Your Romeo (played by Ramone DeOcampo) and Juliet (played by ME! hehe)

I believe that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON... and though I also believe that you have the power to create the life you want to live, there are just SOME unexplainable things that seem to happen that are blessings in disguise... opportunities you never even thought you wanted... experiences that are given to you without asking for them... this Romeo and Juliet journey was one of those...

It's kind of crazy how it all happened. I never had an interest in theater before, let alone Shakespeare. Since I had grown up doing film and tv work, I always felt like theater was a very different world and something I wouldn't really like. 

Well it just so happened, that I found myself in the right place at the right time to get this opportunity to play JULIET in Shakespeare Orange County's production of ROMEO and JULIET this summer. I had gone back to my alma mater Orange County School of the Arts to teach a master class, a new program set up through the alumni association. Although I had been a commercial dance major while I was in school there, since I was a professional actor, they asked that I speak to the ACTING conservatory which happened to be headed by Mr. John Walcutt. Not having really having much of a chance to get to know me first, John asked if I'd be interested in auditioning for SOC's production. I told him straight up that I didn't do theater nor Shakespeare. He told me just think about it over the holiday break and we'd touch base again in the new year.

The new year rolled around and he asked if I was still interested. I said I really didn't have any experience in this field. He told me he'd work with me and see how I felt about it after. So I show up on the first day at this beautiful amphitheater in Garden Grove and just think to myself, "Man! How did I get myself into this!" I couldn't understand a line I was saying and when I asked how they mic the set, I was definitely shocked to hear that we weren't going to have mics we'd just have to project our voice over the 400 seat theater. 

John set me up with the co-creative director of the production, Mike Peebler, who so graciously gave me a Shakespeare 101 lesson. I learned that if I did the work to breakdown and understand Shakespeare's text, the words would do the work for me. So that's exactly what I did. It was actually really comforting to know that if I worked hard, I would succeed. So that's exactly what I did. And when I came back to that amphitheater stage a couple weeks later to audition for John again, I must've pulled it off just enough so that he believed in me.

I was so honored to be giving this role of Juliet. I never in a million years thought I'd be here. But this is probably one of the greatest acting opportunities I've ever had. I've learned so much from so many different mentors on the company and at the theater and I've gotten to express myself in a way I've never felt while acting on screen. I've fallen in love with the beauty of Shakespeare's words and have grown so attached to my new theater family. I am so grateful for this opportunity and hope that I will get to experience many more like this. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for teaching me. I am truly grateful.

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