It was a whirlwind summer on phase for 2021 Tech Large Faculty graduate Grecia Lopez Lockwood.
Soon after two months of rehearsing with some of the best high faculty theater learners in the point out, and a grueling working day of filming on June 15, Lopez Lockwood was just one of the 1st to see their recorded performance.
It was Lopez Lockwood’s second year taking part in the Minneapolis-based Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Highlight Education and learning plan, and this summer months she became one of 24 “Triple Danger” performers — superior college juniors and seniors chosen just about every yr in a competitive audition process that analyzed their singing, dancing and performing abilities.
The Hennepin Theater Trust’s Highlight Schooling method supports musical theater plans in more than 100 substantial faculties statewide. The annual spotlight showcase gives around 1,600 students a possibility to accomplish in the historic Point out Theater each yr, and acknowledges the top performers in the application.
She and the rest of the Triple Danger performers experienced all well prepared a music to execute if they gained an award.
Lopez Lockwood ready to sing “Breathe” from “In the Heights,” a Lin Manuel Miranda musical about Hispanic communities of New York City’s Washington Heights. She selected the piece in honor of her Hispanic heritage. But it was not to be.
“Three days prior to the showcase I wholly misplaced my voice,” she stated.
A general performance a long time in the making
As a theater kid considering that seventh grade, Lopez Lockwood experienced invested years planning for her acceptance functionality.
“I did a enjoy in fourth quality, but I have only been truly undertaking theater due to the fact seventh grade,” she claimed. As a college student at St. John’s Prep, theater “definitely kept me heading,” she mentioned.
“Then I stepped into Tech and so lots of much more chances opened up,” Lopez Lockwood stated. “correct absent, currently being onstage was my point. I cherished the applause, and the attention,” she claimed with a laugh.
At Tech, she loved operating on the musicals and getting element of a cast. “Sports activities weren’t truly my favorite issue,” she said, “so when I obtained into theater, that opened up an additional way to make close friends. “
She read about the Hennepin Theater Trust’s Spotlight application in the course of her sophomore 12 months, Lopez Lockwood said. “I listened to about spotlight and how they would appear to exhibits and evaluate specific actors,” she explained. “I was a single of them.”
Being aware of there were being evaluators in the viewers was “truly terrifying,” she said. “you in no way genuinely know what’s going on in their mind.”
“For me, I just complete, and what ever transpires, occurs,” she said. “Whenever… errors transpire, you consider, ‘Oh no, they can inform I produced a mistake mainly because they’re also performers.'”
At the stop of the summer time, the software delivers alongside one another the winning learners to carry out with the others in their categories.
“My sophomore yr I acquired an honorable mention, and that really opened it up, because I acquired to conduct in the showcase,” Lopez Lockwood stated.
There, she saw Triple Danger performers for the first time and realized she needed to audition to be one of them.
In her junior yr, Lopez Lockwood been given an “superb” award from the Highlight method for her overall performance as Wednesday Addams in “The Addams Family.” But in its place of continuing in the Spotlight application, she set her sights on the elite Triple Threat program.
She manufactured it by means of the initial a few rounds of auditions on her initial test to make it into the leading 24 performers.
“I don’t forget… I stayed up all night time a single night, due to the fact I wasn’t happy with my 2nd submission,” she explained. “I re-did the total issue. I rearranged the furnishings in my mom’s space so I could dance in there… it took a good deal of function.”
“I designed it to the interview round,” she reported. “I was truly proud of myself for that. I did not make it as a finalist, but… I understood I had 1 a lot more yr.”
In her senior yr, Lopez Lockwood was able to step out of her convenience zone to conduct as a gold-digging lover in the musical comedy “A Gentleman’s Guide to Like and Murder.”
“It was a small off of what I am applied to,” she stated. A lot of of her previous shows experienced been “more recent, modern, cartoony musicals” like “Shrek” and “The Addams Family members,” but her senior exhibit was a person of her favorites to do the job on.
The performance of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Really like and Murder” was canceled thanks to COVID-19, but Lopez-Lockwood explained it was continue to a worthwhile practical experience. “We never ever got to do it, which is Ok, but just the rehearsal process was so much entertaining.”
