SAN ANTONIO – High school senior Jessica Willis says she has always had a big personality and has always loved the arts and performing. She says that passion for wanting to be on the stage grew while studying musical theater at Henry Ford Academy.
“Coming here and taking theater classes has really made me kind of just like feel confident in myself and what I’m doing, and it’s something I really love doing no matter where I am at,” Willis said.
But the HFA theater program has been put on hold for over a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Willis said it was heartbreaking to miss out on performing her senior year of high school.
“It is kind of sad that I can’t go out and perform in front of a lot of people, but doing zoom auditions was something I had to navigate more and work around,” Willis said.
But she didn’t let the pandemic crush her dream of pursuing acting. She continued to work on her skills at home and audition virtually. That landed her a scholarship to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth next semester to study musical theater.
“Obviously in my head, my big pipe dream will probably be Broadway or TV and movies and stuff,” Willis said.
She said the 100th Oscars is in seven years....and she’ll be 25 by then. She said if she can make it there it would be a life time dream. But said she just wants to be able to tell other people’s stories in the future...and that would make her the most happy.
“Just as long as I’m still performing in front of people like no matter how bit the crowd is that I’m just being genuinely myself that’s the best goal for me in 10 years,” Willis said.