So.....the most spectacular thing happened. CHRISTOPHER JACKSON CAME TO RIDER. Now I know, some of you are thinking who is Christopher Jackson? And first of all, shame on you! Secondly, he is currently starring as George Washington in "Hamilton" the Musical, and is also known for originating the role of Benny in "In the Heights", and understudying Simba in "Lion King" and later taking over the roll. Obviously the man has been a part of three ground breaking shows!! Not only did he encourage us, he even sang for us. We got a private Christopher Jackson concert. He brought the assistant musical director from "Hamilton" to be his accompanist (like...WHAT?!). And he brought his gorgeous wife, Veronica to sing with him. And he brought his Freestyle Love Supreme band mate Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan. The man has people. Everywhere. It was just such an awesome experience. He is extremely process based as an actor which was really inspiring for us artists. I think it's so important to be a part of the creative process as a person and not just show up for rehearsal do what your told and go home. For me, that's not the fun part. The fun part is digging into a character and finding the humanity of it. He had really similar views on artistry to my own, and it was really encouraging to feel like I'm on the right track. I attached my snapchat story of his performance, so you can share a little bit of my experience. Bravi, Mr. Jackson! I got a very different, and surprisingly cool, opportunity recently. I was able to tech the fall cabaret here at Rider called "Flower Power." Most of you know that you very rarely find me in all black at a show. I'm normally the one in a princess tiara or something outrageous. But this week I shed my typical stage makeup and big hair for all black. I ran props and mikes, assisted quick changes, and even moved set pieces. (David Johns, I finally moved a set!!! I can actually do it!! I found my spike and everything!!) Frankly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I would love to tech professional shows. Can you imagine being a dresser for Kelli O'Hara in King and I?? That would be so cool. Also, it was eye opening for how nice you should be to your technicians. They really do work just as hard as the performers, and normally stay way later than the performers to clean up after them. Being a technician is extremely stressful. You want to get everything right so the performers can focus on themselves and their craft. (I love you David Johns and Lyndsey Anthony! Y'all will always be my favorite SM and ASM team!!) So kids, be extremely kind to your technicians. After all, they've got the power! Get it? This coming weekend I have my first required audition at Rider for "A Little Night Music." I'm not necessarily aiming to get cast; it is not common to be in a main stage production as a freshman. However, I am expecting to kill my audition and be the best me I can be on that day. Say a little prayer for me to not let nerves get the best of me. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the Rider audition process works. Thank you for your support of my dreams. I don't think I will ever not feel awestruck by the opportunity God has blessed me with or the encouraging people He has placed in my life.
Tu Me Manques, McKenna
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