Taking TikTok By Storm: Bentonville teen performs with Broadway legend

Taking TikTok By Storm: Bentonville teen performs with Broadway legend

Slate magazine called TikTok “the app where Gen Z vies for 15 seconds of fame.”

“Teenagers and young people are the primary users of the app, which can loosely be described as a social network for amateur music videos (users can make their own as well as just watch everyone else’s),” Heather Schwedel wrote in Slate in 2018. But over the next two years, celebrities jumped on to contribute to the app’s social commentary, comedy, crafting, memes, challenges, makeup tutorials and, of course, dances, wrote The New York Times in December 2020.

“The app has also reinvigorated the music industry and become a place to discover talent, market new songs, collaboratively produce new music and mash-up tracks,” The Times wrote.

Jayna Glynn
(Courtesy Image)

Although she’s still a student at Bentonville High School, Jayna Glynn has already had more than 15 minutes of fame in Northwest Arkansas. The daughter of Andy and Katie Glynn, she has been performing in musical theater since fifth grade — when she played Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” — has directed and choreographed three musicals herself, and in her senior year at BHS, is choir president, president of the new Tri-M Music Honor Society and the social coordinator for Thespian Troupe 3430.

“This year has been rough for artists, but I have still kept up with finding ways to perform [and] participate in activities,” says Glynn. “I also placed first chair in the state for the Arkansas All-State Choir, along with being the second-place winner for the Arkansas Thea Foundation Scholarship.

“Since covid has put such a halt on performing, the last musical I was in was my sophomore year at Bentonville High School,” she adds. “I played Eponine in ‘Les Miserables.’”

Glynn has kept busy auditioning for college musical theater programs around the country, and by doing so has gotten really comfortable with performing on video, which might explain how she just got her 15 seconds of fame on TikTok.

Glynn says she stumbled upon a TikTok video one day created by Seth Rudetsky, a Broadway pianist who hosts Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s “On Broadway” and “Seth Speaks” on Sirius/XM Stars.

“I saw that there was a competition called the ‘Seth Sing Off: Christy Edition,’” Glynn explains, “and Christy Altomare — the original Anastasia in ‘Anastasia’ on Broadway — is one of my favorite actresses, so I jumped at the opportunity! It was essentially a ‘duet’ feature on TikTok, and Seth played the piano while I sang. I didn’t think much of it and took the video in two takes and posted it just for fun.

“A few days later, I got a notification that I had made the top six” out of more than 250 entries, Glynn marvels. “I still wasn’t sure exactly what the competition entailed, but I bought a ticket for his virtual concert and found out that I won. It was incredible watching two of my biggest inspirations watching a little video I made on a whim in my bedroom! It really taught me to take charge of every little opportunity, because you never know what could happen! Christy also sent me a personalized video that night, which definitely added to the excitement!”

Jayna Glynn, a senior at Bentonville High School, entered a TikTok contest, performing virtually with legendary Broadway pianist Seth Rudetsky — and won.
(Courtesy Image)

Glynn says she received free tickets to Rudetsky’s shows and a mention on the Broadway World website, “but more than that, it was just a really cool ‘surprise’ amidst all of the covid craziness.”

“This entire year has consisted of me filming myself singing, acting and dancing alone in my house, which can get extremely tiring and long for the perfectionist that I am,” Glynn says. “But seeing two of my biggest inspirations applauding me for something that I didn’t retake 100 times to make perfect really made me realize that personality and authenticity is really what makes every individual super-special.”

Glynn says she has been accepted into some of her “dream” college programs and will hear back from others in March. In the meantime, she’s been cast in her first professional theater role in “Matilda: The Musical,” which is currently scheduled to open June 16 at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville.


Jayna Glynn’s


See it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep8SDGDNG8g

Categories: Music