A dramatic pause is what St Andrew’s Secondary student Abigail Waugh experienced when she heard her name called for winning first place at the Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge in the Senior Drama Section.
Along with her win, Abigail received a $1000 bursary, a week’s NIDA workshop and the opportunity to perform at their Gala night, but it was far from expected by the Year 12 student and aspiring actor.
“When they were announcing the winner, I stood there and waited for them to call out someone else’s name,” Abigail said.
“I had my hands ready to applaud and I was ready to congratulate whoever won, and then suddenly they called out my name and I was confused as I really couldn’t believe it was my name being called.”
For the Senior Drama competition, Abigail performed two pieces, a modern piece from a play called ‘Dags’ and a period monologue from ‘Macbeth.’ And despite performing well enough to secure a first place victory, Abigail said she is always ready to “take criticism” and be glad when others win.
“I don’t get my hopes up. I try to stay focused and just perform as best I can,” she said.
Drama – musical theatre in particular – has been a part of Abigail’s life since she first discovered it on her parent’s television.
“I’d always wanted to be a detective, until I watched a musical on TV,” she said. “I remember running into Mum and Dad’s room screaming, ‘This is what I want to do!’ The costumes, the music, it all sparked my interest.”
After her first role as a koala in Wombat Stew, Abigail’s passion for the performing arts continued to grow as she got older, so she joined Little Seeds Theatre Company where she’s been honing her craft for eight years as well as studying Drama at St Andrew’s.
“I was lucky to get the lead female role in ‘Footloose’ in St Andrew’s 2018 production performed at the J in Noosa, and this year I played the part of Vic in the College’s Secondary Play ‘Away,’ which is an Australian drama. Both were enjoyable experiences which helped develop my skills as an actor,” she said.Abigail’s dream roles include playing Éponine in Les Misérables and Elphaba in Wicked though she said she also loves drama and film along with musical theatre.
“In this profession, it’s hard to love just one thing and I hope to do all those things eventually,” she said.
Despite understanding the challenges, Abigail said she hopes to forge a career in acting.
“My parents know I’m hungry for it and they support me all the way. I also want to make my Director at Little Seeds and teachers at St Andrew’s proud as they’ve encouraged and had my back all these years,” she said.