Just before Jasmyne Mendoza sings, acts or models in front of crowds, there’s a flicker of nervousness.
But when she takes the stage, it disappears. That’s the way it is when you’re a veteran, practiced performer dedicated to your craft. It’s why she was cast as “Janet” in Arouet’s “The Children’s Hour” at Theatre Puget Sound in Seattle. It’s why she’s represented by TCM Models & Talent in the Pacific Northwest.
All that, at the age of 11.
“It’s just part of the job,” Jasmyne said. “Once I get out there, I love it.”
The former Kauai resident is the daughter of Jonathan and Stacy Mendoza and granddaughter of Primo Jr. and Donna Ragsac of Lihue. She attended St. Catherine’s School in Kapaa, then moved to Seattle with her family in 2013 in part for more diversity and choices when it comes to career opportunities. Yep, she’s already mapping out future plans.
“She’s 11 years old and is talking to me about her career,” her mother said, laughing.
Talking about it and working on it, too.
Jasmyne trained with Seattle Talent and attended IMTA in July in New York, and won female pre-teen actor of the year second-runner up, first-runner up for excellence in Improvisation, and Top 10 scores in Cold read, Screen Test, TV Beauty, and Theatrical Headshot. Her most recent event, announced this week, is winning the Disney Big Hero 6 XPRIZE Challenge. She will walk the red carpet in Hollywood at the premier. She also recently auditioned for another Disney show and next, will be flying to Los Angeles Sunday.
She is managed by Justine Hunt at Hines and Hunt Entertainment in the Southwest Region.
Stacy Mendoza said Jasmyne is self-motivated, confident and has a lot pride.
“She’s found that with hard work, she’s seeing results and that is a good motivator for her,” she said.
Jasmyne has long been attracted to acting, singing and modeling. She takes classes, workshops and rehearses at home. A routine day has her up by 6:30 taking care of chores and feeding the pets before her mom drives her to middle school. Back home, she finishes homework, studies, recites lines, practice monologues and runs through scales to sharpen her voice.
She admits it’s not easy balancing middle school lab class with an entertainment career.
“It’s kind of difficult, somehow we make it work,” she said.
She relaxes by playing with her cat and hanging with siblings — indoors, of course.
“You can’t go out this time of year in Seattle unless you want to get drenched,” she said, laughing.
Her workload is made easier by knowing she is following her dreams.
“It’s amazing, I love doing it,” she said.
Jasmyne misses Kauai, thinks of its beauty and people often, and credits it with her success and spirit.
“Everything I learned on Kauai has helped me become a better person,” she said.
Stacy Mendoza said her daughter loves new adventures and challenges, enjoys reading and has a longing to learn.
She doesn’t have to push Jasmyne, who often comes to her mom with ideas.That she sometimes doesn’t land a role, that she is turned down, that things don’t work out, doesn’t deter her from trying again and again.
“She is very confident,” her mom said.
Stacy chuckles as she explains her role as mom/manager on many days is to chauffeur Jasmyne around, be sure she gets to appointments and handle behind-the-scenes details.
“This is all her,” she said.
Jasmyne considers being on the center stage, in the spotlight, as a chance to speak her mind and share her hopes with others.
“I’m just having fun in front of people and having an audience,” she said.