More than the winter season, she also experienced some backstage practical experience as a costume designer in Good Theatre’s youth general performance of “Charlotte’s Net.” Grecia’s mother, Carolyn Lopez, a instructor at Discovery Local community University, has volunteered for lots of of Grecia’s demonstrates and utilised her sewing skills to help her understand the art of costuming.
“That was essentially my 1st time doing something genuinely backstage,” Lopez Lockwood explained. “It was tremendous truly worth it.”
Earning her Triple Threat place
She auditioned for the Triple Threat plan once again.
In the to start with round of auditions, applicants submitted a movie audition with a monologue and two tunes of their decision, and were offered a dance to accomplish.
“That first online video was form of the most stress filled element for the reason that you have to obtain points that… really showcase what you can do,” Lopez-Lockwood explained.
The next spherical of auditions bundled a medley of music from “Frozen” that the Triple Menace finalists would complete for the duration of the showcase in the summer, she reported. The third round was another dance mixture.
At the finish of the auditions, she realized she would carry out with the Triple Risk learners. Suitable just after graduation, Lopez Lockwood started two months of rehearsal in Minneapolis for the group’s last overall performance.
“It was scary simply because every person is so talented — like extremely proficient, she reported.
“Most of the learners ended up from the Metropolitan areas,” she stated, “so some of them had entry to doing the job at the Chanhassen Evening meal Theater… and other opportunities and dance studios down there. It was actually scary, specially given that a ton of them realized every single other.”
She was offered an opening solo in the group’s remaining overall performance. Realizing that only a handful of in the software would generate the vacation to Broadway, and one pupil would be selected to symbolize Minnesota at the National Higher School Musical Theatre Awards, Lopez Lockwood explained several of the Triple Menace pupils came in expecting a great deal of competitiveness.
Early on in the rehearsals, “the opposition just went absent, and we variety of mechanically turned into like a loved ones,” she stated. “We had to, it was extremely nerve-racking, and… we all just understood that we wanted to place on the greatest exhibit achievable.”
“We served just about every other out,” she stated. “I satisfied up with just one of the finalists, and she served me get the dances down, due to the fact I know that’s my weak point.”
The dance was down, but there was continue to the significant make a difference of that misplaced voice.
‘What if … individuals consider I’m a fraud?’
The ultimate day of filming was held outside the State Theater, and in its place of undertaking reside, their performances have been made into a movie-like present to be screened at the awards ceremony.
Lopez-Lockwood, hoarse from weeks of rehearsal and her filming day, was shocked when she was instructed to operate downstairs to satisfy with her administrators and get completely ready to acknowledge her award — a journey to Broadway in 2022, complete with tickets to displays, theater workshops and conferences with industry experts.
“Prior to my overall performance, I couldn’t speak,” she mentioned. “I was genuinely scared — what if I earn and individuals consider I am a fraud?”
As she went to give her acceptance efficiency, she said, “I feel, at the previous instant, the adrenaline kicked in,” and she identified her voice for one particular final tune.
“It was frightening because I failed to have a voice, and in some times you can explain to, which is Alright,” she claimed, “but I gave it my all, and I am happy of myself for that.”
Her 2022 trip to Broadway will never be her 1st time in New York — she frequented the metropolis on a tunes excursion through her sophomore 12 months. She hopes it will not likely be her previous time, either.
“I bought accepted to AMDA, American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City,” in the slide, she claimed. “It truly is been my dream due to the fact I went to Tech,” where by she realized of the academy from her new music trainer.
For now, Lopez Lockwood is working difficult to be in a position to go to the academy in New York.
Her expertise auditioning and rehearsing with the Triple Menace has assisted put together her for whatever’s future, she stated.
“It was awesome, she claimed. “Of training course, it was excruciating… Just after that, I’m guaranteed, almost everything else will be a breeze.”
Erik Newland is the schooling reporter for the St. Cloud Times. Access him at 320-255-8761 or email@example.com. Observe him on Twitter @SCTimesErik.
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