Alumni Yearbook

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Alumni on this page:

MATT BOVEE

Matt Bovee
Year(s) involved:

  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Cast – Herr Schultz)
  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Cast – Caldwell B. Cladwell)

What I’m doing now:
I’m about to enter my fourth and final year as a double major in Theatre and Dance here at UCSD. I’m pretty involved with the Department of Theatre and Dance, trying my best to stay active in department productions as well as student-produced cabarets. Our yearly student-run musical cabaret, Underground Broadway, has featured many Muir Musical alum. I’m also a Senior College Ambassador (tour guide!) on campus, and I teach Dance for Musical Theatre through UCSD Recreation.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
The Muir Musical was an awesome opportunity to meet others who are as in love with musical theatre as I am. I’d also previously had limited opportunity to perform in musicals, and this awesome production gave me the chance to do it twice! The sense of ensemble built through the entire rehearsal process has been an experience unique to this program, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. UCSD is somewhat starved for musical theatre, and this organization proves year after year that we are not only eager but beyond capable of bringing the awesomeness of musical theatre to the UCSD community.

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HEATHER CADARETTE

Heather Cadarette

Year(s) involved:

  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Cast – Wide-Eyed Wendy)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Ralph)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Gertrude McFuzz)

What I’m doing now:
Right now I’m preparing for my last year at UCSD *tear* and looking for Grad schools to apply to. I plan on applying to a musical theatre program and getting as much training as possible for a future career. I also hope to be in a lot of shows this year :)

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical has given me a chance to do what I love: musical theatre. I’ve met some amazing people and made irreplaceable memories. It’s amazing to work with a cast, crew, orchestra, and production staff who are all in the same boat as far as going through college and yearning to learn as much as we can about what we love. This has definitely been a unique opportunity for me and I’ll never forget it. :)

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TRACIE CHO

Tracie Cho

Year(s) involved:

  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Mayzie La Bird)

What I’m doing now:
I am just existing. After the exhausting tech week and performances, I should be in a panic to catch up on my readings, papers, and assignments, but I’m just going with the flow and trying to be ready for wherever life takes me. I will be entering my third year at UCSD in the fall and already can’t wait for next year’s Muir Musical!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
It’s strange how one decision can dramatically alter your life. It’s even stranger that that’s all your life is, a series of decisions. I honestly thought I made the WORST decision of my life by choosing to come to UCSD. My first year was mediocre at best. I had some great friends, but all I was doing was going to the library to study every—who wants to do THAT?! (Unless you’re Dan Neethling) Then I made the BEST decision of my life by choosing to audition for Seussical the Musical. Through the Muir Musical, I’ve met some of my BEST friends here at UCSD, shared some really awesome memories with them, and had a blast staying up late stressing about our lack of time to do any school work and hanging out every chance we got. I’ve finally found a thing I can call my own and people to call family. The experience and memories I made throughout this musical are ones that I will definitely cherish for the rest of my life. Everyone in this cast comes from different majors, backgrounds, and interests, but we all come together because of our passion to perform. Really, what else can a girl possibly ask for?

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CHRISTOPHER JAMES CORTEZ

Chris Cortez

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Gremio & Ensemble (Anthony “Tony” Guinn))

What I’m doing now:
Currently preparing for my second year at UCSD. I just wrapped a successful production of Guys and Dolls.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
The Muir Musical gave me a whole new giant set of friends to hang with. I had never done musical theatre before, but I found myself becoming much more open to different perspectives and tastes, etc. I got to hang out with cute girls pretty much all day. The new friends I made introduced me to even more new friends and the good times just kept comin’. I learned cool choreography and even met my current girlfriend from the show (she was an audience member- she liked the show apparently). I’m continuing musical theatre and enjoying every new experience that comes with it. So many things I learned from the musical have helped me as an actor and as a human being. I was also able to make many connections through people in the musical and performed with the troupe for a benefit show at The Loft. Definitely a highlight of my first year at UCSD.

