EXCLUSIVE! Beetlejuice star Isabella Esler can always make time for a little treat

Even musical theater prodigies need a little treat sometimes—Isabella Esler can confirm. This year, she's been traveling across the country, performing as Lydia Deetz in the national tour of Beetlejuice. When she's not on stage, Isabella's go-to pastime is all too relatable: No matter what city she finds herself in, she loves taking a short walk to pick up a yummy drink or sweet snack.

"I don't know if this is a hobby, but I like to go and find local, cute little coffee shops in every city," she says. "and try out their drinks. It’s like a fun thing I have—my little errand for the day."

It's easy to be starstruck by Isabella, who was cast in Beetlejuice not long after graduating high school (yes, you heard us right!). But when it comes down to it, Isabella appreciates a lot of the same stuff we do. She listens to Olivia Rodrigo's "vampire" on repeat, she adores matcha (especially from Maru Coffee in L.A.!) and she tries not to take herself too seriously. In our convo with her, she let us in on *all* the behind-the-scenes of Beetlejuice—plus she shared her summer fashion faves, dream musical role, and more!

Girls' Life: What inspired you to start performing in the first place?

Isabella:  I grew up in a pretty big theater community, which I'm really thankful for. It was just kind of my thing growing up, because I've always liked singing and music. I ended up auditioning because they sent an open call for Beetlejuice on tour. So, this has been, like, my first professional job, which is exciting.

GL: How did it feel jumping into the national tour straight out of high school?

Isabella: It was definitely weird because, in my brain, I had such a clear path for myself. I was gonna go to college for four years and then do auditioning but it kinda went the other way for me, which I'm so thankful for. Working with a lot of these experienced's almost kind of like my own college. I'm learning so many different things.

GL: And what were some of those lessons you learned from other cast members?

Isabella: I think one is just to give yourself grace. I think sometimes it's easy to put pressure on yourself for a lot of things. Growing up, seeing actors in film, TV and theater; it always seems like they're perfect, like they don't do anything wrong ever. I felt like I always had this pressure from myself. But it kind of humanizes [everyone] a little bit, you know, actually being around these people.

GL: Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

Isabella: I do love the beginning of Act Two. There's a scene where a bunch of different Beetlejuice clones are dancing around, and I'm just kind of in the middle of it, watching. It's so much chaos in one song. It's fun seeing the reactions of the audience, too.

GL: What's your fave musical at the moment (besides Beetlejuice, ofc)?

Isabella: I feel like it changes all the time, what I'm interested in. I go through phases, I think right now I would say Hadestown. I would love to play Eurydice in Hadestown

GL: How would you describe your current fashion sense?

Isabella: Definitely minimal, not too many crazy patterns. I do love a lot of denim too. I have these overalls I wear all the time. I'm also trying to get more into skirts. 

GL: If you could go back in time and give any advice to your 14-year-old self, what would you say?

Isabella: Don't stress yourself out too much. Like, it's never that serious. It was kind of funny, getting older and realizing [that]. Put yourself out there. Don't be too freaked out over everything.

Check out Isabella on Instagram @bella.esler!

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Images: Ben Cope


by Katherine Hammer and Madelon Basil | 8/16/2023