The cool, quiet, darkness of a theatre has always been a magical place to me. Endless possibilities lingering just beyond the dusty velvet curtains. The smell of sawdust and paint from freshly crafted sets and the tang of hairspray drifting from the dressing room. The heavy, satisfying weight of a brand new script in hand. I grew up as a theatre kid. Watching my mom rehearse from the wings, and later, excitedly getting to step out on the stage myself. It always feels like home, no matter how far from that life I have stepped. But getting to go back is my favorite. And getting to watch young performers find their courage, their wings, their sense of community and purpose – it is a thrill like no other. I got to meet the amazing young man featured today when he and my own little performer were cast as brother and sister in Matilda The Musical last summer. A triple threat talent who is as comfortable working on stage, as he is behind the scenes of a big production.
Who I am kidding. You don’t need an introduction. He’s one of central Virginia’s favorite theatre kids and he’s been kicking around the boards since he was a little guy. We had a great time doing a “theatre kid” themed photo shoot to commemorate his senior year in high school. As he navigates a future filled with college applications, and Zoom auditions (and you thought auditioning was hard before covid…) it was so much fun to take a photographic trip down memory lane. And relive all the memories from a childhood on the stage. Grayson brought along some favorite playbills, a few props he’s nicked along the way (hey Cigar, and Newsies Cap… we see you!) including the famous blue Adidas bag that every young actor who has had the chance to play Billy Elliot has slung across his shoulder. We shot these photos at the two theatres where Grayson has worked most often – The Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, VA and ShenanArts in Staunton, VA. A big thanks to them for letting us create a few more memories before graduation.
Congrats on your senior year Grayson! We can’t wait to see where ACT II takes you!
Magazine May / June 2021 Issue