Williamson is one of many Leesville students planning to graduate early and pursue a hobby, job or goal not offered in high school. In her case, Williamson will complete an internship at the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory under the guidance of Tito Hernandez, the Conservatory’s dance department head.
“While I’m there, most of my work will be training. I will assist with the majority of the acting, dance, and Live On Stage classes. I will have to teach several of the dance classes and will be choreographing numbers for the Dance Company,” Williamson said in an email interview.
These are only a few of her daily responsibilities she anticipates juggling come February. Williamson is a member of three of NCTC’s performance companies: Acting Company, Live On Stage Elite Company and Dance Company. She will assist the directors of each company with various tasks in addition to performing.
Attaining this internship gives Williamson the upper hand when auditioning for college theatre programs. Upon completion of her internship, she said, “I will have a wider range of experience than a typical kid in high school or in college and will be able to pull from those experiences.”
Auditions for college acting and musical theatre programs start in the spring, making this year one of Williamson’s most focused and, therefore, most stressful.
“Aspiring performing arts majors have an extra challenge beyond just getting accepted academically. Besides competing to get into schools where the average GPA is 3.9 and 4.0 or higher, we also have to get into the [schools’ performing arts] programs.”
Williamson’s list of potential colleges is extensive. With The Juilliard School, The Boston Conservatory and Elon University as her top picks, other prospects are UNC School of the Arts, Texas State University, Point Park University, Carnegie Mellon University, Michigan University, New York University, Fordham University and Marymount Manhattan College. She has already been accepted to Point Park University and Marymount Manhattan College and is awaiting answers from the other nine.
Williamson plans to major in either acting or musical theatre. The competition for admission into these schools’ theatre programs, she said, is “cutthroat.”
“Not only do our academics have to be good enough to get into schools like NYU and CMU, we also have to perform monologues, sing full songs and go through a series of dance warm-ups, combinations and technique work AND impress the panel of judges reviewing us.”
In addition to her work with NCTC, Williamson is a member of Leesville’s Honors theatre troupe, Mainstage Theatrics, and has performed in Leesville’s Guys and Dolls, Vanities and Alice in Wonderland. Her main focus, though, is her acting opportunities outside of school. She currently devotes thirty-five hours a week to NCTC’s classes and companies.
After college, Williamson hopes to land a spot on Broadway. However, she is open to what she refers to as “different paths.”
“I still do not know my path yet. There is no telling what I will be doing in 10 years. I just want to be able to always perform and train and to be happy with the work I’m doing. That’s all I can ask for.”
A generally optimistic, bubbly person, Williamson finds joy in this frenetic yet crucial time in her life.
“The pressure and stress are extreme right now,” she said. “It’s definitely crazy, and you can never stop working, not even for a second, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I know that if I didn’t have theatre and musical theatre in my life I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be Logan.”