Feature:: Christina Vlamis

Not many people can imagine going up on stage, performing in front of countless people, and even winning awards for their talent. People love to see the finished product, but rarely get to see the effort and work put into it. Singing in front of large crowds, dancing on massive stages until your feet have blistered, and rehearsing for too many hours to count on both hands and maybe even feet aren’t even a thought to many students.

But for Tina Vlamis, this is her life.

Tina’s passion for theatre began when she was only five years old, in a production of The Wizard of Oz with the U Rock Company. From Woodland’s very own after school productions, to shows with outside groups, she wishes to pursue theatre for her college career and the rest of her life. Theatre has became more than a hobby to her, and now a lifestyle.

Tina remembers back to her role in “Footloose” with Seven Angels Theatre when she was the youngest person there, and the only one still in high school, but she stuck out in the crowd and managed to make good friends from the experience. She loved the intense rehearsal process, and the amount of performances. Normally, rehearsals for high schools are daily or every few days for about two months until the show, which is either two or three performances, depending on if a matinee, or a 2 o’clock show, happens. With that show, Vlamis only rehearsed intensely for two weeks before the performances. This just proves her talent, and how her dedication to theatre is real. She guesses that that performance was also the biggest audience she has performed in front of, excluding the Halo awards at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury with Woodland theatre.

As a Woodland theater student, Vlamis has taken on several different roles.  Her most recent was for the fall production as Jim Hawkins from an adaptation of Treasure Island.

“[He was] a fun character to play, because he starts out as such a scared little boy,” said Vlamis, “but ultimately gains so much confidence.”

Her favorite role was Emily Webb in Our Town, done with Woodland theatre. Vlamis chooses this as her favorite role, because of her love for Our Town.

“It’s just such a beautiful show,” said Vlamis, “and the meaning sticks with you for the rest of your life.”

Sadly, not many students choose theatre as their major. Many see it as a waste of time, or a useless major. People assume that to be successful in theatre, you must be best friends with Lin Manuel Miranda, or on all of the biggest television shows. Many students who do theatre in high school choose different majors, “real” ones. Tina has decided to follow her heart, and pursue it in college and life. Her opinion on young people pursuing theatre majors in college and then life is simple.

“Pursuing acting is obviously a risk, I would be really naïve to think it isn’t. But it isn’t impossible,” said Vlamis.“Every day there are people getting casted in movies, tv shows, and Broadway shows.”

Vlamis understands the obstacles in her way but is ready for the challenge.

“I think the biggest challenge I’ll face pursuing acting post high school will be how competitive it is. At any audition, there will be tons of girls just like me, so I feel like standing out enough to get a role will be really tough.”

Vlamis’s advice for students interested in pursuing theatre post high school or college is to first figure out why you want to pursue it.

“If someone is going in with the idea it’s going to be glamorous and easy,” notes Vlamis, “they’re going to be disappointed really quickly.”

Be sure to catch Tina and the rest of your favorite Woodland actors and actresses in The Wizard of Oz this spring.

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