Leonore Annenberg Scholarship, Fellowship, and School Funds
Q & A with Calvin Royal III

Q: Could you elaborate on your statement that “dance chose me”?

A: I started studying ballet my freshman year of high school because I’d been exposed to other styles of dance like West African dance and hip-hop. I really wanted to try something new, so I auditioned for the dance department at my arts high school. Once I was accepted, I discovered it was something I could be challenged in, and after a short time could actually do it, and it became infectious.

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Q & A with Crystal Gregory

Q: What draws you to work with such a range of materials and techniques?

A: I think a lot about the poetics of materials. I often choose materials that are opposites of one another, and by setting them in opposition I highlight the social connotations projected onto them. I discover a tension between industrial materials and the pliability found in cloth…

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Q & A with Sarah Sokolovic

Q: You act in plays as well as movies and television.  Why is such diversity important to you?

A: They’re all fun, and they all give you different experiences. Theater has a long process, an immediate audience reaction, and changes night to night. Camera work can move very fast, so sometimes you have to learn to just let moments go when you’re losing time… I think if you accept that it’s all out of your hands, and that any moment might surprise you, any of the three will feel magical.

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Q & A with Mia Rosenthal

Q: What do you find fulfilling about your art work?

A: I’m not fully expressed as a person without making artwork, and I start getting antsy if a few days have gone by without working on something. It’s very much a part of who I am. I do also enjoy being able to share the drawings with others, particularly when a viewer has an unexpected take on a piece, or relates to something on a personal level even if from a different perspective.

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Q & A with Francesca dePasquale

Q: Why is classical music outreach and community engagement important to you?

A: My parents showed me the importance of outreach by involving me in their presentations and visits at an early age. … If you are never exposed to classical music, as many are not now due to cuts in funding public school programs, how can you know that it can change your life?

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Q & A with Isabella Boylston

Q: Do you have a favorite role?

A: So far, Giselle has been my favorite role. At the time I was first cast in it, I felt that my dramatic abilities needed to catch up with my dancing abilities, so with help from the Annenberg grant, I was able to hire an acting coach to prepare me. Working with him has changed the way I approach every role.

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Q & A with Angel Otero

Q: Mentoring is a key component of our fellowship program. How did you benefit from your mentor’s advice and support?

A: I think the school was one of the main factors that helped me grow, not only in my practice but also in seeing the other side of making art. In the studio critiques, the advice I had from some of my professors was so diverse. … The combination of things I absorbed all together let me have the right attitude when I had finished school, to confront the art world on my own.

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Q & A with Bryce Pinkham

Q: How has the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship helped you?

A: I could focus my efforts on Broadway and New York, where I wanted to be. With renewed confidence, energy, and focus (not to mention singing lessons, yoga practice, and new head-shots) I was able to actively pursue my goals. Within a few months I had booked my first lead on Broadway.

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Q & A with André Holland

Q: How do you build a character from scratch when approaching a new role?

A: I start with research. I find out as much as I can about the time period, the people, the politics, the fashion — everything I can get my hands on. From there, it’s about deciding what this particular character wants and what they are doing to get it. Imagination is also a big part of building a character. At the end of the day, I have to make the audience’s imagination believe in mine — that’s the job.

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Q & A with Michelle Ross

Q: Do you have any advice for younger musicians?

A: Never stop dreaming: instead, enjoy the eternal process of finding the tools with which to bring those dreams to life; I think this applies both to practicing, and when thinking about projects. Art is endless, and this struggle to dig deeper, master our craft, and express ourselves, is a continual journey. Remember that this process is the greatest gift. Always approach music with honesty, humility, and love.

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