Welcome to the official website of Jordan Phelps; actor, singer, dancer, photographer, artist. Here you will find current news and archived information about my pursuits in theatre, music, film, modeling, and photography.
A true West Coast boy, I was born in California and raised in the great Pacific Northwest in Bellingham, Washington. It didn't take long for me to discover that I loved to perform. After my first and only attempt at organized sports my parents promptly removed me from the soccer team and signed me up with our churches performing arts program. At the age of six I was hooked! Choir practice eventually led to play practice after school, which led to buying a bus pass and traveling into the city every night and on summer breaks for rehearsals at the local University.
When I was eleven I got my first leading role in Western Washington University's To Kill A Mockingbird. I played Jem Finch and was thrilled. It was my first taste of the dedication it takes to delve into the mind of a character. My curiosity and hunger for the performing arts grew over the next four years while working primarily at the University. I auditioned every chance I got and was more than honored to be the only non-student cast member in many of their productions. I adored and respected Directors Jim Lortz and Suzanne McGlasson and owe much of my knowledge and training to their teaching and mentorship.
When High School rolled around I was pumped. Not only was our school brand new but there was a 750 seat theatre with proscenium stage and orchestra pit to support the booming theatre, music and arts departments. I landed the role of George Gibbs in Our Town my first semester much to the dismay of upper classmen who said freshmen don't get cast as main characters. Placed in Drama III the second semester of my freshman year, I was cast as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes.
I then spent a year abroad living with my adopted uncle and his family in Southern France when I was a Sophomore. It was the experience of a lifetime and was exciting and eye opening in so many ways. I faced challenges and was forced to defeat them. I learned to better view myself in others eyes and what it meant to live in a different culture as a foreigner. I became more geopolitically aware and was intrigued by the sensitive issues that still surrounded American and European differences post September 11th.
I quickly learned French by immersion with the help of my host family, made new friends, and was even asked to perform in the premiere of a new play called 2022 after the playwright added the role of American Businessman to feature my lovely American accent. Ha Ha. Throughout the year different professors planned special outings, insisting that I join them for dance classes or for yoga and voice lessons. I was always grateful to join them.
I returned to the States and finished my high school acting career with renewed passion. I was so dedicated to the entire arts department at my school that I often worked sleeplessly on such projects as playing Riff in West Side Story, Scapino in Scapino, and playing Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
After my Senior Culminating Project proposal to produce and direct The Laramie Project was denied for being too controversial, my Principal and Drama teacher went to bat for me armed with letters of support from the community. After a one-on-one meeting with the School District Superintendant, I was finally granted permission to do the project.
Despite grueling rehearsals for a whole semester that overlapped with Les Miz performances and auditioning for colleges, the "Project-Project" (as I like to call it) is one of my most proud accomplishments. Required to survey the audience for their pre and post show reactions, the play had a huge impact on educating the community, was highly favored by many on the presentation and review board and was enthusiastically passed for graduation credits.
I enjoyed every hard day and long hour devoted to the arts because it somehow always paid off. For example, after Les Miserables closed we revived a concert version which sold out every night, requiring extra chairs to be set up. One audience member was so taken by the performance he met with me afterward and offered to help me in any way he could. A week after high school graduation he flew my mom and I out to New York to personally meet Hal Prince in his office at Rockefeller Plaza. I'm not sure Mr. Prince knew exactly who I was or what I was there for but we talked for more than 30 minutes about what I wanted to do with my life and who I wanted to become. I was beyond honored to have a chance to speak with such an influential director and producer so early in my career. I later met and sang for his casting agent Mark Simon. I try to keep in touch with both of them and hope that if I ever decide to head to New York that those connections remain unforgotten.
Faced with several options for the following year, I could either stay in the Northwest and go to school in Seattle or venture out and make my name in more reputable theater communities. I chose the latter. I was accepted to the Chicago College of Performing Arts to major in Musical Theater at Roosevelt University in 2008. I attended the program and studied under well-known teachers such as Sean Kelley, Luis Perez, Dan Stetzel and Belinda Bremner. Towards the end of the second semester I decided to take a different route, by finishing up the year and taking a shot at my career in the Chicago theatre world. I enjoy the challenge of risking it all and being available for any opportunity that arises.
Over the past 16-months I have been cast in several different productions, including 4 leading roles. My endeavors thus far have been focused in the production of new works and musicals. I am currently seeking an agent and continue to audition throughout the greater Chicagoland Area for theatre and film opportunities.
Which is where I meet you. If you would like to contact me for any questions, shows or special projects, please feel free to do so!
"In the midst of a world that is too big and too fast, a world where information rules like a dictator and new travels like a virus, it is easy to be overcome by the helplessness of we, its keepers. What impact can we hope to have? What traces will we leave behind?" - Steven Dietz
Jordan Phelps. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.