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JIMMYS BLOG: Meet a Nominee from the Gene Kelly Awards, Morgan Traud!

This year, a record 86 high school students from across America will participate in The Jimmy Awards, competing for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress as well as other honors and scholarships at the eleventh annual awards ceremony on Monday, June 24.

Jimmy Awards nominees will prepare for their debut on a Broadway stage during a nine-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts' New Studio on Broadway faculty members plus other theatre professionals. Winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts. Student performers qualify to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions presented by Broadway League member performing arts centers. Over 1,700 high schools and 100,000 students participate in these annual events.

BroadwayWorld is bringing you the inside scoop on this year's Jimmy Awards with student blogger Morgan Traud- a nominee from the Gene Kelly Awards. Earlier this year, she won the title of Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Mame in Baldwin High School's Mame.

Read Morgan's first entry below!

JIMMYS BLOG: Meet a Nominee from the Gene Kelly Awards, Morgan Traud!

Stepping off the hour long plane ride, my fellow Pittsburgh nominees and I were buzzing with excitement. The stalled Uber service from the airport was no damper on our spirits.

Coming into the experience, I knew I was about to meet some talented kids from all corners of the country. Little did I know the extent of not only the talent but the kindness I would encounter from the other nominees. I have lost count of the number of people that have walked up to me to introduce themselves and carry on a pleasant conversation about our hometowns and our experience in theatre.

So far, rehearsals have revolved mainly around learning music for the opening number, production numbers, and medleys with the exception of the staging of the opening number. The songs are so emphatic. The passion of each and every one of the nominees is evident as the walls shake from the sheer power of the 86 voices belting (healthily!) in the black box rehearsal space. The week has been filled with moments that remind me how absolutely blessed I am for this incredible opportunity.

One of the most powerful was the moment we all saw the ginormous billboard flashing our headshots in the middle of Times Square. The mixed looks of pure shock and amazement on people's faces reminded me how all of us are just kids about to fulfill one of our greatest dreams.

The performance of Dear Evan Hansen and the Q&A with the cast that followed really inspired me and lit the fire to make the most of this week and any future opportunities that may come. I can't wait for what the rest of the week brings.

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From This Author Guest Blogger: Morgan Traud

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