After Graduating with my M.M in Contemporary Performance & Production (Voice) from Berklee Valencia this past July, I set out on an ambitious adventure to the Big Apple in order to pursue my true passion: Theatre. While I knew quickly I’d be missing Valencia, I also knew that if one wants to embark on a theatrical career, there’s no place to do so other than right here in New York City!
Coming back to NYC after a year abroad allowed me a fresh new perspective, the knowledge and tools, the freedom to creatively explore, and the confidence to tackle the music and theater scene in this massive arts hub again. During my last semester in Valencia, I knew after graduation I wanted to surround myself in a theatrical environment. One that supported a combination of creativity and the in’s and out’s of the business. Seeking Theater internships to get my foot back in the door, there was one in particular that caught my eye (and I caught theirs too!). An apprenticeship in Theater Operations at The New Victory Theater on 42nd street, where I would be the first alumna from Berklee College of Music to work for the organization.
Dedicated to year round, family entertainment and children’s programming right in the heart of Broadway! With my prior arts administration work in Student Affairs at Berklee, and from my performance background in children’s entertainment, landing this apprenticeship was the best of both worlds! From planning cast parties, and donor galas, to preparing artist contracts, and performance visas, to budgeting and analyzing the costs of a Broadway Theater! Without completing my Masters, and the help of Stine Glismand and the ICC, there’s no way I would have been prepared for an apprenticeship at this level.
In addition to my apprenticeship this fall, it was also time to present my CE project to the industry. Writing and composing an original musical last year Ciao Bambino as my Culminating Experience, I wasted no time after graduation to get this show off the ground running. My musical was accepted, and performed its first staged reading at the Midtown International Theater Festival in NYC, with a cast of 16 actors, and musical directed by my partner and Berklee Valencia Alum Andreas Häberlin. Our original musical theater song “Give Me The Stage” that won the Buñol Symphonic wind band competition last year in Spain, also recently came in 1st place at the Hampton Beach talent competition. Seeing the hard work I put in over the course of a year in Valencia, start to come to life on stage in NYC, is a feeling and an accomplishment I will never forget.
The process for mounting a professional Broadway show can take several years, and certainly has no direct path to success or income! While I am currently reaching out and pitching to theaters, festivals and producers, I am still writing, composing, acting and collaborating in the meantime. I recently have formed my own theatrical production company, and am creating new shows, and music to bring to international audiences.
I look back to where I was a year ago, working with my Mentors Dani Flors, Victor Mendoza, Olga Roman, and Enric Alberich, and performing in Berklee Valencia’s first Musical Theater production! Looking ahead, I hope to collaborate with other Berklee alumni to create new and original material for the stage.
Words by Liz Turner
Latest posts by Amanda Tornel (see all)
- Summer Study Abroad en Valencia - July 19, 2017
- PROEM by Erik Hasan Gomez - April 10, 2017
- Launching MILKMAN and Getting a Main Stage at a 3 Day Music and Arts Festival - April 3, 2017