Jersey Girl Is A Singular Sensation

There are a lot of young women who would say Jessica Lee Goldyn is one of the luckiest people in the world, CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports.

Her mother is taking her from her home in Parsippany, N.J., to the 3:30 bus bound for New York. But it's not the city she's headed for that makes her the envy of so many. It's the street: Goldyn has found a home — on Broadway.

"This was my dream job since I was 10," Goldyn says. "I think this was the show that made me fall in love with musical theater."

She's just 20 and starring in the revival of "A Chorus Line." She plays Val, the surgically enhanced cynic who got the Broadway job she dreamed of with a nip and a tuck and a little bit of luck.

Goldyn's real-life story is kind of like a show biz fable. She had no agent and no Broadway experience when she showed up to audition with nearly a thousand other young women looking for that one-in-a-million break.

"I knew that the odds were very slim. I just wanted to go," she says.

The odds got better very quickly when, out of all those people, director Bob Avian noticed her almost immediately.

"There's always that person you spot in the crowd, and you go 'who is that' and you keep your eye on them and they demand your attention," says Avian. Goldyn was "absolutely" that person that day.

Here's how quickly it happened for her: Just a few months before she hit Broadway, Goldyn was doing a road show in Akron, Ohio. But she was back home with her parents in New Jersey when she got the call that she got the part.

"I just, everything that I'd worked for my entire life was happening with that one call," she says.

She's gotten reviews actresses only dream of. "Boffo," said The New Yorker. "Owns her role," said The New York Times. It's a lot for a 20-year-old to get used to.

And now her art is imitating her life. Unlike her character, she's had to move to New York from Parsippany, which makes it easier to dance eight shows a week — and start looking for her next big break.
  • Melissa McNamara

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