How did I get into musical theater and journey to WSS?
I danced ballet throughout my entire child hood and always loved performing on stage. It was in high school that I was starting to feel burnt out and thought I was losing my passion. I eased up on my ballet classes and decided to audition for my high school’s production of The Sound of Music since I had so much more free time. Long story short, I booked Liesl (the girl that sings “I am 16 going on 17”) and my passion for musical theatre was BORN! Side note, I absolutely love ballet, and my background in it is one of the most important foundations for my career!
As far as WSS goes, my grandparents took me to see the revival of West Side Story on Broadway in 2011. I remember watching America and knowing in my soul that that was what I was meant to do. Fast forward post-graduating from high school and moving to NYC, I booked the International Tour of West Side. It ran for 15 months from the fall of 2016- January 2018. WSS holds such a special place in my heart, and I’m so blessed to have just closed another production of it at the Lyric Opera of Chicago!
Did you go to college for musical theatre? If not, how was the transition into working life?
I did not go to college. I had auditioned for a few college dance programs but I knew in my heart that that wasn’t my path. I knew that I just wanted to be in New York City auditioning and getting right into the biz. Now back then, I definitely did NOT know what I was truly getting myself into, but this was the path I was meant to take! I am currently, however, going to school online for holistic nutrition with a focus in women’s hormones. In the future I do see myself going back to school for the healing arts!
Do you ever get sick of the fast paced city and miss home
Yes! Hawaii is my everything. I love the island lifestyle, most of my family is there, and the ocean is everything peaceful and good. New York City can get really suffocating and overwhelming sometimes, but I make it a priority to go home as often as possible. That being said, I love the energy that vibrates throughout the city. I have so many incredible friends and memories there, and that’s obviously where my career is! I am so blessed to have both places to call home.
What is the audition process like for you in NYC? Any tips?
The audition process in NYC for me is so much fun! I love auditioning, to be honest. I love to see friends, learn different dances, and sing. Don’t get me wrong, I do get nervous sometimes, especially if it’s for a job that I really want. However, I’ve found that the key to peaceful and happy auditions is all in your mindset. I just go in there and focus on having fun. The team behind the table, more so than wanting you to do everything perfectly, wants to see you as a person who’d be great to work with! Smile, laugh when you make a mistake, and be a cool “dancer human,” not a robot.
You will never get anything that wasn’t meant for you.
How did you get where you are today?
My family, amazing friends, wonderful mentors, my faith, and lots of hard work and discipline. This career, while glamorous onstage, is a lot of lonely moments spent wondering what/when your next job will be, if you will ever truly “make it”, knit picking every detail about your art and yourself, and thinking… about the future. My best advice to you would be to surround yourself with a tribe of supportive people that will constantly love on you and empower you. I also think it’s really important to have another passion besides your art. Being a performer can consume your mind, and I’ve found that having another hobby, or something you love to do, has helped me find balance and gain perspective for the greater picture.
How do you high kick? -Addie
Idk…I think only after you use the HyperVolt on my legs.
What happens if you forget something when dancing?
I LOVE this question! If you had asked me this a few years ago, I would have said that I would cry immediately after getting off stage and beat myself up for the hours following. Now, I laugh (out loud) and move on. I almost like forgetting things… is that weird? I just find it really funny and human and an opportunity for me to have a little laugh before working my brain to catch up to hit the next step. Honestly, forgetting steps and “glitching” on stage, or watching my friends do the same, are some of the best show memories that I have!