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BRENT COSTA

BrentCosta

Year(s) involved:

  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Production Staff – Assitant Stage Manager)
  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Production Staff – Production Stage Manager)

What I’m doing now:
I am preparing to study abroad in Barcelona for the fall and then eventually return to San Diego. From then on, I’m planning to get teaching credentials, hopefully still have a job at the La Jolla Playhouse or the Old Globe, possibly returning back as a Research Assistant at Scripps, applying to grad school, and finally living off-campus!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I have always felt proud to be part of the Muir Musical legacy. My four years at UCSD wouldn’t have been complete without the Muir Musical. I have met several of my close friends today through the two shows and have endless memories with both years. To me, it was nice to come to college and not only put on a huge production, but meet people and really become close throughout the few months (or entire year for some of us). I wasn’t even completely sold on being a stage manager until I got involved with Cabaret my second year. After that show wrapped up, I was more than happy to help with Urinetown and still hope to pursue stage managing in the future. When looking back at my third year, the first two things that come to mind are being an RA and Urinetown. No matter how many countless hours I spent in Seuss II or Mandeville Auditorium, I couldn’t imagine my college experience without the organization. Being a stage manager, you get the opportunity to interact with every single person involved with the production and this was always something I enjoyed. Whether it was figuring out how to balance a $25,000 budget during a production meeting or just rambling on until 4am in Mandeville, these are memories I could never forget. At the end of the day, it was always amazing to me that a group of college students put this whole production together. I will never forget the great people I had the opportunity to work with and the great times shared. d:-)

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AARON DING

Aaron Ding

Year(s) involved:

  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Ensemble)

What I’m doing now:
Currently, I’m focused on schoolwork and some film and music projects (mostly for fun).

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical is more than just an event. It was a collection of experiences and friends that carries through more than the rehearsals. I really wish I could explain the experience with words, but you have to truly be involved in order to truly experience it. It’s not something miraculous, it’s just a damn good time :).

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NATASHA FETANATNIA

Natasha Fetanatnia

Year(s) involved:

  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Ensemble)

What I’m doing now:
Finishing up my second year as a human biology major.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I love performing and Muir Musical was the perfect opportunity for me to get back on stage and become more involved at UCSD outside of academics. It is also a wonderful experience and a great way to meet amazing and talented people that work together to make this production possible. Truly an unforgettable experience! :)

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KAREN FLEXER FRIEDENBERG

Karen Friedenberg

Year(s) involved:

  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Cast – Ensemble)
  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Cast – Fraulein Schneider)

What I’m doing now:
I am currently at New York University for a dual masters in Educational Theatre and Social Studies Education. I’m the president of Meor, a national Jewish organization, and I’m teaching drama in New York City. I plan to come back to San Diego in the fall of 2010 to teach Drama and AP Government at a private girl’s school in La Jolla and work as the Educational Outreach Coordinator for a San Diego theatre company.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical was a way for me to continue pursuing my passion for musical theatre during my time at UCSD. I met some of my best friends, and grew as a performer.

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RACHELLE FUHRER

Rachelle Fuhrer

Year(s) involved:

  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Cast – Princess Winnifred the Woebegone)
  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Cast – Helga the Kit Kat Girl)
  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Cast – Penelope Pennywise)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Production Staff – Choreographer)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Production Staff – Director/Choreographer)

What I’m doing now:
Now that I’m finally done with both of my undergraduate majors (Mathematics-Computer Science and Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts), I’m off to further my education by pursuing a Master’s of Computer Science with a specialization in video game development at the University of Southern California. When I graduate from USC in May 2012, I’m hoping to start my career as a video game programmer. If possible, I will continue my involvement with singing and musical theatre in grad school and beyond.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I had a very difficult time feeling at home at UCSD at the beginning of my freshman year, and I was ready to transfer to another school. When I was cast in my first Muir Musical production, Once Upon a Mattress, I finally found a group of people I felt close to, and it’s because of the friendships that formed out of my involvement with Muir Musical that I ended up deciding not to leave UCSD. Now, years later, the Muir Musical is the source of some of my closest friendships and fondest college memories.

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DIPIKA GOPAL

Dipika Gopal

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Orchestra – Clarinet)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Orchestra – Clarinet)

What I’m doing now:
I am graduating in June and going to medical school in the fall at UCSD.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical has been more than working hard to produce a professional production, but a place to make long lasting connections and friends who I will always remember.

