing.
How did you get started into acting?
I performed in a lot of theater productions at my local community theater and at the theater program at my high school. So I learned a lot through the years from doing shows.
How has this changed your life?
For a while, I knew that I wanted to be an actress, and being given such a great opportunity out of high school really was amazing. I have met so many amazing people and especially now that I am touring in Beetlejuice, I’m able to see and interact with all kinds of fans of the show.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best part is being able to portray different kinds of characters. I always loved learning about new characters and taking the time to fit into a role. I think maybe the worst part is there’s a lot of memorization involved. It isn’t really such an issue for me anymore but it can definitely get tedious at times.
How do you prepare for a role?
I usually get memorization out of the way first. I try to just get the words in my brain so I don’t have to focus too much on knowing my lines when I start getting into the more detailed parts of the role. I usually like to annotate my scenes as well to kind of get a sense of what’s going on and what the intentions are. I think the thing that works the best for me to get into the role is just acting it out over and over again. Getting on my feet and working with the other actors kind of gives me a sense of how to react and what feels the most natural for me and the character.
Tell us about your work as Lydia Deetz in the National tour for “Beetlejuice?”
We bring “Beetlejuice The Musical” around the US so people in different cities can see the show. It’s great because if you don’t necessarily live close to New York and don’t have much access to watch Broadway shows, you can see these shows on tour near you! I remember growing up watching a lot of tours at our local theatre since I lived in California. We’ve been able to bring our show to so many different venues and it’s really great meeting so many different fans of the show. It’s also fun being able to travel a lot and experience all the great qualities of each city.
What people can expect from “Beetlejuice,” and what cities are you guys going to be performing?
If you’re a fan of the movie, you’ll love the show because it still has all of the great parts of the movie with all the loveable characters while also adding some more details! Even if you don’t know of the movie, I think you will have a good time. It’s hilarious and has a lot of interaction with the audience which I always love because it feels different every show. The main difference between the movie and the musical is that the musical focuses a little bit more on Lydia and Beetlejuice which I think is fun because you can see a different side of the story.
How challenging was the casting?
My casting process was pretty spread out. I originally auditioned for the Broadway reopening at the beginning of my senior year and did some callback material and then ended up doing callbacks for the tour in the summer of 22.
What other projects have you been part of?
This is my first professional job! It has been amazing having such a fun show to be my first one.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I do have to say that Lydia was definitely a dream role of mine so it’s definitely in the favorites. I’ve heard some actors say this too but I love the idea that there is a role out there that I’ll encounter that hasn’t been created yet.
If you weren’t acting, what would you be up to right now?
I would probably be in college right now!
Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life?
The person that pops up in my head is Rapunzel from Tangled. Just figuring out how she deals with all of her hair.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I think the most rewarding part is meeting all the amazing fans all around the US. Seeing all the support and talking to people where this show means so much to them! It’s nice knowing that I get to be a part of a show that is so important to a lot of people.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
This is kind of hard to answer because I’m definitely still a new actor! I would probably say to just put yourself out there and to be open to change.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
When it comes to theater, you have to find a good routine that allows you to comfortably do 8 shows a week. Learn to pace yourself! Just listen to your body.
What’s next for Isabella Esler in 2023?
I’m not sure! I’m open to pretty much anything!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Probably a green smoothie or an avocado toast.
And your favorite cheat food?
French fries 100%
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being content with yourself and what’s around you
Best advice ever given?
Listen to your body
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Hopefully, I’m still acting!
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
What do you think of Social Media?
Love social media! It’s a great way to connect with people.
Where can we follow you?
Movie: It’s hard to think of all the movies I’ve seen but one favorite that I can think of up the top of my head is Jojo Rabbit
TV Series: Currently watching Heartstopper. Also loved The Last of Us on HBO.
Favorite Food: Sushi!
Travel Destination: Would love to travel to Italy