Student of the Month – Nicole O’Grady

What companies/classes are you currently in?

I am a Tap Cat and a Jazz Cat.     


When did you start at Center Stage?

I started at Center Stage when I was 3 years old.


Do you remember your first dance routine?

My first dance was called “Slide some Oil” it was a tap dance. I was wearing my little Dorothy costume in the Wizard of Oz and Ms. Pam was my dance teacher. I was four years old.


What was your Center Stage journey?

Center Stage taught me how to build confidence in myself. They taught me that I am more than just a dancer, I’m an actress and singer too. They taught me that I don’t have to be the best dancer to be a great performer. I’m so grateful for all the teachers and everything they’ve taught me. And I’m so honored to be asked to perform the role of “Elphaba” my senior year making my journey at Center Stage come full circle. I can’t express how thankful I am to have been a part of the CS family. Center Stage has created bonds with many people who will most definitely be life long friends. My journey might be coming to an end but Center Stage will always have a special place in my heart and I can not thank them enough for all that they have done for me.


How did acting and singing fit into your program, and how did they affect your Center Stage experience?

If I never acted or sang for Center Stage I don’t know where I would be right now. The big productions are what I live for because I can act, sing, and dance all in one show. If I stayed in my comfort zone, my experience at Center Stage would be much different. Acting and Singing has impacted not only my experience at CS but also my life. If it had not been for Center Stage I would not be going to one of the top colleges for theater in U.S.


When did you start auditioning for MainStage shows, and which was your favorite role?

I started auditioning for MainStage shows when I was in 8th grade. My favorite role was probably when I played Luna in Time steps because not only was it fun but it was also challenging.


Why has it been worth all of the energy you’ve put in to it and the sacrifices you’ve made?

I absolutely fell in love with performing. So if it meant I had to give up a few things to do something I love then that’s what had to happen.


Do you do other outside of school activities?

I didn’t do other outside of school activities, besides a couple plays with The New Jersey Repertory Theater, but I was a varsity cheerleader for my high school.

Favorite Broadway show?

Wicked is my favorite but I also really liked In-transit.


First Broadway show?

Beauty and the Beast.


Favorite food?

Mac and cheese.


First celebrity crush?

I was obsessed with Zac Efron when he was in High School Musical.


TV Show you’re embarrassed to admit you used to watch?

I used to be so fascinated with the show Max and Ruby even though the characters never talked.


When do you remember laughing the hardest?

We had a great time in Stephen’s pre-professional acting class this year and there has been countless nights when I was on the verge of peeing my pants.


If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?

I would have dinner with Walt Disney.


What’s next?

I will be attending Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. Majoring in nursing and minoring in theater and hopefully to be a part of the dance team.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I see myself being a pediatric oncology nurse with 3 dogs.


Will you come back to visit Center Stage, or are you gone for good when you’re out the door?

Yes!! Center Stage is my home away from home there’s no way I’d be gone for good