The Lookbook Goes to a Little Tina Turner Audition

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is coming to Broadway this fall. Recently, dozens of 8-to-12-year-old actresses lined up for the opportunity to play a young incarnation of the title role. 

Morgan Wellons, 11, Atlanta. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

Did you know who Tina Turner was before this?
 My mom asked me that when I got the audition. I guessed she was a singer, and my mom said, “No, baby, she’s like Beyoncé.” And Lord knows, I love B. She’s my idol, to the heart. So I went and looked up facts about Tina.

What’d you find out?
That her real name is Anna Mae. And that her story is interesting and deep.

What song did you prepare for the audition?
“Nutbush City Limits,” by Tina, and a song called “Born to Entertain.” That song speaks to me because other girls are good at all kinds of different things, but Morgan Wellons is born to entertain.

Madyson Hills, 13, Crown Heights. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

Does anyone in your life remind you of Tina?
My grandma. She doesn’t care what anyone has to say about her. Except Tina dresses flashy, and my grandma wears blouses.

Chaise Anderson, 12, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Sanaa Jackson,12, Havertown, Pennsylvania. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Jade Collins, 11, Elmont, New York. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Charisse Smith, 9, Queens Village. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

Did you tell your friends about the audition?
No. I never told them anything because I don’t want them to learn my business. Next thing you know, it’s, “Give me some money.”

Kylie Bear, 8, Westbury, New York. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Victoria Franciamore, 11, Woodlawn. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Dominese Gomes,11, Riverdale. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

What would you do if you got a callback?
I would yell loud and tell everybody. I wish I knew Tina. Because if I did, then I would tell her, too.

Jaylin Blackwell, 9, East New York. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Jasmin Bell, 13, Middletown, New York. Photo: Kyle Dorosz
Sophie de Lavandeyra,10, Upper East Side. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

Do you dance as well as act?
I’m a ballroom dancer. There aren’t a lot of other kids who ballroom-dance, so usually I have to practice with a short teacher.

Layla Michel, 10, Valley Stream, New York. Photo: Kyle Dorosz

*This article appears in the June 24, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

The Look Book Goes to a Little Tina Turner Audition