Interview by Michelle Sicard Nomination & Photography by Carrie Eigbrett Photography NEW YORK
The Nomination: Carolyn is inspiring because unlike most teens, she spends 6 weeks of her summer working as a counselor at a camp for kids ages 8-15 and adults with developmental disabilities. During the school year, she spends an immense amount of time in the Theatre (public school and local shows) and in Chorus. Carolyn has been recognized for her talents and was even admitted onto the All State Chorus. In addition to all of this she maintains her academics and is on the National Honor Society and is heavily involved in her church.
I grew up at this camp, and it's one of the most positive environments I've ever been in. I always knew I wanted to work there as soon as I could. When I was 16, I did the counselor in training program, and got to meet and work with a lot of the campers, and coming back as a counselor at 17, it was spirit lifting when my campers remembered me, and were just as excited to spend another week or two with me, as I was with them.
I've played the heart breaker several times in 2018, and I've become attached to it. It's almost a game, to try and win the audience over, before becoming the bad guy and breaking not just my opposite character's heart, but the audience's well. I take it as the highest compliment when some after the show tells me they wanted to hate me, but they liked me too much.
To be selected for All State, first you must participate in NYSSMA Solo Festival, where you will be scored out of 100 on your singing and sight-reading abilities. You want to shoot for upper 90s to guarantee a spot. I am not a naturally gifted singer, so I have to work hard, dedicating extra time to rehearsing to secure an upper score.
Typically, the whole point of a choir or a theatrical ensemble is to blend in. The goal is to create a unified sound, or action. So, you learn to be a leader in other ways. I'm always on time to rehearsal, and I spend extra hours on the weekends building sets. I work one on one with chorus directors to improve my voice and the sound quality that I contribute to the group. You can't always stand out belting a solo center stage, but you can always find ways to be exemplary!