Annie, Annie: Jessica Daniels ready for her Naples Players debut

Jessica Daniels, 10, left, and Jessica Cohen Michaels, 11, share the role of Annie.

Submitted by Naples Players

Jessica Daniels, 10, left, and Jessica Cohen Michaels, 11, share the role of Annie.

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— A 10-year-old dressed in a withered smock and lace up boots waited patiently for her turn to shine on Friday.

Jessica Daniels was dressed as Annie, awaiting her cue to sing at a sound rehearsal for a production of “Annie.” She is sharing the lead role of America’s favorite redhead with Jessica Cohen Michaels in this summer’s Naples Players main stage musical

(Click here to learn more about the other "Annie" Jessica Cohen Micheals)

Jessica Daniels has sung on stage and won awards for singing before, but this will be her first time in a musical and her debut with the Naples Players, she says.

Jessica saw the audition announcement for the role of Annie online and tried out right away. She got the part with no previous theater experience after producers called her back to read.

“When I got off the bus from school, my mom said ‘Hello, Annie,’” Jessica said, recalling the moment she learned she got the part.

Jessica says she enjoys the thrill of performing and feeds off the energy of others on stage.

“It’s so much fun to work with the ‘orphans’ because they always have a lot of energy like me,” Jessica said.

The toughest and worst part of doing the show is the time she’s away from it.

“It was tough to get her to go to school,” said her mom, Jennifer Daniels, “She kept telling me that she just wanted to sing and dance.”

Jessica started singing at age 4, debuting with a solo of “Silent Night” at a Christmas pageant. She added modeling and acting to her repertoire later, but she says singing is her passion.

“I always wait until the end of school,” Jessica said, “I’m so excited to get to practice and sing.”

Jessica will take the stage as Annie on July 2 to 3, July 14 to 18 and July 28-30 at the Sugden Theatre.

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