Aloha, it’s Malachi Keohuloa here with another blog to talk about my awesome trip to New York with NPAC.
The Broadway Workshop was a highlight for me because we got to work with Sam Strasfeld, a cast member in the production Miss Saigon. We got to learn the choreography and vocals to “American Dream,” which is one of the musical numbers in the show. It was even more exciting because we were in a building where multiple Broadway auditions were taking place.
Another highlight for me was being able to meet the casts of the Broadway shows that we went to. I felt a bit lucky that we were able to go on stage and meet the casts of Waitress and Kinky Boots. We talked to a few of them and got autographs from them. For example, some of us talked to Kevin Kirkwood, who played one of the Angels in Kinky Boots. He talked about his career and how he got interested in the performing arts.
Visiting NYU, Juilliard, and Columbia was another highlight because it provided me with the many options of different schools if I plan to go there for college in the future. I was able to see what each school could provide for me and how it'll benefit me in the future. When we went on the tour of Juilliard, our tour guide mentioned that it isn't as hard to get into as it was before. He told us that while he was auditioning, he was told to just be himself while doing the audition. It makes me feel a whole lot better knowing I don't need to worry about my skills to get into a great school.
On this trip, I learned a lot about the New York lifestyle. New York is very different from Hawai’i, more specifically, the people there are very different. Like Danell told our Lyft driver, “In Hawai'i, if someone were to honk their horn at you in the streets, they'd probably come out their car and hit you, but here is different.” I also learned a lot about Broadway and how some of the actors got to where they are now. For example, Sam Stansfeld told us that sometimes your skills won't matter when auditioning for a show. They look at that last. What they REALLY look for is someone with compassion, humbleness, and someone who is kind to all who surround them. Also, if you fit the costume/character, but in all, you just need to be a good person.
The trip changed my judgement on where I want to go to school and how I should be as a person to get to where I want to go. I never thought of going to Juilliard because I've always seen on TV how hard it was to get in, but after the visit to the school, I learned that it isn't as bad as it seems. Whenever I saw Juilliard on TV, it was portrayed as a hardcore school where they push you to be the best of the best. However, when we were on our tour, the guide told us something that really made sense to me. They aren't looking at how great your skills are, they want someone who's in need of teaching so that they can become better. I really had my eyes on going to AMDA but now there's NYU, Juilliard, and even the University of Columbia. So, the trip has changed my future goals in the sense of where I'm heading after high school.