All In A Day’s Work – Day 6 at NHSMTA!

Good morning DSM Fans!

Yesterday was the day Cameron and Dakota had been waiting for since they won Best Actor and Actress just a couple of months ago – the National High School Musical Theatre Awards show! Day 6 for them was an “emotional rollercoaster” day, but the best one they’ve had the entire week. Check out what they had to say below!


Hello again! I don’t even know where to begin. We arrived at the Minskoff and were held in the lobby before we could move into the dressing rooms. We had a fantastic view of Times Square from where we were. The first time we stepped on to the stage was incredible, and something I’ll always remember. I couldn’t believe that I was there in that moment, staring out at the house of a Broadway stage.

Though empty in this pic, the house at the Minskoff was completely full last night!

Though empty in this pic, the house at the Minskoff was completely full last night!

After we had a few minutes to look around we started right into rehearsals. It went by very fast, and before I knew it we were being mic’ed for the show.

All mic'd up and ready to go!

All mic’d up and ready to go!

I found out one of the guys who was running mics was the sound mixer from the original production of Little Shop of Horrors, so I had the chance to ask him a lot of questions about what the show had been like. We were sent back to the dressing rooms and were called back up a few minutes before the opening. I was so excited I kind of forgot to be nervous. In the beginning of the opening number, there is a blackout and we all run out to a big group in the middle. We ran out into our group, and bent down to our starting positions; during rehearsals I had always been focused and serious at this point, but the audience started going crazy and I couldn’t help but have this huge smile. That moment, along with stepping on to the stage for the first time, were completely indescribable. I remember thinking while we performed “Yup, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Dakota and Cameron are dressed to impress for the opening number!

Dakota and Cameron are dressed to impress for the opening number!

While neither Cam or myself walked away with any award, the ones who received them were some of the most talented and deserving people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Congrats to Sarah, Taylor, Mackenzie, Jillian, Brian, Billy! The party afterwards was at Joe’s Pizzaria, which was a lot of fun but we were all pretty exhausted so we didn’t stay for very long. I feel so lucky and happy to have had this once in a life time experience. It was one of the few times in life where your expectations are so high that you think it couldn’t get any better, but the actual experience was everything I thought it would be and more. Thank you to DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards and the National High School Musical Theatre Awards for this opportunity, and to all of my family and friends who have supported me throughout this crazy adventure!

CAMERON (as written at 12:30am early this morning):

The experience of a lifetime is nearing its end. Today, we woke up and headed to the Minskoff to run through the show a couple times before the big performance.

Arriving at the Minskoff!

Arriving at the Minskoff!

We also got to change/hang out in the dressing room the the Lion King cast uses, so that was really neat. They have an assortment of dumbbells and workout material in there… I guess to get a pump on before going onstage.

The Lion King cast's dressing room at the Minskoff!

The Lion King cast’s dressing room at the Minskoff!

The really awesome thing was getting to see all of the props backstage–that made the fact that we were really on Broadway settle in a bit more. The show was insane. The moment we hit our opening positions with our heads down, John and I started beating the floor from sheer excitement. Unfortunately, I did not make it into the top 3 performers so the only solo I sang on Broadway tonight was from my medley. But hey, I can’t complain–I was a Broadway actor tonight, and no one can take that away from me! I will admit, it’s a bit of a bummer, of course, that I didn’t place, but at least I have 58 other people to be disappointed with me! 😉

The award given to all nominees for basically making it through the week!

The award given to all nominees for basically making it through the week!

Any single one of the nominees could’ve won tonight and I wouldn’t have been surprised, but tonight’s best actor winner was Taylor from Connecticut who busted out some insane skills when he sang “Santa Fe.” I bet the Newsies in the audience were proud!

Award-winner, Taylor Varga

Award-winner, Taylor Varga

Also, congrats to Sarah Lynn Marion on winning best female performer! I had the pleasure of being in her vocal group and seeing her grow tremendously throughout the week. She’s an amazing person, and I’m honored to call her a friend! We ended with a perfect finale, and taking my bow on the Minskoff stage will forever be engraved in my memories. Hopefully it wasn’t the last time I’ll take a bow on Broadway! Now I’m on the bus back to Tisch from the after party at John’s Pizzeria. This has been such an incredible adventure, but I do miss home. I’ll see you tomorrow Dallas! Thank you, DSM and NHSMTA, for the unbelievable opportunity!

We are all so unbelievably proud of Cameron and Dakota! They worked their tails off this past week and were a part of something in which only 60 students from across the nation participated! I know it is an experience neither one of them will forget – what a way to finish your high school career!

Today, Dakota and Cameron have their final day in NYC. While it’s only a half day, they do get to meet with a casting director! After lunch, they are set to head back to Dallas, so their last post will be tomorrow. I’m so impressed with these 2 – I can’t wait to see where their career takes them.

Thanks for following our blog during their journey! Have a great Tuesday!

-DSM Amanda


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