I did my first musical when I was about five years old. I started dancing classes at age two and did ballet and contemporary. At five, my dance company did the musical, The Little Mermaid. I was just a seaweed, but I loved the experience. I loved the community of it. Even then I knew I would stick with performing arts, and I’ve just kept doing it.
Last year I was in the Middle School production of Into the Woods. I was Cinderella, and it was a really fun experience. I love being able to express myself in a different character, to be someone else and change the way I act and look. It lets me get outside my box.
Then when you’re backstage, it’s the opposite. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You are part of a community here where being yourself–not trying to be something else–is the best way to make friends. No one gets judged. Tampa Prep is just a really easy place to make friends with people you want to be surrounded by.
I love how in the Middle School the different grades get to interact. The seventh graders interact with the eighth graders in their hub. Or when you’re in sixth grade, you can take Advanced Math and be in a class with seventh graders. It’s a good way to open communication between different grades. So is being in the Middle School musicals.
I’m not sure if I’ll be an actress. I do have some ideas about what I want to be when I grow up. I really like politics. I would love to be some sort of attorney. I’m really good at arguing. I also like the marine biology world. I got to experience some of that on our seventh grade class trip to the Florida Keys. We went snorkeling, kayaking, swam with dolphins. It was a lot of fun. The biggest thing I learned on that trip was that communication skills are very important. When we were kayaking in the mangroves, it got very narrow and a lot of different kayaks were trying to get through at the same time. Communication skills were vital so that everyone didn’t get crammed up. You had to talk–that definitely was something that I learned. Communication skills.
Sophia is also interested in
Mr. David Mann on Sophia
“I first worked with Sophia on Into the Woods, Jr. What impressed me about her was that the material was very difficult. Stephen Sondheim’s musicals are notoriously difficult to sing. Some of the notes she had to reach were very hard for her. But she would go to lessons and work on it on her own, and every day she got better with it. She never got discouraged, and she never gave up. It’s hard to be Cinderella–she’s out there in the sparkly dress, trying to be the princess that everyone wants to be. So there’s a lot of pressure. I thought she handled it very well.
Beyond her drive though, I look forward to working with her on future performances because she’s joyful. She loves doing this. She comes into into class and rehearsal always with a smile. Her enthusiasm is infectious. She works hard. But mostly just the joy.”