What Didn't Kill Them Made Them Stars: Ramin Karimloo, James Monroe Iglehart and More Turn Rejection Into Tony Success

By Adam Hetrick
03 Jun 2014



James Monroe Inglehart
Photo by Monica Simoes


James Monroe Iglehart, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, (Aladdin)
You have to have passion and you have to love it. This is the hardest thing you can do. If you want to do anything else besides be an actor, go do that because you're going to hear "no" all the time. You want to prove those no's wrong. In high school I got a lot of no's. There's nothing like being the oddball in school - the nerd, which I was. I read comic books, I watched professional wrestling, I loved Broadway as a kid and all the "cool" guys don't do that everybody's watching ESPN. That's not me. You have to look at yourself and go, "Whenever they say no, you say, 'Yes, I can, and I'm gonna prove it.'" And after a while you stop wanting to prove it to them and you want to prove it to yourself.

People are going to tell you that you can't do it, people are going to tell you you're not good enough, people are going to say to you, "You don't even look like an actor. You don't sound like an actor. Well, you don't sound like so-and-so. You don't look like so-and-so." But you can't look like so-and-so, you have to look and sound like you so that you can bring that originality to whatever it is you're going to do. So you have to have a perseverance. You have to have a thick skin and you have to believe in yourself. You have to have a little bit of ego to say, "Yeah, I'm bad I should do this." That's my philosophy.