BY KYIA FRANK AND KYLEE BARANEK
Most people dream of having the opportunity to showcase their talents in a big school production. In this year’s performance of The Little Mermaid, Lauren Claxton, 10, as Ariel, and Nick Beiser, 11, as Prince Eric, were given just the chance. Both drama students are musically gifted, but their dedication to the arts lies beyond the stage.
Lauren Claxton is involved in many outside activities and manages to incorporate herself in many school activities as well.
Claxton started voice lessons in the fifth grade and to this day she still continues to practice. Each lesson lasts a half hour with Ted Peolowski.
“Even though it is not much time, it makes a big difference,” said Claxton.
Taking voice lessons has helped not only her singing but it has also given her other opportunities.
Ever since she was a young child, she knew that performing is what she loved to do. She loved to sing and dance all around the house and act like her favorite characters she would see on television.
“When my mom used to take me to dance, I would always sing the songs,” she said.
Claxton mentioned that she, ironically enough, has a video of her singing “Part of Your World” at the age of four.
Outside of her musical talents, Claxton puts a lot of focus towards her community and school. She is a part of student council, Grizzly Leadership, the student ambassador program, show choir, school cheerleading and she volunteers for the Salvation Army.
Claxton is a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Club for the Salvation Army. Through this program she contributes by bell ringing, volunteering with breakfast, back to school bashes, and soup kitchens.
“I try to help whenever I get the chance, but it gets difficult at times to balance everything,” she said.
Despite all of the long hours, Claxton is proud of all of her accomplishments and the opportunities she has been provided in her high school career.
“I am really proud of myself for finally not being afraid of the criticism that you get,” she said. “To me, that is a huge accomplishment because it used to really get in my head when people would say things about me or correct me.”
For her, that is what she is most proud of in this journey and she will continue to keep this mindset to keep accomplishing more goals in the future.
Nick Beiser is a highly seasoned vet when it comes to the stage and performing. He is well versed in singing, dancing, acting and plays the piano.
His love for theater developed at an early when his mom would take him to Schuster Center to watch performances such as The Lion King. This resulted in Beiser’s appreciation for the arts.
“She always made sure I was being educated not only through books, but that I was taking music classes as well,” Beiser said.
He started vocal lessons when he was in third grade. To showcase the kids progress, the vocal school would have seasonal performances. During one of these showcases, Beiser sang a song from Seussical the Musical.
He continued his singing career and landed a role in Beauty and the Beast.
“I was in Beauty and the Beast at Olmsted Performing Arts, and it was pretty dance intensive,” said Baiser. “I hadn’t really had a ton of dance experience before, and I realized I needed to know how to do this if I want to be in musical theater. So I started taking lessons in jazz, tap and ballet.”
In 8th grade, he had gotten the role of the Prince in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. This was the role he was able to sink his teeth into for the first time and it sparked his interest in becoming more serious within the performing arts.
Since his first brush with the stage, Beiser has been featured in many different productions such as Newsies, Be More Chill and Footloose. Beiser plans to continue with theater when he attends college.
“This is it for me. I couldn’t see myself stopping,” Beiser said.
Come see the two will bring to the stage Friday March 22 at 7:30 and Saturday March 23 at 2:00 and 7:30 as they swim into the spotlight.