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Maureen Edwards Stars of Tomorrow Awards Corfu, NY

Tell us about your family.

I have been extremely fortunate to have a loving, supportive family with music and theater in the blood... Both of my uncles are musicians, one uncle being an accomplished sound technician in L.A. My entire family gets involved with my shows. My dad builds countless numbers of sets, even taking an onstage part in one of my most recent shows. My brother has learned lighting, sound and stage-managing just to help me, and my mother does everything — props, assistant director, house manager — you name it.

Who are some of your role models in entertainment?

The fact that I am an old soul is apparent in who my heroes are… Gene Kelly was one of the biggest breakthrough artists of his time. He was not only an amazing tapper and dancer, but also changed and revolutionized male dancing… Another thing I love about Gene Kelly is that he is a true triple threat, which is what I aspire to be.

Another one of my heroes is, of course, Sutton Foster. She, again, is a true triple threat, and has the most amazing attitude... A choreographer I once worked with, who is actually a friend of Sutton’s, told me that I was like a “mini Sutton." It is still, to this day, one of the best compliments I have ever received.

What sets you apart from other performers?

My mother is half Chinese, and half Irish, while my father is mostly Welsh, and European mix. Because of my unique background, most people can’t actually tell what ethnicity I am. I can play everything from the wholesome blonde ingénue, to Native American, Hispanic, or a French Revolution street urchin.

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