COURAGE and a personal goal to break out of her comfort zone has paid dividends for one local drama student.
Oxley High School’s Grace McKinnon has been nominated for the prestigious NSW Board of Studies’ OnSTAGE 2014, which showcases 30 of the best HSC drama performances from across the state.
After attending OnSTAGE 2013 at the Seymour Centre in Sydney earlier this year, Grace decided then and there she wanted to be a part of the extravaganza.
“I said, ‘right, I want to be up there, I want to do that,’” she said.
The 17-year-old was nominated for her rendition of a monologue from The
Vagina Monologues – a gutsy choice and one that took her “so far out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Research into the performance was unusual to say the least.
“Don’t look at my browser history,” she laughed.
“It may look a little suspicious.”
After agonising about the character she would portray, one day it just clicked.
Deciding she would play the role of a 30-year-old professional businesswoman stuck in a mundane job, Grace had to practice over and over again to get in character of the much older, experienced woman.
It was a daunting prospect performing the seven-minute 20-second monologue in front of the four Board of Studies judges, who descended on the school in late August to critique her work.
But her hard work paid off – receiving a letter in the mail earlier this month advising her she was one of only 200 students state-wide to be nominated – and a first for Oxley High, Year 12 drama teacher Sean McInnes believes.
Grace will find out if she has been selected as one of the final 30 performers at the same time she receives her HSC results.
“I discovered a lot about myself, that I can handle pressure,” she said.
“It was a real challenge for me ... it paid off so well.”
Emotions were running high at the McKinnon household when they heard the good news.
“My mother started crying; we were both crying,” she said. “It’s very exciting.”
For the talented actress who is aiming for a career on the stage, the sky is the limit.
She plans to take a gap year next year to “do drama things” before furthering her studies at a reputable performing arts college in 2015.