Jaden Waldman has had quite a career.
This past holiday season, he performed before hundreds of thousands in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
He’s been in films and commercials. He’s done voiceover work. Now he’s co-starring in “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” — an animated series on PBS Kids.
There’s a lot more to come.
Because Jaden is just 8 years old.
Then again, he’s been working nearly half his life.
When Jaden was 3, his older sister’s manager — she was the first performing Waldman — asked him if he was interested in acting too.
It took him a couple of years to say yes.
When he did, his 2nd audition was the charm. Jaden booked a commercial/promo for “Blaze and the Monster Machines” on Nick Jr.
That led to a lot more work with Nick Jr. Plus commercials for Bush’s Beans, and Chuck E. Cheese.
The restaurant gig was particularly fun, Jaden says. He’s an animated kid, and the director’s command — “pretend you’re part of a family at Chuck E. Cheese” — allowed him to move all around the set.
Then came the chance to audition for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.
After 2 callbacks, he landed the part.
Jaden was triple cast as Ben — a boy who finds Santa Claus in a department store, convinces his brother that Santa is real, then travels to the North Pole.
He performed on opening night. Then Jaden did up to 11 shows a week, from November 10 through January 1.
Throughout the run he lived in a New York apartment, and was home schooled.
Jaden Waldman, getting ready for Christmas.
There were plenty of rehearsals. Jaden says of his first time on stage: “I thought my heart would explode.”
Nerves quickly gave way to confidence. It was a great experience, Jaden says. And he never got bored.
He had “a decent amount” of lines. He worked especially hard on a scene with the Rockettes. “Everything was timed to the second,” he says. “It was pretty complex. And there were lots of people on stage.”
He turned 8 in the middle of the run. The Rockettes gave him a shout-in, in the middle of a number.
Plenty of school friends saw the show. Jaden gave backstage tours. He enjoyed explaining intricacies of the show, like how the curtain works.
Last month, he was back in a New York studio for more voiceover work. He’s Jaden is in the midst of recording the first season as Peter in “Pinkalicious & Peterrific.” The animated show follows Peter (Jaden), his sister and friends as they explore music, dance and art through different adventures.
Jaden Waldman, in the voiceover studio.
He is given some creative license during taping — for instance, funny voices and sound effects. He loves when he gets to sing as Peter. “The character is funny, and I like to be funny too,” Jaden says. “I like to to play jokes just like him.”
“Pinkalicious & Peterrific” premieres February 19 on PBS Kids. Episodes are already available here, and on the PBS Kids Video app. Check out this one below, from YouTube:
Of course, Jaden is more than just a theater kid. He plays on a Westport Soccer Association travel team, does magic tricks — and plays drums.
I know what you’re thinking: Is “School of Rock” next?
That would be cool.
(Mark Saturday, March 3 on your calendars. Victoria Kann — author of the “Pinkalicious” book series — visits the Westport Library at 2:30 p.m. She’ll be joined by Jaden Waldman, who will sing one song. Click here for more information, and to register.)
Jaden, at his workplace.