Photo by Traci Ling Photography | Location: Sawyer Yards, Houston
HFM recently caught up with Lizzie Tyer, one of our 2019 HFM Kid Ambassadors to discuss her love of all things theater and how it’s brought joy to her life. Here is what she had to say.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m a 15-year-old Sugar Land resident. I am beginning my sophomore year at the virtual school, iUniversity Prep. Besides theatre, I enjoy playing my ukulele, spending time with my friends, and watching movies. I live with my parents and my dog, Ginger.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING MUSICAL THEATER?
About six years, I started in 4th grade. I’ve been in 24 full
productions and am currently in two productions, Mary Poppins JR. and Into the Woods JR, both at Inspiration Stage.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN MUSICAL THEATER?
In 3rd grade, our homeroom put on a short play. Since then I’ve been passionate about the performing arts.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ROLES THAT YOU’VE PLAYED?
Jovie in Elf, Spider in James and the Giant Peach, but my all-time favorite role has been Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda.
DO YOU FEEL THAT WORKING IN THEATER MADE YOU A BETTER PERSON?
I believe theatre makes anyone a better person. Besides gaining an appreciation for the arts, theatre teaches life-long skills such as public speaking, memorization and teamwork. I believe it’s made me the confident person I am today.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT PERFORMING?
I love the feeling I get from performing in front of people. I love to make the audience laugh. I also enjoy seeing the audience reaction to all the hard-work put into each performance.
WHO ARE YOUR THEATRICAL ROLE MODELS?
Caissie Levy (Elsa in Frozen on Broadway), Taylor Louderman (Regina in Mean Girls on Broadway) and Mandy Seymore-Sensat (Artistic Director of Inspiration Stage).
HOW MANY DIFFERENT PRODUCTIONS DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN PER YEAR?
It’s different every year, but at least four.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR SCHOOL LIFE WITH YOUR THEATER LIFE?
It’s challenging balancing school and theatre. I have rehearsals and classes most evenings. I attend online school to have more time and flexibility for training and opportunities that arise.
WHAT TYPES OF EXPERIENCES HAS YOUR ACTING CAREER OFFERED YOU?
I’ve gotten to travel all over the US and even Edinburgh for festivals, competitions and training. Some of the places I’ve gotten to visit are New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, London and Edinburgh. I’ve been to programs at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, International Thespian Society, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Junior Theatre Festival and Texas Nonprofit Theatres. One of the most exciting experiences I’ve had so far was this past February. I played Elsa and got to sing “Let it Go” in the New Works Showcase of Frozen JR. at the Junior Theatre Festival in Sacramento.
WHAT TYPES OF CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED DOING THEATER?
I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced is learning to overcome rejection. It is difficult to not get a role that you want and prepared for. I’ve learned to be proud when I do my best at an audition, then to leave the decision with the directors. Even though I’ve had disappointments, I know I can make any part challenging and fun.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE CAREER ASPIRATIONS?
I plan to get a musical theatre degree from a performing arts program. I want to continue performing in musical theatre, but I also dream about starting my own community theatre company. I would love to share my passion for theatre with others.
YOU JUST RETURNED FROM ATTENDING THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE IN SCOTLAND, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE TRIP AND HOW YOU PARTICIPATED?
This summer, I went with the George Ranch High School Longhorn Players theatre program to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where we performed a play, Sometimes Just a Second, written by our director, L. Jay Edenmeyer. We had three performances where we got to share our work with people from around the world. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We first spent several days in London sightseeing and attending performances at West End and a workshop at the Globe Theatre.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER KIDS INTERESTED IN ACTING AND THEATER?
Don’t be afraid to go for it. Be yourself. It’s not about being the most talented person there, it’s about having a good attitude and being a team-player. Remember that at an audition, the director is on your side and wants you to do well.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE THEATER COMPANY YOU PERFORM WITH?
I perform with my local community theatre, Inspiration Stage. iStage started six years ago at the historic Sugar Land Auditorium. I was Shanti in iStage’s first production, Jungle Book KIDS. Most recently, I was Mona in Chicago: High School Edition. [Check out www.inspirationstage.com for more information]
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
One of my favorite things about theatre is the friendships I’ve made with people of all different ages. There is something about being around people that have the same passions – it brings out the best in each of us. We become a family and consider the theatre our home away from home.