The Kristin Chenoweth Experience

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Courtesy of Mansfield Texas Arts

A few MISD students were fortunate enough to perform with Chenoweth at her concert.

By Ciara Hendricks, Lake Ridge

It was widely anticipated, and many people were holding their breath for it. Kristin Chenoweth, the Tony Award winning actress, came to Mansfield and performed at the Mansfield Performing Arts Center on November 2nd. Auditions for MISD students to perform with Chenoweth were open and many MISD students took hold of the opportunity. A few lucky ones actually landed a role in the concert with the Broadway star.

The students that participated had to work hard to keep up with the rigorous and fast-paced rehearsals. They had to pack a lot of work and lessons in a relatively short amount of time. Logan Johnson, sophomore, felt good about how well he and his group handled themselves in the high pressure situation.

“We were on the biggest time crunch because we had quite a lot to do in not a lot of time. That is three huge numbers with ensembles, choreography, costumes, learning music the whole thing. It was very fast paced but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle, and we got it done. A lot of the rehearsal was actually done completely on our own, and it came together really well,” stated Johnson.

Emily Hamm, sophomore, also participated in Chenoweth’s concert and feels they did well despite the workload.

“I really liked the fact that I could work specifically with an artist in the career that I want to go in. We would learn two dances in a rehearsal time and then go back to it the next week and a lot of fast paced stuff. Our whole team was just really on it. We were really pulling it off and we were very professional about it,” said Hamm.

The students that made the cast were put into two categories. Those who opened for Chenoweth’s concert, which were the top 28 students, and those who were part of the finale at the end of the whole concert. Johnson was touched and inspired by his role in the concert, which was both opening and ending for her. Johnson was not the only one touched, he noticed that Chenoweth was also moved by the concert’s end.

“After the concert, absolutely magical by the way, we got out and sang a few planned songs with her. After that we actually ended up getting super emotional and everyone got really somber. Everything just came together so seamlessly that Kristin was just extremely taken back. We then sang an improvised version of ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston with Chenoweth, and that was really fun,” stated Johnson.

Jordana Garcia, sophomore, enjoyed the once in a life time opportunity and learned from Chenoweth herself about some things regarding her career.

“We had rehearsals almost every week, alternating Fridays and Saturdays. There was music and there was choreography and the dancing was pretty strenuous and not like the choreography that I’m used to. I’m not as strong of a dancer as I would say most of the kids are. We actually got the opportunity to speak to Kristin Chenoweth and do sound check with her and stuff, and it opened my eyes to what the real world is like if musical theatre is something you want to do,” stated Garcia.

Johnson feels like the opportunity given to him taught him a lot and allowed him to enjoy something he is interested in pursuing as a career. It is one of a kind to him and he is proud to have made it into the show.

“This is going on every resume for everything, I don’t care if I’m applying for a job at Taco Bell. It was a huge learning experience. None of it was a direct teaching from her but we still learned so much during her warm up process, and talking us through her sound check process with her band. A huge educational experience, watching her perform, and her cordial, cool cucumber confidence. You can’t buy or learn this anywhere other than from someone so experienced,” said Johnson.

This story was originally published on Eagle Nation News on November 8, 2019.