I always knew OCSA would leave an impact on me, however I didn't realize how often I would be referencing certain tools or experiences that I endured in high school.
Being a part of the performing group Montage! has taught me life long lessons and has prepared me to take on certain challenges you face as a professional performer.
The audition alone- learning how to show up looking presentable, learning to quickly pick up the choreography and trying to immediately apply a personality behind it, whether finding out you made it or you didn't- was a lesson in itself. For many of us in the future would go through series of auditions and acceptance and denial.
Being a part of Montage! is like being a mini professional. On top of schoolwork, conservatory, and other outside activities, you must attend additional rehearsals and performances being a part of montage. The biggest thing I learned was time management. How to balance doing homework on your breaks, or in-between rehearsals, while still allowing yourself to have fun in the process.
Traveling around and performing at various venues taught me that you won't always perform on a grand stage. Sometimes we would dance on grass, concrete, or on top the schools roof! You never knew what you were going to get until you got there-even if that meant we had to adjust the entire number to fit on the tiny stage we were faced with. It taught me to be flexible and able to adapt quickly and effortlessly. Both of these are challenges you face as a professional dancer, and definitely challenges that I have faced in my experience dancing in New York. Montage truly gave me the kind of experience you can't find anywhere else. I was a part of Montage for 4 years. That's 4 years of the best kind of practice you can find! Being a part of this group is so special and plays such a large role in why I have come as far as I have. It made my transition from student to working professional seamless, because to a certain degree, I already knew what to expect. But I think my favorite part about Montage was the life long friends I have made. Almost ALL of my best friends in this performing group are now here in New York with me. I run into them at dance classes around the city, at Broadway shows, in auditions, even just walking down the street! It's amazing to see that we all have made it here, are working, and are loving it. When the conversation starts rolling we all can always agree on the fact that we wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for OCSA and for MONTAGE. Thank you Cindy Peca and Ralph Opacic for the experience of a lifetime!