Right now I play Anita in Westside Story in the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivans, Utah.
I started doing theatre when I was a kid, but I was more into sports. I played sports until I was sixteen--soccer, basketball, softball, and swimming. Then when I was sixteen I decided to change my priorities. I went into musical theatre because I knew that the most I would do with my athletic talent is coach a soccer team for my kids, which I can do with the skills I already had. I knew a better opportunity for growth to me would be musical theatre. I changed my focus. I did drama, sang, and danced in my years in high school. I went to Northgate High School. Go Broncos!
In the summer of 1996 I went to a Young Ambassador Theatre Camp at Brigham Young University. That was a very pivotal point for me. Until that time I had never thought about doing theatre for a profession. I just thought I could do it for fun. But I was approached that week by Matt and he asked me to seriously consider auditioning for the Music, Dance, and Theatre program at Brigham Young University (BYU). Matt was one of the directors of the Young Ambassador Camp I went to. I thought very seriously about auditioning for the MDT program. I studied voice when I was a junior in High School. I auditioned and was accepted. It gave me a lot of confidence to think I could actually study this in college.
The BYU MDT program is one of the few in the Nation that has all three focuses: Music, Dance, and Theatre.
I studied through my freshmen year and in my sophomore and junior year sang with the Young Ambassadors. The Young Ambassadors is a very glorified show choir. The summer before, I had my first professional job doing the Unsinkable Molly Brown in Jacksonville, Wyoming. I was one of the royalty and bar girls. I got paid $150 a week and was a waitress at Denny’s during the day, my first professional paid theatre job.
In my junior year with the Young Ambassadors in November of 1999, I auditioned for Les Miserables in Salt Lake. They had advertised in the local paper, and anybody could go and audition. A bunch of us went into the open call and waited all day. I sang my sixteen bars and they asked me to sing the whole song. They spent some time with me in the room and were really nice.
Who were they?
The casting director was Jamie Beth Margolis and the Associate Director Jason Moore and the Music Director Gale Railing. This was for the Broadway Company and the Broadway National Touring Company, the two companies running Les Miserables at the time--based out of New York.