How did you discover your passion for performing?

“It’s all I think about every minute of every day.” When I was 8 years old I said the above words to the surprise of my family and future dance teacher, Nikki Balsamo. My parents happily enrolled me in a tap class, and the world of art swept me up. Dancing became the doorway to theater, and singing naturally followed close behind.

What’s the hardest part for you about performing?

The road has not always been easy. Kids can be cruel to those who are different, and after one particularly rough day in sixth grade I came home sure I never wanted to dance again. My Dad sat me down and calmly asked how I felt when I dance. I replied, “Happy... I love it.” Without hesitation, he told me “Then that is all that matters. Don’t worry about what other people think. Be your own person.”

What’s your favorite part about performing?

The opportunity to share emotion with a room of people is where my love of theater flows. The joy I find in making these connections is life-giving, and I might have missed out on this path without the support from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Why did you pick University of Wisconsin – La Crosse?

At my high school graduation, I was sure becoming an environmental scientist was my future. Then, I surrendered to a realization: Theater was still on my mind every minute of every day.

University of Wisconsin – La Crosse welcomed me into their program to major in Theater Performance, and I soon added a minor in Stage Management. The staff in the Theater Department at UW-L is supportive, intelligent and ready to share their knowledge with those who are earnestly searching for it.

From my first experience on the Toland Stage to now planning for my senior capstone performance, UW-L has been there to gently push my abilities further.

Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?

In the upcoming years, I plan to share with the outside world the passion and joy my family, the department and I have created within me. In 10 years I plan on having lived and done work as an artist in a metropolis like New York City, Chicago or London. The next few years hold uncertain adventures and I am honored to leave La Crosse with the experiences and education necessary to succeed in the profession I cannot stop thinking about.