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Rising Stars: Meet Kayla Furie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Furie.

Hi Kayla, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
This might be short (like me!) because I am only 12 years old, but when I think of where I am and how I got here, I just think I was born like this! I do not remember a time I wasn’t singing and dancing. Even when I was playing goalie for a soccer team my parents signed me up for (because they wanted me to do lots of extracurricular activities), I would just stand inside the goal and dance! I don’t think I blocked a lot of goals… I took my first dance class when I was two years old. Then, when I was seven, I signed up to learn Musical Theatre and I never looked back. My first role was Nanny in The Aristocats. I knew then that there is nothing in my life I want more than to be on stage, performing for people.

A few years after that, I got my first job! It was so amazing! I was cast as the understudy for Small Alison/John/Christian in the Actors’ Express production of Fun Home in 2020. That experience was life changing! I worked hard and met so many talented artists and friends. One of them, Jeff McKerley, and I are in rehearsals together right now for The Wizard of Oz at The Lyric Theatre! I also learned how hard people work behind the scenes. It was awesome! But like I said, that was 2020 and a few months after that, we were in a pandemic.

I am not going to lie; the pandemic was kind of sad for me. What was so awesome though, was how the incredible people in the theatre community made sure that kids like me, who love theatre, got to continue training! There were so many opportunities! I was home all the time and I was BUSY! I took virtual classes with the most talented people you can imagine – people I would never have met if it hadn’t been for the pandemic. I will be forever grateful for the organizations, teachers and mentors that kept me acting, singing and dancing during that time.

As soon as theatre and training went back to being in person though, I was there! One of the shows that was postponed due to Covid: Chess at Jennie T. Anderson Theatre happened last summer and I got to be a part of it! I was in The Best of Broadway at The Lyric Theatre and after that, I was in Sound of Music at City Springs. That was amazing. I had so much fun hanging out with all of the kids (and grown-ups) in the show. We all keep in touch and support each other. We got Covid tested twice a week and I would have done it every day, I loved that show so much. After that, I was cast in White Christmas in a co-production between Jennie T. Anderson Theatre and The Lyric Theatre this past December. That show was magical! I could not wait to get to rehearsal each day and every one of our shows SOLD OUT! You know, as I think about all of this, it is kind of hard to believe. Sometimes, I think that I want to be a performer when I grow up, and then I have to pinch myself because I realize…I am a performer now! I get to train and I get to work and I love doing both so much!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I have been very lucky! I LOVE what I do, but nothing is perfect. There have been parts I have not gotten and that is sad, but I know that is a part of this industry and the path I am choosing. There are going to be lots of parts I do not get. I also have to miss out on lots of things that my friends from school get to do: I have missed parties and field trips because I have had rehearsals or shows. Honestly, sometimes that has stung a bit, but it is always my choice. I know that I want to be on stage. There is nothing that makes me happier than that. Performing and being surrounded by artists is the best feeling in the world! And I think in life, sometimes you must make sacrifices to get to your goal.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a child performer. I sing, dance and act. I practice and train a lot. I know that lots of kids can do what I do and are as talented or more talented than me. I think what sets me apart is that I try to look at each opportunity as a chance to learn. I do not have to be in a class to learn something, I just have to open my eyes, ears and heart. There is so much that I do not know and when I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who have been in this industry for more years than I have, I try to take it all in. I do not even want to blink because what if I miss something! I want to watch and learn from them for every second I get to be in the room. Sometimes, I am the only kid in a show, and sure, I could choose to be intimidated and keep my head down…but can you imagine what I would miss? I want to see and learn it all!

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
I do not think I am in a position to give advice…I want advice! But I guess, just try to learn as much as you can: every chance you get and from as many different people as you can. Shakespeare said, “The whole world’s a stage,” but I think the whole world is a classroom! There are so many people out there who want to help and teach kids. Our community is bursting with them! Be a part of it, take it all in and explore as many opportunities as you can!

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @kaylafurie

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