Once upon a time my parents decided to take me to a community theatre audition for Guys & Dolls, Jr. with Chalfont Youth Musical Players (through Philadelphia Parks and Recreation). Now, my Meyers-Briggs type is ISTJ, so I am instinctively a more reserved person. On top of that, in 2003, at the age of 9, I had no understanding of who I was and who I had the potential to become in the future, so everything was a bit gray and terrifying for shy, little Alex. But somehow, to my parents disbelief, I mustered up the courage to stand on stage in front of people and audition for my first show with “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” by Elvis Presley. (I am willing to bet that I am the only person to EVER sing that song for an audition at Chalfont!) I don’t know if anyone actually heard a word I was singing or if they just kept on smiling and nodding their heads, but I made it through- until the director looked up at me and asked me if I knew who wrote the song I was singing. I didn’t have a clue. That was the cherry on top of that excruciatingly nerve-wracking experience. Fast-forward through the casting process to the point that I received my first musical theatre part ever: a Hot Box Girl.
From 2003 to 2008, I continued to stay involved in musical theatre with Chalfont, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. In 2008, I graduated from middle school, which meant that my role as Mrs. Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the last I would have with that theatre group. Then I started high school and was able to stay involved with Chalfont by assisting with set painting, but it wasn’t the same.
Then, in the Fall of 2009, everything changed. Chalfont’s director, Ed Flores, Jr. approached me about a new theatre mentorship program he wanted to try and offered me the position of Assistant Choreographer under Natalie (Monari) Graveley (check out her blog here!). Now for some background, I was, and still to this day, not a trained dancer in any respect. I have taken several recreational dance and master classes over the years, but never truly studied technique and form. I can say that I do have rhythm when it comes to dance, however nothing formal to back it up. With that said, Ed decided to take a chance on me and I cannot thank him enough for that opportunity and for showing me an entirely new realm of the theatre world. It was in that moment that I was introduced to musical theatre choreography, which has grown to be one of my greatest artistic passions. The chance I took advantage of as a high school sophomore has opened doors to some of my favorite experiences in my life thus far.
Since then- for nearly a decade- I have worked with several community theatre groups as a choreographer for auditions, showcases, and full-length productions including Center Stage Productions and Brick Door Productions in Philadelphia, PA. I would personally like to thank Ed Flores, Jr. and all the other influential theatrical professionals I have worked with and for over the years. Thank you for being part of my story and for helping me to create this narrative.
All my best,
- Header photo | Photo by Brooke Cannon
- In-copy collage | Left photo by Tony Durso Photography (2015), middle and right photos by Lisa Mottershead