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Emily McKay Ovation Awards Okemos, MI

How did you get into theater?

I’ve always loved to sing, I’ve never been afraid to open my mouth and sing. I was always that little girl who wanted to be the center of attention. Musical theater never occurred to me until, in third grade, my best friend did "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. She looked like she was having so much fun, I realized I wanted to do that. So the next year we auditioned for "Peter Pan" and I fell in love. From then on, I was sold.

Who are some of your role models in entertainment?

My heroes are the people who’ve been able to balance it all - theater, film, television, a family. Hugh Jackman, for example, who’s been in countless films but wowed us on the stage, all the while being a husband and a father… People like him show me that it’s possible.

Why is performing important to you?

Performing, for me, is the best feeling in the world… The energy that takes you when you’re on stage is unbelievable. … And on top of what I feel, what I’m able to make the audience feel just blows me away. That’s one of my very favorite things about theater: the ability to make someone feels something, to make them laugh or cry or think. Affecting someone’s life, even for a moment, is a great privilege and an amazing feeling.

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