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Jessica Lorion’s Mary Poppins Experience

Photo courtesy of Jessica Lorion

Jessica Lorion is the host and producer of the Mamas in Training podcast. Her passion is supporting pregnant women and aspiring moms on their journey into motherhood. But her first love is theater, music and dance and she has spent most of her life on stage. In our recent Passionistas Project Podcast interview, Jessica spoke about her favorite role, which combined her two loves — children and theater. Read more about Jessica’s experience playing Mary Poppins in this excerpt from the interview.

Jessica: My absolute favorite, favorite role was I got an opportunity, twice actually, to play Mary Poppins. And goodness gracious, that was, both times, it was just a dream.

The very first time was just so magical because it was the first time doing it. But there was something about that role. I love children, which is why I started a podcast about babies and children, and so it fit for me. And it felt like a glove. There are certain things that you do in life that just like, yup, that's right. That works. That feels right.

And I had an unbelievable cast. I had an unbelievable Bert, Kyle, and he's just amazing. And he's working in Disney now. But it was like no other. There's truly no words to describe it from top to bottom, everything just fit.

I'll tell this one really quick story connected to that show. I was in the audition room actually. I had sung a couple of times and was asked to do the dance audition. I was in a dance callback. So if you go to a professional audition, you're in the room with a ton of girls and they usually call four or five. Whether it's girls and guys, or just girls together.

And they do the dance with everybody else in the room, kind of on the side. And they just cycle through and cycle through and cycle through. And we had done a tap combination. And so this one group had gone up there and as they were about to go, this one girl started freaking out. Her tap shoe broke. I ran over to her. And I said, "What size shoe are you?" And she said, "Eight and a half." And I said, "Me, too." And so I just took my shoe off and gave it to her.

And that little moment, literally, was the biggest talk of the show from that director. And of course, like I did a good job in the role and I was talented but honestly I think just that random act of kindness booked it. Because not only did he comment on it three times that day, but he proceeded to talk about it when I came back in for callbacks.

And then when I eventually got the job, when you work with this one director, he's fabulous, Mark Robin, the day before you go into your tech week — when you start adding all of the lighting and the set design and all those implements — he always has a talk and it's the tech talk. And it's basically to hype you up for what's to come because the tech week can be kind of challenging, but he delivers this unbelievable inspirational, motivational speech. But in the conversation, he decided to call out and retell the entire tap shoe story. And basically it was wonderful, because he was saying that we're being led by someone, myself, who is inclusive and is this Mary Poppins type figure and is looking out for everybody.

I truly was just doing it because everyone should just have an equal chance and if she was my shoe size, why not? But it just blew his mind. And so that was a really cool experience and also lesson. We're technically not in competition with anybody. I mean, we are, but just having that open heart can really give you a lot of opportunities.

Find out more about Jessica.

Listen to the full interview here.


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