Comedian finds his place on stage in Southern California and beyond – press enterprise

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Actor, comedian, and radio talk show host J. Kay Weldon may have lived in Temecula for nearly a decade, but he still considers Louisiana his home.

“I come from a small town in northwest Louisiana called Belcher,” he said. “I still think it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived. Just trees and rolling fields with little lakes and bayous nestled in the middle of them. No matter where I am, Belcher is always home.

After spending eight years in the military, Weldon moved to Southern California where he received his recording arts degree from the Los Angeles Film School.

J. Kay Weldon as the main character in William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello”. (Photo by Shawna Sarnowski)

“I got the audio engineering part pretty quickly, but I was focusing on communications because I wanted to be on the radio,” he said. “After college, I hosted a weekend show on LA Talk Radio called CRASH Radio. It got me into acting because I learned that I love to talk.

Weldon has appeared in places such as Ice House in Pasadena, La Buena Vida Vineyards in Grapevine, Texas, and the Sterling Hotel in Dallas. He began taking acting lessons to help his stage presence as a comedian, and after a monologue of William Shakespeare’s “Othello”, a love of acting was born.

The main character of “Othello” was a role Weldon would play in a 2019 production for Temecula’s Shakespeare in the Vines. He also counts Richard II in “King Henry IV” and Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” among his favorite achievements. He said his greatest honor was playing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Point Loma Playhouse production of “The Meeting”.

“It was a look at Dr King and Malcom X as humans, not as heroes,” he said.

Weldon described the theater as a safe place.

“No matter what we think, feel or believe outside, on stage, we are in our own world,” he said. “A world where we set the standard, where we decide what’s important and bring to life characters who wouldn’t have life without us. If you ask me, that’s pretty cool.

Currently, Weldon is in rehearsal for The Full Circle Players production of Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” which will take place October 7-17 at The Box in downtown Riverside.

J. Kay Weldon (right) as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rhys Greene as Malcolm X (left) in “The Meeting”. (Photo by John Howard – J Howard Images)

He will also perform an evening of stand-up comedy on September 25 at the Baily Winery in Temecula.

“I make a point of advancing my career,” said Weldon. “If the rooms are not open, I will write. If there are no parts, I’ll do stand-up. I firmly believe that where there is will, there is a way. My next big project will be an hour-long special that I plan to film and distribute through multiple streaming services. The ducks are lined up, so it’s a waiting game now.

In addition to his other interests, Weldon said he has a soft spot for professional wrestling.

“It’s bad,” he laughed. “Like, I’m going to argue with the wrong kids. I love the athleticism and the character and the gadgets that they use. I’ve been a fan for about 30 years, so I don’t see this going away any time soon.

For more information on “The Merry Wives of Windsor” visit https://www.fullcircleplayers.com/

For more information on Weldon’s stand-up performance, visit https://www.shakespeareinthevines.org/tickets

Patrick Brien is Executive Director of the Riverside Arts Council.

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