Greetings! The Surround Project is preparing for rehearsals and events for Bill Cain’s 9 Circles. We will be introducing you to the team via installments of Artist O’ The Week!

First up is San Antonio-native Makenzie Jené Hernandez. Makenzie plays multiple roles – including a military psychiatrist – as the only lady in this cast. We are doing a great deal of real-life research into mental health services both within the army and for Veterans upon their return home. More on that in a later post!

We chatted with Makenzie to learn a bit more about her (and her adorable hubby Ben and two sweetum girls!)

EVA: Share with us a bit about why you chose to do this play with The Surround Project.

MAKENZIE: I wept and laughed out loud multiple times when I read the script before my audition. I knew that it was an important work. The story is so provoking and intimate and the characters so raw and rich. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share this piece with San Antonio.

E: Agreed, we are so grateful to share this story, based on the true events of an American soldier from a town in Texas – very much like our community here. Let’s chat a bit about what you’re up to when not in rehearsal and on stage! It’s Saturday afternoon, what are you up to?

M: It depends! My schedule varies from week to week, but most likely I’m at the gym. If it’s a nice day then I’m probably playing at the park with my husband and our two daughters.

Perfect picnic day at the park!

E: You’re having your favorite meal, what’s on your plate?

M: Indian food! Chicken tiki masala, rice, curried veggies and potato puffs. YUM!

E: Favorite color?

M: Purple.

E: Favorite scent?

M: Fresh baked cookies

E: And now, for fun, let’s do the questionnaire from Bernard Pivot – made famous, of course, by James Lipton on Inside the Actor’s Studio! Here we go, Makenzie!


What is your favorite word? Stoked 

What is your least favorite word? Hate 

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? I am the most inspired when I am experiencing people in their creativity and vulnerability. I love listening to people’s stories or witnessing someone’s craft. My creative flow is ignited when I get a peek into the real AND imagined life of others. Also, nature. A good walk, drive with the windows down,  or long sit in a park is so refreshing for my soul.

What turns you off? Fear. When I am listening to fear and let it become the overruling voice in my life all of my creativity and freedom of spirit is quenched. I am constantly reminding fear it belongs in the backseat. Constantly.

What sound or noise do you love? Ohhh the belly laughs of my baby girls. Nothing in the world beats the real belly laugh.

What sound or noise do you hate? The smacking of food. Eeek. 

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Stunt work. I worked on a film once where I had the privilege of working with an amazing stunt coordinator and it was so cool. I have never forgotten that experience and would love to explore the interest more. 

What profession would you not like to do? I could never have a profession where someone else’s lives where in my hands. I am so thankful for doctors, nurses and the like, but I could NEVER do it. I internalize too much and am traumatized too easily. Thank God not everyone is like me in that way. 

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “May I have this dance?” 

E: Oh, that’s really lovely! Thanks for sharing a bit of your time with us Makenzie.

Catch Makenzie in 9 Circles by Bill Cain June 15 – 25, 2017. Tickets available online in a few weeks! Stay tuned here in The Surround Project.

One thought on “Artist O’ The Week: Makenzie Jené

  1. Kenzie, my most amaizing daughter,mother,wife and friend. I love you more than you will ever know and have given me the two most precious granddaughters anyone could ever wish to have. I can’t wait to see you and your incredible talents shine on that stage. They couldn’t have chosen a better person. To bring these characters to life. I can only imagine the challenge to play three different roles but if anyone can do it it would be you. I’m so very proud of you. I love you with all my heart. Momma


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