by Annie Cobb — Speakeysie Contributor and iTheatrics All-Star
Oddly enough, I never had the theater in my mind when I was young. I was convinced that my purpose in life was to be an FBI agent, and nothing could sway my decision. Then by a stroke of luck, my second-grade teacher had a daughter, Lauren Hill, in the theater company Play On Players. She suggested to my mom that it might be a good fit for me. We found out what we needed to prepare for the audition, and I picked my first audition song, “All I Do Is Dream of You”, from Singin’ in the Rain. I had a good audition, though according to the directors, Haden Rider and Carly Berg, I tended to bounce up and down as I sang. They still remind me of that audition to this day. We received an email saying that I had been cast in Seussical Jr, and that started my theater rush. I have since grown immensely because of POP and Petite Poppers. I am now 13 years old, and I have continued doing theater, including many school shows and other performances. I have been a part of 14 shows and I plan on and hope for doing more.
Annie and friend Lauren Hill
One of my favorite roles was Scar in Lion King Kids. I remember getting in the car after school and my mom saying, “You’ll never guess what you got called back for!” My surprise at getting called back for Scar quickly turned into excitement. I was determined to make my callback the best it could be, and it paid off. It was a big moment in my life when I got the part because it opened my eyes to the fact that I could play other parts then just sweet characters. In addition to Scar, some of my other favorite roles have been Jane in Mary Poppins Jr, Lily St. Regis in Annie Jr, and Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Playing “Scar” in Lion King Kids
I have been going to the Atlanta Junior Theater Festival (JTF) since Petite Poppers, a branch of Play On Players for younger kids, started. In the most recent festival, I played Mrs. Potts, and I was selected as the female All-Star, with my amazing friend Ian Johnson chosen as the other All-Star. After JTF, I started to work on my video audition for the iTheatrics Summer Program. To my delight, I got accepted into one of the workshops which I will be attending the week of July 30th. The show that I will be working on is a junior version of a current Broadway production. I am not at liberty to say what show it is… for now. Nevertheless, I hope to learn as much as I can by being a part of it, and I’m looking forward to growing in my theater experience for years to come.
Annie and Ian Johnson — iTheatrics All-Stars
I believe that I have learned some of the most valuable lessons in my life from my theater family, whether it came from a castmate, tech crew member, or a director. I believe that no matter what role you are in a production, you will always make memories and learn something from it. The best advice I could give to anyone starting theater is to never give up, and always know that even if you don’t get the role you want, you have a purpose in the production you are in, and your directors and fellow cast members know that. Always have a positive attitude and always encourage and respect the people you are working with, no matter who they are.
I am honored to have been a part of such a loving theater group (Petite Poppers), and I am looking forward to doing Godspell Jr this year with Play On Players and attending another Junior Theater Festival. I am so excited to see what I will be doing next in my life, and I can’t wait to go to New York!