Emily Kay Shrader is one of our next generation performers on the rise! She began taking private singing lessons at age 3, where her first solo was "Ol' MacDonald," and that moment progressed her move into theatre at age 7. She began her vocal career by singing "The National Anthem" anywhere and everywhere she could, such as the Oakland A's at age 7, the Anaheim Angels and the San Diego Padres. Some of her favorite roles have included Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," Ado Annie in "Oklahoma!" and Beth March in "Little Women: The Musical" at Sierra Repertory Theatre, which was her first professional job at age 17. Emily then moved to New York City at age 18, directly after graduating from high school in California, to attend Marymount Manhattan College as a musical theatre student.
Three months after her arrival in the city, she won "Bobby Cronin's Rising Star Contest" and got the honor of singing his original song, "Is This Love" at Birdland Jazz Club in NYC. Emily is currently soaking up all the theatre and performance knowledge she can at school while enjoying living in this wonderful city of ours :) So stay tuned because "Call Me Adam" will be here to let you know when this "Rising Star" will be tearing up the stage for all to see!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My mom inspired me to become a performer, and I still rely on her words of wisdom to this day. She will be the first to tell you I didn't get my singing abilities from her, but her encouragement and support has always been there from the moment she put me in singing lessons. She never once doubted me, just put the curlers in my hair and drove me to these gigs several times a month. Thank you, Mom :) I also listened to The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack 40 times a day, so that might have had something to do with it.
2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? I've never actually written it down, but I will basically sing anything I'm given. To be honest, I can hit some pretty high notes that probably should never be actually sung or performed anywhere.. but it entertains my roommates :)
3. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? There are SO many! I think I would have a panic attack if I got to work with Sutton Foster. I got starstruck when I saw her onstage at Broadway on Broadway and "Anything Goes." I admire her greatly. I think she is the ultimate performer and her passion for what she does shows in every performance. I would also love to work with Jeanine Tesori, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Matthew Morrison and of course the great witches, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel.
4. What is the best advice you've ever received? I've heard this so many times, "If you can't picture yourself doing anything else, GO FOR IT." I try to remember those words when I get frustrated or discouraged or can't seem to land a role. I'd rather be here in New York City going for my dreams than doing anything else. That puts things in perspective for me.
5. How did you hear about Bobby Cronin's "Rising Star Contest"? What made you want to enter? What has winning the contest and performing with Bobby at Birdland done for you (personally & professionally)? I heard about Bobby Cronin's contest through a Facebook invite. Since being in NYC, I have just been submitting myself for anything and everything that seems right for me, and that was just another opportunity I thought sounded awesome to be a part of. I honestly forgot I had even entered the contest until I got an email saying, "Congratulations!" I have been pining to perform at Birdland for years now. I spent hours in high school on youtube watching incredible artists perform there. To get the opportunity to sing on that stage and make my NYC debut just months after moving to the city was extremely validating for me. Such a thrill to perform in the city with so many talented people. I want to do it again!
6. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? It's got to be said: the shower. When I'm at home I will belt my face off until my parents bang on the door to tell me to please lower my voice a few octaves. Here at my dorms, I try to tone it down. But golly, the shampoo and loofah just get me inspired!
7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I've been doing a ton of yoga since arriving in the city. It's so peaceful and calming, yet strengthens your body. I also take daily dance every morning with my school. We do this intense ab workout to Whitney Houston's "It's Not Right But It's Okay." That definitely gets me pumped up for the day.
8. Favorite skin care product? I wash my face daily with a great Clean & Clear foaming cleanser. Leaves me with soft, rosy cheeks.
9. Favorite website? I read Playbill.com like a mad woman. My favorite is the Diva Talks with leading ladies such as Mandy Gonzalez, Meghann Fahy, and Idina. I've been practicing my interview.
10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman for sure! He is just the ultimate superhero. And he looks great in tights, so what's not to love?
11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can quote "The Wizard of Oz" from end to beginning. Maybe not a talent, per say, but I'm definitely a pro :)
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I'm quite smitten with James Franco at the moment. Don't tell anyone.