Congratulations to Patel Conservatory acting student Lizzie Kehoe who will be attending the prestigious Stella Adler summer intensive program next month.
Kehoe got her start in theater when she was just four years old in a theater summer camp at Performance Preparatory in Hyde Park.
“I played a mean dog in Lady and the Tramp,” laughed Kehoe, 14, of South Tampa. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve liked theater. My dad’s a big theater person, I’ve been to shows on Broadway.”
Kehoe continued with Performance Preparatory summer camps until she was 12 years old. She started voice lessons when she was in the fifth grade.
A couple of years ago, her friend told her about the Patel Conservatory summer theater camp. Kehoe auditioned for the role of Grace for our youth theater production of Annie, and was excited to land the role of her choice. She recently played the Queen in PCYT's production of Alice in Wonderland, Jr. She's also been taking some dance classes.
“Everyone was so supportive, and they’re always rooting for you,” said Kehoe of the staff at the Patel Conservatory.
She began private acting lessons with instructor Emilia Sargent. Through that experience, Kehoe says she really grew as an actor.
“Having the same teacher for about a year, you become more comfortable, you can experiment more,” said Kehoe. "I feel like I can take more chances now. I’m not shy anymore, I can be more honest."
She remembers the moment she realized that theater was more than just a hobby for her.
“I was watching Billy Elliot, and I realized...This is what I want to with my life,” she said.
Through a friend, she learned about the Lee Strasburg technique and the Stella Adler school in New York City.
Kehoe had to get two recommendations, write an essay and go up to NYC for an audition.
She performed two monologues, including one from the play Eleemosynary, which she had worked on with Sargent.
“It’s about this girl whose mother left her. She doesn’t think her mother loves her anymore, ...but she just wants her be proud of her this one time,” said Kehoe.
A week and a half later, she got the call that she’d been accepted to the month-long summer theater intensive. It’s a 30-hour a week program which includes the study of Shakespeare.
She’s thankful to the Patel Conservatory for their guidance, and offers advice for others to pursue their dreams.
“I think you should put yourself out there,” said Kehoe. “To be fearless doesn’t mean that you’re not afraid. You’re afraid, but you jump anyway.”