Our latest Raise Our Voices performance features Breana Smith—a 2019 Vincent Legacy Scholarship winner and current Starlight Star. Breana chose to perform “Waiting For Life” from the 2018 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical, Once On This Island. The musical tells the story of Ti Moune, who wonders about her purpose on Earth and faces discrimination because of her social status and race.
“Ti Moune won’t give up when it comes to going for what she loves, which is a great message that I’d like to share,” Breana said. She notes that it’s not only a relatable story, but an inspiring one, too.
This soon-to-be-16-year-old performer is no stranger to reaching for her dreams. Although the last few months have forced her to slow down and take a break from “normal” life, she’s still been busy learning music for Starlight Stars and taking voice and private dance lessons. She’s prioritized what and who matter most to her.
“I have a better understanding of the things I want to focus my time on and the people who brighten my world!” Breana said. “I have also learned that no matter how bad things may seem, you always have to look on the bright side.”
Breana won Starlight’s Vincent Legacy Scholarship in 2019 and has since realized that performing is something she wants to do for the rest of her life. She credits the Vincent Legacy Scholarship program for motivating her to continue training in the arts. And, through participating in Starlight Stars, Breana has taken master classes with industry professionals, performed on Starlight’s Spotlight Stage and appeared at venues throughout Kansas City.
Breana advises other young performers to never give up—even when others say you won’t have a career or aren’t cut out to perform. She urges others to follow their dreams and stand up for what they believe.
“I believe now more than ever is the time to come together as one and fight for what is right. It is important to look out for each other and spread love and kindness—because that’s what makes the world go round!”
Although the immediate future is uncertain, Breana plans to make the most of her sophomore year at Truman High School—even if it has to be put on pause for safety reasons. Her long-term goals are clearer—after high school, she’d like to earn a BFA in Musical Theatre and then work on Broadway or in a national touring production, either on stage, giving vocal lessons or in choreography.
“You can always work to be better in musical theatre, which is something I absolutely love,” Breana said. “Being able to tell a story through a song or a monologue is a wonderful gift, and it's a beautiful thing to be able to share. Theatre shapes the world more than people realize, and that is why I choose to put so much time into it.”
We love Breana’s passion for theatre and her compassion for those around her. She’s always there for her fellow performers—looking out for them and lending an ear. We’re proud of all she’s accomplished and can’t wait to see what her future holds!