GREEN RIVER — Green River High School (GRHS) Senior Sandra Figenser is off to the Big Apple to attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts (NYCDA) following her graduation this year.
Figenser said she has been performing longer than she has been speaking, and her goal has always been to make a life out of her passion for performance art.
“I made my brother and sister act and sing in Christmas programs with me before I knew we were performing. Sometimes these performances were torturously long for my extended family,” she said.
Figenser has been in a number of productions throughout her life, and while attending GRHS, and her hard work and talents have paid off. She has been offered two $11,000 scholarships to attend NYCDA, which is a two-year, private-acting college in New York City.
During the International Thespian Festival over the summer, Figenser met with five different colleges including NYCDA, and she fell in love with her future school.
“NYCDA became my dream school because it checked all the boxes,” she said.
Figenser signed her scholarship forms on Tuesday, in which she invited teachers, administrators, and other important people in her life to celebrate with her. She also thanked them all for their role in helping her to achieve her dreams, whether through encouraging her, inspiring her, or helping her to reach her potential both in the classroom and on the stage.
She said in order to achieve both her performing goals and academic goals, she has had to learn to accept and embrace her anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Her family and several people along the way have helped her to do just that.
She is both a singer and an actress, but she is moving forward with the goals of becoming a screen actress.
“I would like to be in a movie or TV show. I would like to tell stories of solid characters on film,” she said.
However, she said she did promise her mom she would still sing, and added that she loves writing.
Figenser spent a week in New York during the summer of her freshman year, and she fell in love with the city.
“I attended a musical theater camp called Open Jar. After that experience, I’ve been trying to get back to the city. This time my focus will be film acting instead of musical theater. My love of the city and the program at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts seems like a perfect fit,” Figenser said.
Figenser is a self-proclaimed “drama queen,” emphasis on queen, and she looks forward to taking the next step in her journey to the film screen.
“I look forward to living in New York, doing what I’m meant to do; performing and creating,” she said.
Her next performance will be in the GRHS theatre’s production of Cinderella in April, which she encourages everyone to attend.