One thing Janine Lindsay could never be is a wallflower.
Audiences who've seen her on stage - currently as a co-star of Promised Valley Playhouse's "Christmas in the Air" - know she's a talented singer and dancer.But it's when you meet her face to face for an interview that you really appreciate her exuberant attitude, her bursting-at-the-seams energy and her love for life.
This is one young actress who knows exactly where she is and has definite plans and goals on where she's going.
"I don't want a big name," she told us this week. "I have seen a lot of shows here and I would be happy just doing community theater. I just want to be good at what I do."
If Lindsay's energy reminds you of the bright, outgoing personalities you've seen in Brigham Young University's premiere Young Ambassadors troupe, there's a reason. She performed with them, off and on, throughout much of the '80s. In fact, her hectic performing schedule was one factor in taking nearly six years to earn her bachelor's degree in musical theater from BYU.
The fourth of six Lindsay sisters, Janine grew up in the Bay area, where much of her family still lives, although she's also spent considerable time in the South. She attended the prestigious Youth Performing Arts High School in Louisville, Ky., when her father was an LDS Church mission president there, and she just recently returned to Utah after a couple of years with Brenda Lee's show at Opryland in Nashville.
Although Nashville is where it's at for a country singer (and Lindsay has shifted from pops into gospel and then to country), the 25-year-old performer has reached the conclusion that it's just too easy to get burned out as an artist in Nashville.
The day we talked to her, she was heading out on an apartment-hunting adventure with one of her friends.
She's staying in a downtown hotel during her "Christmas in the Air" stint, but after visiting family in the Palo Alto, Calif., area over the holidays, she's planning to settle down in Salt Lake City in January and will be teaching voice classes at BYU.
"I have been really lucky in getting the right opportunities," she said. Her work with the BYU Young Ambassadors - including the "Let It Ring" and "America in Revue" show at PVP in 1987 - convinced her to switch her college major from physical education to musical theater.
Folks who've seen her in such shows as "Oklahoma!" (where she performed with good friend Emily Pearson, Carol Lynn Pearson's daughter), "A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine" and, one of her favorite shows, "Sunday in the Park With George," would probably agree with her career choice.
Lindsay considered auditioning for the San Francisco company of "Les Miserables" last fall (another of her former BYU Young Ambassador friends, Candese Marchese, currently has the pivotal role of Eponine in the show, which is closing at the end of January after more than a year at the Curran Theater), but Janine had already committed to returning to Nashville for her work at Opryland.
Nashville is the center of the recording industry for those in the country music field, and it was there that Utah-based Sound Column Productions (producer Ron Simpson is also music producer for "Christmas in the Air") contracted with Lindsay for her latest album, "His Love," which received a preliminary nomination for a Grammy Award for "female vocalist" in the gospel music category. The recording is being distributed by Embryo Records.
One of the songs from the album, "Mary Pulled the Shawl About Her Shoulder" is featured in PVP's "Christmas in the Air."
(We had seen the show on opening night and Lindsay commented that the production had been fine-tuned since then, with some scenes shortened and tightened up. "Christmas in the Air" runs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at Promised Valley Playhouse, 132 S. State. For reservations, call 364-5696.)
When her Opryland contract came up for renewal a few months ago, Lindsay opted, instead, to join a 4 1/2-week long USO-style show with a band called Hi-Falutin' to tour military bases in Alaska. Actually, these tours - the kind that Salt Laker Eugene Jelesnik produced for several years - are now formally known as DOD tours, since they're arranged by the Department of Defense. Lindsay said her tour of the Aleutian Islands and other remote areas of Alaska was a real adventure.
But traveling and performing in exotic, far-flung locales is nothing new. When she was with the BYU Young Ambassadors, she performed throughout Canada, Europe and the Middle East, including several Third World areas.
Now that Lindsay is settling down in Utah, she plans on doing some more recording and auditioning for local stage productions.
She's looking for an apartment with a view of the mountains.
She loves the mountains.
She loves performing.
She loves music.
And she just loves life in general.
Sit down and talk to her some time.