By Elizabeth Brooks
On the weekend of Jan. 7, the Leon Thespian troop traveled to Niceville to compete in the District Thespian Showcase Competition. Senior Kelsey Gilmore walked away from the competition with the award of “Best in show overall,” and will open for the state competition in Tampa.
At the competition, Gilmore performed five numbers. She was in three student directed scenes, an ensemble acting scene, and performed two contrasting monologues. Along with the five that she performed, Leon took 28 other numbers to the competition. The performers ranged from grades 9 through 12
“Leon had won 27 superior titled awards and 8 excellent ones” Gilmore said. “No goods or fairs, which was very good. Also, we won a critics choice award.”
Her two contrasting monologues were from, “It had to be you,” by Renee Taylor and August Wilson’s, “Fences.”
Gilmore auditioned for thespians her sophomore year at Leon. This year she did not start practicing her monologues until around November. She then took a break and picked back up over winter break, and with a week until the competition worked intensely until the day of the competition.
During the award ceremony, Gilmore was awarded with the critics’ choice and best in show overall. Both were a dream come true.
Since the district competition in 2017, she had a goal of winning the award and being able to perform in front of 9,000 people at the state competition. Now the dream is becoming a reality.
Gilmore said, “I screamed so loud I lost my voice. I’ve never been so happy in my life. I remember seeing the person who won and moved onto state and opened the opening ceremonies and I wanted it to be me. I told my mom that in one year I was going to win this award, and now I have and it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Now she will continue to practice for the opening ceremonies for the State Thespians Competition held in Tampa. After that is college, where she will double major in Theater and Business.