Every Friday, we spotlight a past Joci Awards finalist and find out what they’ve been up to since performing in the annual competition, learn what the future holds for them, and ask them to dish sage advice to future competitors. Look for a new finalist spotlight every Friday, and if you know of a past winner interested in being featured, contact us here.
First, tell us what year, category, song/piece, etc., you performed at the Joci Awards. At the 2015 Joci Awards, I performed in the Best Actress category and was Belle from the Broadway Musical, Beauty and the Beast, singing “A Change In Me”.
What are you up to now? Are you in school? Working? I am currently going to college and getting my degree in music education with a concentration in voice and possibly double majoring in music therapy. I also recently auditioned for the community theatre and was cast in Tarzan the musical.
What are your plans for the future? I plan on being involved in all things musical. I will educate, perform, and heal people through music. The rest of this semester through the summer I will be auditioning for numerous musicals in my area. In the fall I plan to attend the University of Texas at Austin and continue my studies. I’m truly thankful for the opportunities I’ve had in my life so far and for all the support people have given me through this crazy year.
Tell us about your Joci Awards experience. What was it like performing on stage of the Empire Theatre? Any other fun memories that stand out? Oh my! Where do I even start!?! A dream come true! That’s what my Joci Awards experience was. If someone had come up to me a few months before the whole Joci Awards application and audition process and told me that I would be performing on such a beautiful stage as the Empire Theatre and ending up making it to the finals, then winning a gracious scholarship and a trip to NYC to compete at the National High School Musical Theater Awards (Jimmy Awards) on Broadway, I would have completely laughed my head off. Never in my wildest dreams would I believe that me, a girl who has never taken acting or dancing lessons, been in just a few shows, and only started singing lessons a year and half back, would end up with such an opportunity as the Joci Awards. The experience truly changed my life. It helped me fall in love with the theatre. I found a home. I am so blessed to have experienced the Joci Awards and meet the wonderful people of the Las Casas Foundation and the Majestic and Empire Theatres. I know I wouldn’t believe in my gift if you all had not been so supportive. I can’t thank the Joci Awards enough for what opportunities they provide students. I could go on talking about every little detail of my experience but the most important gift I received from everyone in the Joci Awards is believing that dreams really do come true.
What advice do you have for future scholarship applicants and Joci Awards performers? Honestly just be true to yourself, never give up or close the doors to opportunity, and believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind and heart to.
Your support funds our educational programming, which includes the Joci Awards, Las Casas’ annual scholarship competition where $100,000 is awarded each year, Behind the Scenes, Camp Broadway, and more.