I still have fond memories from my childhood singing into flashlights along to Britney Spears as I point to my "audience" aka the living room furniture. The love and passion for performing has been present in my life since I can remember. It wasn't until middle school that I was presented with opportunity to hone the craft by joining choir and learning how to use air support and technique. Although this wasn't my preferred style of music I did enjoy learning how to read music so I continued choir through to my senior year of high school.
Along with choir I auditioned for my first musical my freshman year of high school. The Sound of Music. I received a callback for one of the Von Trap kids, but shy teenage Chelsea didn't investigate enough when the main doors to the theatre were locked. I didn't get cast. However my mom did call the theatre teacher and asked if there were any other roles available in the ensemble so I could have some experience being on stage. I'll never forget my grandma's laughter roaring in the audience as my fellow ensemble nuns and I walked on stage for the opening of the show. Hindsight I was thankful to have been in the ensemble. It was the first time I learned all the technical language and direction that comes with being in theatre. My sophomore year I decided to leave the drama that comes along with being in sports and turn my attention to stage DRAMA! I never looked back.
After I graduated high school I took one semester of college and experienced severe burn out. So I decided that I'd push through and then take a break. During this time I was investigating jobs that I felt I would enjoy. "What do I really want to do?" Perform obviously...but where can I get a job? That's when a childhood dream came true. I don't remember saying this but apparently when my family and I would see shows at Six Flags I told them "I'm going to be up there someday!" AND what do you know. I fulfilled that statement. I performed there for 3 years in a variety of styles of shows. It truly was a dream come true.
Life has a way of happening and after I finished my last year at Six Flags I took a break from performing -- full time anyway. I began working for a coffeehouse ministry and really enjoyed the personal interaction with customers, friends and fellow baristas. Plus I learned my hand in craft coffee making and LATTE ART! I went on to become the ministries Mercy and Care Coordinator where I would use my people skills and talents. I got to visit shut in church members at nursing homes, visit people that were in hospitals and coordinate anything that could benefit others needing attention and care. I learned how to see myself fully. Not just as a performer but a whole human being. I learned so much from this role and job. During my time with the ministry I did a couple of musicals and plays but I could sense my time performing full time wasn't over.
Summer of 2019 I get back from a missions trip in Honduras to have a phone call from my caroling manager offering me a role to go oversees to sing and perform for 3 months at Hong Disneyland! What? I never in my wildest dreams thought I would get to fulfill my dream to travel and perform both together. It was truly and experience of a lifetime that I will always cherish.
Since the pandemic I have slowly been finding my way to my heart and passion to perform full time again. The journey hasn't been easy and hasn't been without hardships, but I know it is all worth it for my growth and story.
I am happy to say with hard work and determination I completed my first complete contract performing full time again at Dollywood in 2022! I can't wait to see what other adventures I embark upon in 2023!