In an interview with CBS New York above, Tina star Daniel J. Watts shares what got him through a low period in his career after In The Heights closed. Instead of finding work on the stage, the Broadway alum started writing his own material.
The performer had made his Main Stem debut in The Color Purple, followed by The Little Mermaid and Memphis. After landing a role in the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, Watts felt he was in his dream show. But the show soon closed after he joined the company. “I didn’t really have a plan,” Watts said. “I hadn’t dreamed any bigger, so I had to go back to Memphis while I figured things out... It felt like I was taking a step back but trying to go forward.”
Eventually, the star found his feet again thanks to therapy—and writing his own songs, poems, and stories. He even landed a role in Hamilton, among other stints on the Great White Way. Now, his creative endeavors come together on stage in The Jam: Only Child, currently running at the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival through January 20. The materials is a product of years of therapy and pays homage to the star’s grandmother.
Of course, The Jam isn’t Watt’s only current project. He also stars as Ike Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre opposite Adrienne Warren. “The projects cross over from time to time,” the performer said. “The Jam: Only Child has a lot to do with therapy and I feel Ike Turner is one who did not go to therapy. So, it’s the work that I did, I can apply to Tina.”