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Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4

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The Jimmy Awards return as a virtual ceremony on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

It's just hours until the biggest night in high school musical theatre! The Jimmy Awards officially return as a virtual ceremony tonight, July 15, 2021. View the full list of nominees!

Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4

As presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program has, in past years, invited two nominees from each of these regional ceremonies to New York City to participate in a theatre intensive including coaching and rehearsals with Broadway professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on a Broadway stage.

In no particular order, BroadwayWorld is getting to know this year's nominees! Below, get to know just a few, including: Jillian Cossetta, Victoria Evans, Luis Gonzalez Galindo, Molly Martin, Aiden McCoy, Sydney Olson, Nick Sanchez-Zarkos, Bella Seigo, and D.J. Spang.

Be sure to check back later to hear from even more Jimmy Awards nominees and view Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Jillian Cossetta

School: Gulf Coast High School

City, State: Naples, Florida

Graduation Year: 2021

Look Up To: The performer I most look up to is Rob McClure. I had the unbelievable opportunity here at the Jimmy Awards to speak with Mr. McClure. Ending the call, I sat in astonishment (in a puddle of tears, smiling). I felt as if I met him at the right time in my life. My overwhelming feelings towards the work in front of me were put into perspective when Rob McClure said, "The distance between can and can't is the work you're willing to do." He went on to explain that if he were asked to do something he could not do, no matter how challenging, he would say "give me two weeks." It was then that I slapped myself and stopped overthinking the work... and started to believe that I can do literally anything. Not only is Rob McClure a captivating actor, but he is genuine, kind, intelligent, and encouraging--he is everything I aspire to be as an artist and a person. He is someone I would be blessed to speak with again or to even work with one day. (I am hoping to find myself at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre this fall to see him star in Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway)!

Looking Forward To: As a proud alum of the 2021 Jimmy Awards, I am most looking forward to seeing the final product on Thursday, July 15 and continuing to keep in touch with the 71 outstanding performers I had the pleasure to connect with. The Jimmy nominees and I worked tirelessly to send in the perfect video shots from all across our hometowns and to record challenging vocals. A huge thank you to our incredible director Van Kaplan, along with the outstanding stage management, choreography, production, and tech teams who made the Jimmy Awards experience possible and for believing in us nominees. The final product is going to be so rewarding.

Arts Education: My local community theatre (The Naples Players) and my high school (Gulf Coast High School) have particularly impacted my arts education. Working with some of the most talented and influential professionals I know--Dawn Lebrecht Fornara, Charles Fornara, Jessica Walck, Jennifer Price, and Erica Sample--I have been shaped into more than a trained musical theatre artist and dancer, but a knowledgeable, confident, and spontaneous person. I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me and pushed me along the way. I couldn't have made it here without you. I look forward to continuing my education in college at the University of Central Florida for a BFA in Musical Theatre.


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Victoria Evans

School: Tahoma High School

City, State: Maple Valley, WA

Graduation Year: 2022

Look Up To: I can't just pick one! But just to name a few, Christy Altomare, Rob McClure, Eva Noblezada, and Sierra Boggess just to name a few! I say these people because, every performance I've seen/ heard, I can just feel their passion for their craft and it is SO INSPIRING! Also, they just seem like such kind and genuine individuals; that is so so important!

Looking Forward To: I am most looking forward to seeing my fellow nominees SHINE! We have only seen a glimpse of everyone's incredible talent l, and I am excited to see all of the hard work we have put in come to fruition!

Arts Education: I have been so incredibly blessed to constantly be surrounded by amazing art educators throughout my life. Laura McGinnis was my first ever drama teacher, who actually helped me get over my stage fright, and has continued to support me throughout my journey! And Melissa Bean and Ken Riggs have been my directors for the past 3 years and has impacted my life in ways they will never be able to truly understand; I am so grateful for the safe space they have created for everyone in our drama program. Arts education is such an important part of a students life, and I truly hope that every student will eventually have equal opportunities to somehow be part of this wonderful community of the arts in their own hometowns!


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Luis Gonzalez Galindo

School: Rancho High School

City, State: Las Vegas, NV

Graduation Year: 2021

Look Up To: There are many performers that I look up to, but my top two would undoubtedly be Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone. Both performers are the epitome of actors who can sing (and extraordinarily at that), which means that they prioritize the integrity of the character they are portraying before thinking about singing, which is an approach I want to take as I progress as an actor. Both are incredibly versatile not just in musical theatre, but in plays, films, and television; I could only dream to reach the level of impeccable versatility and talent that the both of them possess. Plus, whenever I'm sad, I watch both of their Sondheim's 80th birthday concert performances to make me happy. What else would I do when I'm sad?

