Today we’d like to introduce you to Candy McLellan.
Candy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started doing theatre in my freshmen year in high school. The first semester, I auditioned for my school’s one-act musical and I did NOT get cast. I swore to myself, I would never try to do theatre again, then my friends forced me to audition again the next semester, and I got cast in my first musical” All Shook Up” and the rest was history.
I went to the University of West Ga for acting and once I graduated, I was selected to be a part of the Aurora Theatre apprenticeship, which is the best thing I could have ever done. Ever since I graduated from the apprenticeship, work has been pretty consistent and I’m so grateful for that. It never gets old when I get cast in shows with people who I have looked up to and fangirled over for years.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth ride at all, but because of that it makes me fight harder and it helps me to challenge myself on a daily basis. Being a plus size, dark skin woman in this industry can be very difficult at times. It’s hard for people to see me as certain roles, so I have to work triple time to show that I’m very much capable of anything you throw at me, I just need the chance. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say, “she’s great and can really dance, she’s just won’t blend with the other girls, sooooooo” and sometimes, it’s hard to be considered for roles my age, because I have a mature and bigger body type that makes me seem older. I’m always fighting that, so I would say to younger women, especially women like me, never give up. You are beautiful and you have a story to tell and you can be a leading lady, or a love interest. We just have to continue to bust down the doors, be bold, walk with confidence and KNOW YOUR WORTH. It makes me so happy when black girls like me, come up to me after shows and just say thank you because they see themselves represented on stage and it affirms them that they can do the same thing. Representation matters and if I can be that for someone, that’s one obstacle overcome.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I act, sing, dance and teach. I have done a mixture of all three, so I would say that I’m known for performing around Atlanta. I’m most proud of becoming a teacher. I never had an interest in teaching kids. Never. Then, I remember being a teacher assistant for Tiffany Porter and I thought it was so cool to be able to take all the knowledge and the passion you have for your craft and spreading that knowledge. So, I tried teaching and I fell in love. I didn’t know I could be a leader and now I can teach with confidence that there is a new generation of artists that will be learning things from me. So, I’m most proud of becoming a leader.
I’m a student first. I’m very open to trying new things every day and I always have a thirst for gaining knowledge and wisdom in rehearsals and during productions and I also love playing with my castmates and being able to bring in a new choice every day. Playing is my favorite thing to do in rehearsals.
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Growing up, my family had all different career fields. Both my parents were military (Go Army!). My dad had his computer engineering and my mom was a victim advocate, so she was into criminal justice, my brother was heavily into ROTC as well, so there was literally no art in our family or house. So, when I finally found a thing that was my own and it was something I was good at, I held on to it very tight and I haven’t let go.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Www.instagram.com/Candymac_24
Casey Gardner photography, Chris Bartelski, KVC photography, Kevin Harry Photography