"I want to make magic. I want to be bigger than I am..."
Ari Goldbloom-Helzner is rehearsing the lead role in the stage musical based on the 1980 film Fame. He is one of 39 teenagers participating in a musical theater program, that runs from 8 o’clock in the morning to 11 o’clock at night.
During the day, the students take dancing, acting and singing classes,and in the evening, they apply everything they have learned to the actual production.
"It’s very intensive and I think that is the part that is the most exhausting but also the part that I most love."
The overnight camp program is run by the Young Artists of America. Opera singer Rolando Sanz co-founded the organization, which also offers programs during the school year.
"We are entering our sixth year, what I love about this program and what it’s becoming is that we are attracting the kids that really want to excel and to be around other kids like them."
The participants learn skills and techniques from professional artists and mentors.And they spend every waking moment preparing for the production.
Amanda Yuan has the female lead role. "I’m really tired but it is so great, I mean I’m not only having a lot of fun but I feel like really improving myself.And I’m really working myself and pushing myself to the limit and I am constantly overcoming challenges and obstacles,which is a great feeling at the end of the day."
"I really feel like I‘ve improved my craft with Young Artists of Americaand this camp really has helped me do that as well and continue that journey. And I hopefully take that those skills and continue that journey in college and beyond."
At the end of the two week-long summer program, the aspiring artists showcase their talent and skills at a local theater.
Sanz says some students will continue to shoot for the stars, but all of them will support and appreciate performing arts throughout their lives.