BWW Interviews: Catching Up with Local Young Broadway Veteran Camille Mancuso
Gahanna native, Camille Mancuso has toured with multiple national shows including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "White Christmas", "Little House on the Prairie", and most recently could be found on Broadway in "Mary Poppins". In fact, she is an accomplished musical theater veteran at the ripe old age of 14. We caught up with this talented gal, currently playing the "role" of a local high schooler, doing what teenagers who love theater do, performing in her local high school's fall musical.
Starting your freshman year in a huge high school can be quite a daunting experience for anyone, but when you are used to standing ovations and your name in lights, doesn't "normal" life seem horribly mundane? Mancuso is remarkably humble, and seems to have embraced each stage of her career as a new learning experience. When asked about the transition, Camille seems to take it all in stride, "It's been interesting adapting back! I felt so comfortable and at home when I was in New York, so it was really strange to come back to everything that was "normal". I still miss New York all the time, but I like high school. It's been fantastic."
Embracing the "normal" life for Mancuso means channeling her love for the stage into a more traditional route- currently, the lead role in her high school's production of the musical, "Peter Pan", which she had to audition for, just like everyone else. "I kind of felt the same way I do about the Peter Pan audition as I do every audition. I actually think that it was a little more stressful, because I knew the people I was auditioning with, and I'm a freshman, so I'm one of the youngest in the show."
However, it's high school- a notorious minefield of ego and attitude, so does a professional actress fit in with the hometown crowd? "Everyone in the cast and crew has been so sweet and really great. It's cool, because I'm teaching them things and they're teaching me things too, because I'm still learning. This allows me to have that medium where I'm back in Ohio and going to a regular high school, but still performing. It's a happy medium." And just in case, Mancuso does start to "forget" she's back home in the "regular" world, there is homework and a ridiculously early bus ride to school, "Yeah," Camille chuckles, "I didn't miss that part."
And while she credits her family and her daily life with keeping her grounded, she is enjoying that this role allows her the opportunity to soar- literally, as in 15 off the ground in a harness. "I've been watching other people fly for several years!" Mancuso exclaims, "I was a little bit jealous of everyone that got to fly in "Mary Poppins" and so it's really neat to be able to put that harness on and take off now!" In fact, Camille is thoroughly enjoying her role, "I think it's that Peter is so full of fun- youth, joy, and freedom- that's what he stands for. It's really fun to express that youthfulness, that playfulness, that innocence, while still being very real, and trying to find that balance between fantasy and a little bit of depth to the character."
Mancuso seems to relish living in the moment currently, "I'm always looking for new opportunities. I love New York and I love touring, but right now, I'm enjoying being in high school and just living a regular, everyday life, and we'll just see where it takes me."
Catch one of our local Broadway veterans in Gahanna Lincoln High School's Production of "Peter Pan" this weekend, November 7th (at 7:30pm), November 8th (at 7:30pm), and November 9th (at 2pm and again at 7:30pm) at 140 S. Hamilton Road, Gahanna, OH 43230. For ticketing information, go to: http://glhstheatre.ticketleap.com/theater14/t/WebCalendar/