A star is born

A star is born

Lights, camera, action! The year was 2014 at Bluefield College. A young Rachel White(10) sat excitedly, watching the cast of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe perform across the stage, astounded by the choreography. “I can remember watching everything,” White said with a huge smile, “I really loved the show.”  From that moment, she knew she loved the performing arts and she even went on to convince her mother to let her make a role for herself in the acting community.

Along the way on this new road, White reached out to several others in the community and gathered up information for herself. She was supported immensely by her parents, and at this moment she took off.

The first taste of true acting came around in her performance in Mulan. “My very first performance was when I was in third grade,” said White excitedly. While she was only given the role of a backup dancer, she remembers the unique experience in learning all the choreography. The crowd was bigger than what she had ever seen before, but she remembers not feeling any nervousness. “I was still young and naive, so I didn’t have any trouble at all.”

This caught the attention of White’s cousin, Laken Elmore (7). “I personally have never seen her make a mistake.” She later shared that she admires Rachel for her gumption and her fearlessness when it comes to performing.

Since Mulan, White has been in numerous performances, all of which have gathered standing ovations. Plays such as The Little Mermaid and Howl’s Moving Castle are memorable in her mind, but one that stands out is the 2019 depiction of The Lion King, Jr. performed at the college. “That play was definitely really cool because of how much went into it,” White said with a reflecting expression. 

The set itself took over two months to complete. Things such as props and costumes also had to be accounted for in the making of the play. While this seems like a cumbersome task, it was actually a pleasant experience for the cast, as they grew closer together due to the hours they spent together everyday. 

The cast has always been close. “A typical day on set is really cool, because we are able to form this relationship with everybody,” White said. She shared that everyone has a shared interest, but are different in their own ways, and this really helped fit [the cast] together. 

White is known for being a pleasure to work with. “ She was very easy to work with,” Alexis Leedy (9) said with a grin, “We already had a personal connection, and we just had fun with it.”

Acting, for White, has been a resort she goes to in order to escape reality. White stated, “You don’t have to worry about everything else going on, you can just step into the shoes of a different person and basically not have to be yourself for a few hours.” The fact that she can become somebody else and live as them is a relaxing factor in her life.

Despite the hardships Rachel has faced throughout her years of performing, she has never once thought of permanently quitting. “Though there are a lot of hard times,” White spoke out, “you also think about how much you love it and you don’t want to quit.”

Leedy spoke on this saying, “[Rachel] really commits to everything she does, and gives over one hundred percent.”

Hard work is a key aspect in acting, and her hard work has paid off immensely. White’s final appreciative words were, “The biggest reward is seeing the look on the little kids faces when they get to come see something, because I remember watching and now that I’m on stage and I get to look down and see little kids and the pure innocence.”