Looking Forward To: I am mostly looking forward to experiencing the talents of each and every JImmy's nominee. Each nominee has something awe-inspiring and unique that sets them apart from everybody else, and I can't wait to see them showcase that. I'm also excited and grateful to simply be a part of the Jimmy Awards family, where I have the opportunity to make lifelong friendships and grow, not only as an actor, but a person.

Arts Education: Arts eduction has been an integral part in my life because it is one of the primary ways in which I get the privilege of performing. Without the support and guidance that my teachers provide, I would not be the person that I am today. They push me to my fullest potential and give the most invaluable advice about being better performer and human being. I want to thank my theatre teacher Tommie Baravong for believing in me and entering us into our regional awards program for the first time ever, Kim Winick, and especially Kelly Hawes, whom we call the "Mary Poppins of educational theatre" because she has graced so many theatre programs in Vegas with her passion and love for the craft. You have taught me that I am worthy and to DREAM! BIG!

Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Parker Jackson

School: John H. Guyer High School

City, State: Dallas, Texas

Graduation Year: 2021

Look Up To: I definitely have multiple performers that I admire but one that consistently stands out in my mind is Rob McClure. I really appreciate his different approach to every single role he plays and his creative nature. The Jimmy nominees this year actually had the opportunity to have an hour and a half talk back with him and it was mind blowing. The stories he tells and how they directly correlate to the point he is trying to make all speak to his broad experience and mature sense of performing. I am hoping to one day have the chance to work with him whether in a show or solo audition work. He taught me so much in an hour and a half Q&A that I can only imagine what he could teach me in a work session.

Looking Forward To: The connections I make with the other nominees. These people have inspired me to continue working and pushing myself. I find it intriguing how I can find parts of myself in each of them and how they each have taught me something new and different about performing and myself that I did not know before. This experience itself has taught me so much and I am so grateful but these people have truly impacted my life in a beautiful way. So, I am most looking forward to all of the people I can meet through this opportunity and the life long connections I make.

Arts Education: I actually grew up in sports for a majority of my life and took choir as a fun elective course throughout elementary and middle school years. I did bot realize that I was growing my artistic self and that I would become someone my middle school director would ask to be in a musical. From there I have not stopped doing theatre and film and it serves as a reminder that the arts are a necessity in my eyes to young people. I think everyone should take arts courses and become familiar with that part of themselves so they can discover more passions whether they pursue them or not. I think it is an incredibly essential part of growing up and if I had not had the opportunity or been told to join these organizations I would not be where I am today. I will encourage young students for the rest of my life to continue exploring all of their passions because you will not know what you enjoy more if you do not try them all.


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Molly Martin

School: Green Valley High School

City, State: Las Vegas, NV

Graduation Year: 2021

Look Up To: When I was 6 years old I had an opportunity that changed my life forever. I was able to see Anything Goes starting Sutton Foster on Broadway and ever since then I was hooked. I would listen to her sing growing up and learned so much just from listening. Being able to meet her 10 years later truly showed me that all performers and people too! Sutton continues to inspire me from working on stage to working on camera, and is the sole reason why I got the itch for theatre.

Looking Forward To: I'm looking forward to seeing everyone do their passion. Being online for 10 days I was able to meet these incredibly talented individuals, yet have not gotten to see them perform! I'm truly excited to continue relationships with my fellow nominees, and to finally see them do their passion.

Arts Education: In the 8th grade I went to see my first production at my high school. Even as an incoming freshman, I felt so loved by my high school theatre teacher, Jennifer Hemme. She trusted and believed in me, when I couldn't trust or believe in myself. I could never repay Ms. Hemme and all the support she had given me for 5 years. If it was not for her casting me freshman year, I would not have fallen in love with the arts as much as I have. From late night calls about a monologue to checking every prescribe I submitted, she was there with me every step of the way. Now moving onto college, I know she will still be here with me cheering me on as I pursue my dreams.


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Aiden McCoy

School: Ironwood Ridge High School

City, State: Tucson, Arizona

Graduation Year: 2022

Look Up To: I'm having a hard time narrowing it down to one, so two performers that I look up to are Stephanie J. Block and Jared Gertner! Although I am partially biased, as a I am a HUGE fan of both Falsettos and Ordinary Days, I admire both of them as performers. They are so passionate about their craft, and pour their hearts and souls into the various different characters they portray on stage. Both of them are such lovely individuals, who are INSANELY talented.

