I’m Elise. I live in Cape Girardeau and am a 7th grader at St. Paul Lutheran School in Jackson. My parents are Dr. Tim and Lisa Edwards and I have a younger sister and brother. I love YouTube, being silly, musicals, my dogs Root Beer & Dr. Pepper, my pixie haircut, politics, and Little Debbie Snack Cakes. I strongly dislike spiders, tornado warnings, scary movies, knives, super cold weather, and when snow gets in my gloves. I have been singing and performing since I can remember, but started singing in church when I was five for my brother’s baptism. I started taking voice lessons from Marlene Creech-Dudley at age seven and dance lessons at age eight. It was around then that I got my first role as ‘Mollie’ in SEMO’s Annie and started competing in local Heartland Talent Showcase competitions. After several years of doing well in those, singing more in church, and being cast in additional SEMO plays and musicals, my mom decided to take me up to the St. Louis Muny to get the experience of a professional theatre audition. That was three years ago and everything changed after that. 573: Tell us about your stage acting at the Muny. In 2014, I was cast in Seussical The Musical at the Muny as part of the youth ensemble following a two-day audition of hundreds of children. I was so excited!!! Getting to move up to St. Louis and rehearse with big Broadway actors and directors for three and a half weeks was so amazing and inspiring. It made me realize that that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to sing, dance, act, and make people happy! I got to return to the Muny last year to perform in Oklahoma and again, this past July, as ‘Bielke’ in Fiddler On the Roof. It was so much fun and such an incredible experience to have that responsibility of being a professional performer. I learned SO much!! What most people don’t know, is that ev ery child and teen must go through the audition and callback process every year which requires dancing, singing, and some acting. The older you get, the harder it is to make it into the Muny. That is why I now take 4 to 5 hours of dance a week up in St. Louis and continue my vocal lessons with Mrs. Marlene and my choir teacher, Matt Palisch. You have to work hard to keep your skills up. Also, some of the professors and students at SEMO’s Conservatory of Theatre and Dance are very helpful. They rehearse lines with me and give me good advice to help get me actingready for an audition I may have.