Judy Mina-Ballard

Theatre Artist

Time in Greater OC: All the years

Neighborhood: City of Orange

Hometown: Newport/Costa Mesa

What are you currently working on?

A Lin Manuel-Miranda cabaret for Lighthouse Players in Vista. It's all done with Covid responsible practices, so we perform outside. There are limited seats on the lawn, all distanced. And even more tix with people in their cars. It's cool with the car horns and lights going off as applause. I'm singing songs from Moana, In the Heights and Mary Poppins Returns. I am also going to lend my voice to Into the Woods!

What's been inspiring you recently?

Crafting. I taught myself how to sew in quarantine. And also learning how to use my new Cricut machine as well as epoxy crafts. Gotta create somehow. I've done a few online things, most notably a BIPOC ep of Friends for Alchemy theatre. So fun!

Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

To name a few: Barbara, Lucille Ball, Carole Burnett, Tracey Ullman, Madeline Kahn, and Elaine Stritch.

Tell us a story from your childhood that illuminates who you are as an artist.

I was that kid who was always singing & dancing at the dinner table. My parents were not fans of this behavior. So I got in trouble for it a lot! It never deterred me. Entertaining people is at my core, regardless if they know they want it or not, they're going to get it from me - I'm cool with being a "clown".

What kind of theatre excites you?

It's a fully immersive experience. I love to transport the audience to wherever it takes place...and have them IN IT with you. I love murder- mystery theater for this reason.

What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?

Die by hanging. I had to be rigged during intermission and then be hung at the end of the performance. Needless to say, it was a process.

Outside of a theatre, what's your favorite hot spot in Orange County?

California Shabu Shabu in Costa Mesa, it's a hip Japanese eatery with murals on the walls! Love it! Miss it!

What surprises you the most about your role in the theatre community?

I've grown into my role as "cool aunt Judy". I love that people come to me for comfort & know that they are in a safe place with me.

What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?

Be kind to everyone helping to bring the show to life. You're all in it to have the best end product, no one wants it to fail. Remember your crew works just as hard as you do!

Go ahead, promote your things...

For tickets to the Lin-Manuel Miranda Cabaret with the lighthouse players visit www.lighthouseplayers.org

Judy Mina-Ballard