Looking Forward To: I'm looking forward to seeing all of my new friends in their prime! Each and every single one of the nominees worked so hard to make this virtual ceremony a reality, and I am so glad that I was able to be apart of it. I loved meeting all of the 2021 Best Actor and Actress nominees, who were all so kind and welcoming throughout the entire process. I cannot wait to see what they do in the future!

Arts Education: Two arts educators that have impacted my life are Mary Dickson, my high school theatre director, and AJ Lepore, my high school music director. Ms. Dickson inspired me to pursue this career beyond high school, and provided me with a newfound love of the arts. Through her directing, I have learned so much about performing and what it truly means to be an actor. Mr. Lepore helped me to improve vocally throughout my high school career, and also provided me with a new perspective when it comes to the world of music. I can't wait to see what he does as my theatre director in the fall.


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Sydney Olson

School: Harry D. Jacobs High School

City, State: West Dundee, Illinois

Graduation Year: 2021

Look Up To: I look up to Laura Osnes the most as a performer because not only is she so incredibly talented, but she provides the most genuine and humble attitude that I have ever seen. I have always seen her as such an engaging performer, and someone who really helps connect me to every musical story that she is a part of. I have watched her behind the scenes and interviews and am so inspired by her passion and love for theater. I will always continue to admire and look up to her as I grow as a performer.

Looking Forward To: I am most looking forward to seeing the final product of everything coming together! Every single nominee has been so wonderful to get to know and has put so much work into these awards that I think it will be so rewarding to see the final video with all of these friends that I have made along the way.

Arts Education: I came from a school where the arts weren't very heavily acknowledged, but in a way, made my experiences and friendships so much more important. I had learned that there was so much more to life than just wanting to be seen. I have really developed a deep appreciation in valuing my friendships, doing the things that I love the most, performing on a stage, and learning how to be a better individual in this world. The arts have helped me immensely to really get a deeper meaning of life that not everyone is able to realize.


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Nick Sanchez-Zarkos

School: Olentangy Liberty High School

City, State: Powell, Ohio

Graduation Year: 2021

Look Up To: I admire a lot of performers, but in many ways I look up to Jeremy Jordan for his incredible way of capturing the attention of the audience on stage, film, and more.

Looking Forward To: I am most looking forward to the sense of community and family I will have from all of the other nominees. Each and every person who made it this far is not only an incredible performer, but they represent their regional programs at their very best. I am beyond excited to meet and learn from all of these individuals.

Arts Education: My vocal instructor and theatre directors have both impacted me in monumental ways as a performer. Through them, I have grown from a shy singer and actor to a confident leader on the stage, I have gained knowledge and experience, but most importantly, I have learned the character and heart that comes from being apart of the theatre community.


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 Bella Seigo

School: Grand Ledge High School

City, State: Grand Ledge

Graduation Year: 2021

Look Up To: I am so inspired by Ben Platt. His music is a part of his life's story, and he pours his soul into his performances. He brings his authentic self, and it is so wonderful to be transported into the moments that he creates.

Looking Forward To: I'm most looking forward to maintaining the lifelong connections I've made during this amazing process!

Arts Education: Being able to express myself through music has been such a gift. I'm so grateful to my Grand Ledge High School Choir program and Grand Ledge Musical Theatre program for fueling my love of the arts and giving me as many opportunities as possible to share that gift with others!


Meet the 2021 Jimmy Awards Nominees- Part 4 D.J. Spang

School: Hopewell High School

City, State: Hopewell, PA

Graduation Year: 2022

Look Up To: The performer I most look up to is John McCrea, specifically his role as Jamie New in the West End production of "Everybody's Talking About Jamie". He performs with a 'dance like nobody's watching' type attitude that I genuinely try to implement in my own performances. I aspire to obtain that sense of systematic blasé.

Looking Forward To: I'm looking forward to watching the full production. This year has been such a humbling experience for performers as we learn to love our work again and I hope that this program captures what that love of the stage feels like.

Arts Education: It's hard to pick a single person that has impacted my life through the arts, as I have so many to choose from. I'd say the entirety of my high school musical directorial staff has changed my entire outlook on life and myself. I now have a heightened sense of belonging in this world, with a love for myself that I'd never thought I'd be able to experience and I owe it all to them. For giving me that chance to live.


For more information about the Jimmy Awards, visit: JimmyAwards.com.


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