The Kirkwood Call

Performing under the stars

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Performing under the stars

Laura Crews, writer

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She tosses a stained makeup brush to the side and slides on her high-heeled character shoes. Struggling against the weight of hairspray and false eyelashes, her legs shake behind a red curtain about to lift. Sydney Jones, freshman, has grown up on stage, performing in shows like Aladdin at the Muny to Mary Poppins here at KHS.

Growing up, Sydney watched musicals and loved bouncing to movies with musical scores. The first musical she was cast in was “Annie” at the Muny at age 7. She was accepted into the performing group, Muny Kids, and ever since, the Muny has been her summer home.

“It was my third year in [the] Muny when I first auditioned for Muny kids,” Sydney said. “It was more time taken in my summer but it was totally worth it because I got to meet new people and got to perform even more than I was.”

Sydney said it is stressful to be involved with theater as she runs between dance classes and musical rehearsals all year. From a young age, she had to be responsible for herself and her schoolwork to keep pursuing what she loves. She said it was worth it once she began playing major roles in musicals at Nipher Middle School and now KHS.

“You have to be really committed because usually everyday after school you have to get your work done fast, then you have to come to rehearsal,” Sydney said. “It’s really time consuming but if you love it, it’s worth it.”

Sydney has traveled to New York City and recently joined a talent agency, Take 3 Agency, that finds jobs in television, print, film, commercial, voice-over and theater for children, teenagers and adult clients. That is where she said she can see her dreams unfold. It was those dreams that told Jones’ mother her daughter was meant to perform.

“She has a very strong will, if she knows she wants something she’ll do it,” Grace Jones, Sydney’s mother, said. “It didn’t matter how late the hours were. She had that midnight rehearsal for “Annie” and everyone else was exhausted but she was on cloud nine.”

Sydney’s talent is being recognized at KHS, performing as Jane Banks in “Mary Poppins.” She said she enjoys doing school productions because she likes to see how other directors work. After the auditions for “Mary Poppins,” Kelly Schnider, KHS theater director, sparked an interest in Sydney.

“She wasn’t showy, but she did it and she was the character and was relaxed and at ease but had a lot of dynamic stage presence,” Schnider said. “We realized as we put the pieces together that she would be a great Jane.”

From the beginning of the show to the end, Schnider said Sydney was helpful and eager to make the musical better. This included working with costumes, clean-up, organization and helping other cast members make last minute props. Despite the rush before the show, she was still on top of her performance and worked hard to perfect her character.

“She never carried an ego, she just worked hard from the beginning of the process.” Schnider said. “I’m not looking for stars, I’m looking for people who can work as an ensemble, as a team.”

This summer, Sydney will be performing in “Wizard of Oz” at the Muny, the place where it all started. She said it was that first performance as an orphan in “Annie” which sparked her interest in theatre. From there, it blossomed into a life-long dream for her future.

“I was told by my parents that I did a good job, but to me it was just something I loved to do and wanted to keep doing,” Sydney said. “I really liked the experience and it felt like something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

About the Photographer
Kara Rieger, photo editor

Interests: playing music, taking photos, and spending time w nature and animals!! also deutsch sprechen
Favorite quote: "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp...

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Performing under the stars