The Journey to Broadway

I Am The Parent Of A Performer: Kayla’s Story

I am the parent of a performer.

My daughter Kayla Pecchioni discovered musical theatre at a very young age.

She started dancing at three years old and went to non-traditional summer camps like Broadway Bootcamp instead of the traditional craft-making and archery filled summer.

Kayla’s Dad and I were onboard with Kayla’s dreams every step of the way. Almost.

Deedee Cummings and Kayla Pecchioni

Dance? Check.

Competitive dance with seven costumes a year? Check.

Fly across the country to dance for two minutes? Check.

Apply to Youth Performing Arts High School? Check.

Pick-up from rehearsals at 11 pm? Check.

Go to live in New York at the age of 17? This is where we drew the line.

Some of Kayla’s friends she’d met along the way were planning to graduate from high school and go straight to “Broadway”. She decided she would be one of them. This was a scary time for us as parents. Kayla would only be 17 when she finished high school, but she would soon be 18, and therefore could go to New York if she really wanted to.

We had many, long, sit-down talks with our daughter to explain why we thought- no, knew– going to college (especially in this field) would be an important step. Not just an important step, but a step that is typically easier to take fresh from high school as opposed to trying to make it work in New York, and then deciding to go to college.

We used charts and graphs to show Kayla what a life in New York might look like compared to what attending college could do for her as an artist and more importantly for a young adult learning about the world as a whole. Kayla reluctantly agreed and enrolled in an amazing musical theatre program at Northern Kentucky University. Even Kayla now agrees this was a necessary step. There was gentle growth at the college level. I am afraid the harsh realities of life in New York would have been too much. Auditions were rigorous, but not life or death. She still had so much growing up to do.

Much like The Broadway Collective, readings were done in front of professors and instructors who gave tons of feedback and constructive criticism. You weren’t just spit back out on to the street wondering what just happened.  You got another chance. College prepared her for the real world. A world that can cut a budding performer in two if they are not mentally ready for that level of scrutiny.

Everyone’s journey will be different, but for us, college helped grow our child four more years.

She went to Broadway at 21.

And she was ready.

So were we.

– Deedee Cummings

Parent of Broadway Performer and TBC Coach, Kayla Pecchioni

Are you the parent of a serious musical theatre student and are looking for more training opportunities for your child? Click here.