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BWW Interview: Rachel Ling Gordon-A Talented Youth's Budding Career

BWW Interview: Rachel Ling Gordon

BWW Interview:  Rachel Ling Gordon-A Talented Youth's Budding Career

Rachel Ling Gordon hails from Westchester, New York and currently trains at The Prep, Professional Performance Prep, in Little Silver, NJ. She is an 8 year-old actor and singer who played the iconic role of "Cindy Lou Who" in the 10th Anniversary Broadway National Tour of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". Rachel is also a seasoned Runway Model at New York Fashion Week and a Piano Soloist at Carnegie Hall. She has appeared in the news, TV and print commercials.

Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel about her exciting and versatile performance career.

How did you first get into performing?

I have always had a passion and love for performing but found it difficult to express my special talents in front of others as a result of my struggles with Selective Mutism - A complex childhood anxiety disorder that inhibited me from speaking and expressing myself in public, even at school. It was more than just shyness. I never spoke a word in pre-school and would even shut down and cry when people said "Hi" to me. Knowing how much I love to perform, my parents enrolled me in modeling, where I could be on stage and shine without having to say a word. It proved to be an effective treatment for me, in addition to other therapies I received from school. I gained so much confidence after winning my first runway modeling competition and walking at New York Fashion Week. From there, I continued doing what I love and went into acting and singing. The thrill of performing has kept me away from my anxiety and has really transformed me!

Do you have any favorite roles that you have played?

Playing the beloved role of "Cindy Lou Who" in the National Broadway Tour of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" last year is a dream come true for me! Over 150 of my friends, family, teachers, doctors and therapists came to support and watch me. They were all astonished to see me take on the big stage touring around the country performing for thousands of people! Their hearts grew "3 sizes bigger" when I sang "Santa For A Day" - my favorite ballad in the show. I have a village of people I am forever grateful to - my teachers, manager, agency and casting, management, cast & crew of the Grinch production for this life changing opportunity!

BWW Interview:  Rachel Ling Gordon-A Talented Youth's Budding Career

My very first musical performance as "Gretel" for "Hansel & Gretel" with Random Farms Kids' Theater was also a very memorable one. I was 6 years old then and still struggling with Selective Mutism. I loved Gretel's smart and brave character - She gave me strength to overcome my anxiety!

You have a very diverse resume. How do you juggle all of your interests?

Juggling all of my interests from playing the piano, singing, acting, modeling, dancing, gymnastics to performing magic is really hard! Each of these crafts requires practice and perseverance to do well. As I love them all, I can't bear to give up any of these interests! So I am 100% driven to work hard to achieve my goals. I am very lucky to have wonderful parents who believe in me and support my passions. Even my little brother, Jared is my biggest fan! They would go everywhere with me and would do everything it takes to help me succeed. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am today!

Tell us a little bit about being a young performer and how you keep up with your schoolwork.

School always comes first for me. Doing well in school is my priority, as I know it will serve me well when I grow up. My parents always made sure I get my schoolwork done before any extracurricular pursuits. As a young performer, my schedule is filled with classes, auditions, self-tapes, meetings, rehearsals and shows. These activities have kept me very busy but at the same time, made me very disciplined and focused in getting my work done efficiently.

What advice can you give other young people who are interested in the performing arts?

Be yourself and work hard at becoming your best unique self! When I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism at 2.5 years old, the news was devastating to me. With the support and help from my friends, family, doctors, teachers and therapists, I learned to believe in myself and constantly challenged myself to get out of my comfort zones. I kept doing what I love and embraced my own strengths. Dreams do come true. I am beyond blessed to have performed at Carnegie Hall & The Fox Theater - some of the most historic & prestigious venues in America!

BWW Interview:  Rachel Ling Gordon-A Talented Youth's Budding Career

How has the pandemic altered your training and performing?

I had been scheduled to perform a solo piano piece at Carnegie Hall again after winning the first place award in an International Music Competition. I was also cast to play "Annie" in "Annie" at Yorktown Stage. Both performances were unfortunately cancelled as a result of the pandemic. I have since filmed a few commercials from my home, under the direction of the producers via Zoom. My training and performances are mostly virtual now. Most recently, I was able to travel to a studio in NYC to shoot a few music videos, adhering to strict COVID-19 guidelines. I had a blast and it made me realize how much I miss seeing everyone!

We'd love to know a little more about your training at The Prep.

The Prep is definitely the silver lining that emerged from this pandemic. I am so privileged to be training virtually with the Prep Co-Founder, Theresa Pittius for the past few months, focusing on voice over techniques, audition prep, vocal techniques and on camera acting. Theresa is amazingly talented and kind! My classes with her are always filled with lots of fun and laughter. I have grown and learned so much from Theresa over this short time!

What are some of your plans for the future?

I was very fortunate to be diagnosed early with Selective Mutism and to receive the treatments I needed. Performing has helped me overcome my anxiety and I plan to be performing for as long as it makes me happy. It makes me feel I have some kind of superpower when I put my talents to good use. Driven by my personal experiences, I would love to use my newly found voice and talents to share my story to inspire others to do the same!

You can follow Rachel Ling Gordon on Instagram @rachelingordon

For more information on The Prep in Little Silver, NJ, please visit their web site at https://www.theprepnj.com/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rachel Ling Gordon



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