Big Dreams + Hard Work = A Star On The Rise!
Based on an interview with Halle Vargas-Sullivan. Written by Liz Thompson.
Halle was introduced to theatre at a young child. After watching her older brother and sister participate in programs and performances at Cape Fear Regional Theatre, she decided to join as well. She participated in Summer Camps and at the age of 7, Halle showed up for her first audition. She recalls this day as “one of the worst days” in her life, but it turned out to be a day that would change her life forever.
Halle calls herself a “perfectionist.” She says that she worries often about everything that could go wrong. So, as she waited in line with her sister to audition for The Wizard of Oz, she felt the heat rise inside her and began panicking. She was so nervous that she broke out in hives. She started crying, she doubted herself, and she was afraid but she says the “inner performer in me told me I HAD to do this audition!” As she completed her audition, Bo Thorp, CFRT’s Founding Artistic Director, rhetorically asked Halle, “Where have you been!?” Halle replied, “At home.” Everyone laughed at the sweet and honest 7-year old response. As Halle stood on stage confused by the laughter, she looked to her mother and brother who were watching her audition from backstage for support. Halle says, “They looked so proud of me!” That year, she performed for the first time as a Munchkin.
Afterwards, Halle went on to perform in many shows at CFRT including Children of Eden, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Some of her fondest memories come from her time with Legally Blonde where she says, “The cast had such a great bond. Everyone was so supportive of one another. We were all so in love with the show and the audience loved it as well. You could feel the energy – the audience couldn’t help but have fun with us!”
Halle recalls spending so much time at the theatre that “the theatre was more my home than my actual house was.” It wasn’t easy – but she loved it. Her time at CFRT taught her a lot about responsibility, discipline, and time management. Her parents required that she and her siblings stay in good standing at school so Halle would do whatever it took to keep her grades up so she could continue performing. Halle worked hard and it paid off.
In 2007, Halle’s older brother spotted an opportunity for her to audition for The Lion King on Broadway. Halle’s training gave her the experience, confidence, and hard work ethic she needed – she auditioned and was hired! Halle was only 9 years old at the time but after arriving in New York City she began to consider performing as a lifelong career. She loved the energy of the city and witnessed adults living their dreams every day. She says, “I knew this is what I needed to do.”
Afterwards, Halle and her family committed to developing her career in the arts. They often made 24-hour road trips to New York City so she could continue auditioning. Halle expanded her talents and became a song writer. She is now a student at New York University majoring in Record Music. Halle’s dream is to win a Grammy. She wants to perform, have world tours, and design her own brand of clothing and perfumes. She says, “One thing the theatre taught me was to dream big, and I want to be a super star!”
As Halle reflects on her time with us, she says “I can’t think of anything better to prepare me for the real world in terms of professionalism and work ethic… it was so demanding, but it was so worth it.” She says, “Fayetteville wouldn’t be what it is without Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Think of how many schools visit CFRT – without it, all of those kids wouldn’t have access to theatre or have the opportunity to discover a passion for performing.”
All of us at CFRT want to say THANK YOU to the donors, volunteers, and supporters that make stories like Halle’s possible – YOU are making a difference! We are overjoyed when we can provide children an opportunity to express themselves and find their passion for the arts by performing on stage. But, we can’t do it without you. Please join us in #25DaysOfGiving and help us raise $25,000 for youth education and outreach programs. Your gift will help us reach more children in 2016!