I’ve been in theater since I was six years old. Being part of a cast is amazing. It’s really fun to see the difference between the character you have to play, and the person you are. On stage, there are so many different ways to play a character, so it’s fun to see how many ways you can spin yourself. This past year I got to play the role of Genie in Aladdin, Jr. That was my biggest accomplishment to date, along with being moved up to the varsity swim team.
My swimming coach, Coach Jason, really drives us to do our best and succeed. I’ve improved a lot since he moved me up to the varsity team. I love the environment he creates. It’s always fun and hard work, and I enjoy hard work. I’m a perfectionist, so I don’t want to mess up. As of right now it’s easy to do that (mess up), because I’m young and learning. I realize I’m not perfect at everything, and I accept and embrace that, but I also know I can also get better at everything. At Tampa Prep there’s no need to panic. If I don’t feel sure about something I can go to the teachers after school for extra help and they are always there for me.
I’ve been at Tampa Prep since sixth grade. I love the positive environment here. I feel like I can really be myself, like everyone here wants to succeed and wants me to succeed. I would encourage new students to not be shy when they come here. There’s always someone in your class who is going to relate to you in some way. There’s no need to be nervous. I love being downtown as well–there’s so much going on all around us. It’s like our campus is an extension of the beautiful city.
I do want to be an actress someday of course. I’m a person who wants to be on stage. I really love to act, sing and dance. I like to portray and bring different characters to life for everyone. I love when you go on and take your bow, not because you’re getting recognition but because you can see that [the audience] really did like the performance that you gave them. I view acting as a service to others, not a service to self, so seeing the audience happy is really nice.
Haven is also interested in
Theater Director David Mann, on Haven
Haven has this big, lovely, wonderful musical theater voice. She’s really bold and brassy on stage–she was perfect for the Genie [in Aladdin, Jr.]. When we got into rehearsal, she was quick to get off book, and just a lot of fun to work with. She is a real leader in the class. It’s great when the students who take the big parts lead by example–the other kids fall in line. She was never vain about having a big part, she was very humble.
I will have her in class again this year, but it will be very different because of COVID, obviously. It was recommended by TPRO that we not sing at all in the building, so musical theater will be hard. We may work on some plays, but even if we do them, anything we do will be in masks, which is kind of difficult. We can only have maybe 20 people in the audience. Actually, it’s not that bad, just the speaking and keeping everyone’s distance on stage.
There are some new “from home” plays being created to be performed on Zoom. I might work with the middle school students on scenes we can perform for their parents. There are radio plays and podcasts, too. We will make it fun, and Haven’s positivity will help!