In Los Angeles, at 23, Reneé Rapp has become adept at confidently declining significant opportunities.
At 19, she faced her inaugural challenge when Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels extended an offer for a leading role in the national touring production of the “Mean Girls” musical.
From a practical standpoint, Reneé Rapp found herself in a situation where refusing the offer wasn’t easy.
Financially, she required the opportunity to transition permanently from her North Carolina hometown to New York, aiming to pursue her aspirations of becoming a pop star.
While acknowledging that the decision was, in a sense, challenging, she expressed certainty in her ability to secure something more favorable. She attributed her confidence to her upbringing, strong work ethic, and financial stability.
Associated Press’ Breakthrough Entertainers of 2023
“I was lucky to maintain that conviction, believing, ‘Yes, I will attain that,'” she commented. “I have genuine confidence in my ability to navigate challenges in my work.”
In a short span, she proved herself right. Within a few months, Fey and Michaels approached Reneé Rapp again, this time with an offer to portray Regina George in the Broadway production of the show.
This marked the beginning of numerous opportunities to which she gladly agreed.
While her initial breakthroughs came from acting roles, Reneé Rapp swiftly seized the opportunity to leverage her fame and pursue her aspirations of becoming a recording artist.
Her debut album, “Snow Angel,” garnered critical acclaim, earning her recognition as one of The Associated Press’ Breakthrough Entertainers of 2023.
However, she faced another round of declining opportunities this year when she opted not to continue as a series regular for the third season.
This strategic decision was made to solidify her identity as a pop star—a goal she asserts has consistently been part of her plan.
In “Snow Angel,” Reneé Rapp showcases a skillful moderation of her Broadway vocal prowess, embracing a delightful pop sound that harmonizes effortless listening with meaningful, occasionally somber lyrics.
Presently, she dedicates her complete focus to music, sometimes to an extent where it becomes all-encompassing.
I contemplate music every second of every…,” she pauses. “I could be experiencing the worst thing on the planet, and all I’m pondering in the back of my head is, ‘Oh, this is what my next album is about.’
I don’t care if that sounds odd. It’s just what I do.
However, it’s not only Reneé Rapp music that reveals vulnerability. In a typical Gen Z manner, she has openly shared personal aspects of her life online, discussing topics such as her bisexuality and the challenges she has faced with eating disorders.
Feel it’s Necessary
I find myself frequently being asked about my sexuality and battles with eating disorders, as if it’s as casual a topic as discussing my right and left arms.
In many ways, I appreciate it because I’ve been incredibly open about these aspects of my life, not because I enjoy talking about them, but because I feel it’s necessary,” she expressed. “Sometimes, though, I face a barrage of misguided questions and uncomfortable inquiries, and I have to pause and rethink, ‘Did I invite this?’
Then I realize, ‘Actually, no, I didn’t.
Managing the swift ascent to fame and coping with significant life changes during a pandemic would be a considerable challenge for young adults. However, Reneé Rapp remained steadfast in pursuing the primary objective: becoming a pop star.
She consistently evaluated how each addition to her professional portfolio would contribute to achieving that overarching goal.
Reflecting on her time as an actor and Broadway star, Reneé Rapp described it as a welcomed blessing—an avenue that served as a means to reach her ultimate aspirations.
Highlighting what she perceives as a double standard concerning men, Reneé Rapp expressed that she has grown accustomed to being labeled spoiled or facing even harsher criticism for embracing this mindset.
If I’m not bending over backward and exclaiming, ‘Oh my God, I’m so grateful.
I’m so fortunate to have this opportunity,’ and essentially groveling, then I’m considered an issue.
But being a problem is something she asserts she’s content with.”