‘Music was our way out’: Long Beach actress Karole Foreman featured in play ‘Blues in the Night’

Lost loves, financial struggles and the challenges of working as a Black actor in the 1930s are all detailed through song in the Tony- and Olivier-nominated musical “Blues in the Night.” The play is running at the Long Beach Convention Center’s Beverly O’Neill Theater from Oct. 22 through Nov. 7. Long Beach resident Karole Foreman performs in the play and says “Blues in the Night” not only expresses the struggles of Black actors but also shows how music could be an effective coping mechanism.

“In our community, our way of dealing with depression–you know we didn’t have counselors, we didn’t have Prozac, so music was our way out,” said Foreman. “We talk about having the Blues, we don’t say, well, we had clinical depression.”

Foreman was born ready to take the world by storm. She said she was born with two teeth, a head full of hair and screaming at the top of her lungs. All the signs of a child star, but the acting bug did not hit her until she was in the 6th grade.

“We were given a creative writing assignment,” Foreman said. “And I stood up in front of the class. So it was just getting up in front of people and reading my story. And, I literally could feel everyone lean forward to listen. And it was the first time I felt seen as a person rather than that weird Black kid that nobody likes because you know a silly thing like the color of your skin.”

Growing up, Foreman said she was shy because she was bullied a lot because she and her brother were usually the only Black kids in all-white schools. That caused her to retreat into books and her imagination, she said.

Today, she uses all of her experiences to not only bring characters to life but also teach. She says it is important that people know that while acting and writing might be your passion, it is important that you know the business.

You can hear more about Karole Foreman’s story by listening to the Word on Long Beach Podcast here.

Tickets for “Blues in the Night” are on sale now and you can purchase them here.

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Jackie Rae is a multimedia reporter for the Long Beach Post who joined in May 2021.