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SAMI GRIFFITH

SamiGriffith

Year(s) involved:

  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Cast – Hope Cladwell)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Ensemble, Wardrobe Lady, Beer Wench)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Bird Girl)

What I’m doing now:
Preparing for my third year at UCSD, getting my sleep, enjoying the soundtrack and regaining my energy for next year’s production, Seussical the Musical. Also, attempting to put together another Loft Cabaret show, Soundtrack: a Motion Picture Mixtape this fall with many of the members from previous Muir Musical casts.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
In all honesty, Muir Musical changed my life. My best memories and best friends from college all stem from the productions I’ve been a part of. It defines my class schedule (always go easy on classes Winter quarter) and defined my college choice. As a lonely music major at a mainly research university, it is my outlet, my retreat and my happy place. It allows me to rejoice in my choice for UCSD. We have something that few few few students EVER have the opportunity to accomplish and we get the “privilege” to create our own musical theater haven each year. It is bigger than a student org, it is bigger than all of us. :)

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KAITLIN HANRAHAN

Kaitlin Hanrahan
Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Lilli Vanessi/Katherine Minola)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – The Sour Kangaroo)
  • 2010-2011: Muir Musical (Director)

What I’m doing now:
In fall 2010, I’ll begin my junior year at UCSD. I’m currently preparing for the long year ahead of me. I’m so excited to be directing the Muir Musical (which has meant so much to me over the past two years)!

What the Muir Musical means to me:

The Muir Musical defined my freshman year. I spent my 1st quarter wondering whether I had made a mistake when I chose to attend UCSD. I was enjoying my classes, but I needed more–a creative outlet. Then…I heard about the Muir Musical. I thought I’d give the auditions a try. The best decision of my life—I’m not kidding. The Muir Musical has proven to me that singing is my passion, and it’s foolish to deny it. It’s given me the confidence to perform, helped me to find my UCSD family, opened other windows of opportunity, and changed my outlook on college. The group is so supportive of each other, and it is because of the countless memories of my Muir Musical experience that I can’t wait to return to UCSD each year. The beauty of the Muir Musical is that you don’t have to be trained; you don’t even have to be a music or theatre major; all you have to be is willing to share your talents with others! So, please!!! don’t limit your singing to the confines of your shower. We would love to hear you and sing along!

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JANESSA HERRERA

Janessa Herrera

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Ensemble)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Ensemble)

What I’m doing now:
I am in my sophomore year at UCSD as a Communications major with a minor in Literature. I’m currently preparing to audition for the Kickline in Christian Community Theatre’s Traditions of Christmas in September, as well as my audition for the 2009-2010 Muir Musical!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I began UCSD as a Computer Science major and felt like I couldn’t breathe. Beginning college and making new friends was exciting, but I was missing my passion and what I loved. The Muir Musical filled the void I was experiencing- not only did I discover wonderful and lasting friendships within the cast, I realized what I loved to do on stage and remembered that I couldn’t go through life without musical theatre.

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AMBER HILLIUS

Amber Hillius

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Riley, Ensemble (Felicity), Shrew Ensemble (Faloola))
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Ensemble)

What I’m doing now:
I am going to UCSD for my last year in college. Hopefully, I will finally be done with learning! I also hope to continue acting and dancing through any means possible.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
My whole middle school and high school life revolved around dancing and acting. I adored performing! Most of my high school friends went into college planning on majoring in dance or theatre. I, however, could not delve into something that isn’t a guaranteed career path. I spent three years in college dancing on the side, but felt as if something were missing from my life. It wasn’t until I got into Kiss Me, Kate that I knew acting was the missing puzzle piece in my life. Although the rehearsals required took tons of time away from my job and social life, it added a new social life- one with people that loved acting, dancing, and singing as much as I do. The people I met through Muir Musical gave me the idea that doing something I love is not a crime because ignoring my desire to perform is. In many ways, the usual added stress of spending hours rehearsing and memorizing lines, lyrics, etc. actually takes away the stress from my normal life. It allowed me to become a different person that does not have to worry about the future, grades, or finances. To any of you reading this that have not auditioned for a show because you are too afraid of what the outcome will be, you need to just do it. The friendships you’ll make will be worth more than the fear you may have at singing in front of people you don’t know. The only thing I regret about the Muir Musical is not taking more pictures to remember it by :).

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ERIC HOM

Eric Hom

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Stagehand #1/Nathaniel &
    Stagehand #2/Philip)

What I’m doing now:
I graduated from UCSD in June 2009 with a B.A. in Political Science and double minors in Psychology and Theatre. Currently I am working for an Aviation Law boutique law firm in La Jolla. My aspiration is to become a lawyer and because of that I’m preparing my application for law school this Fall 2009.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
The Muir Musical was one of the most gratifying experiences I had while at UCSD. It was a privilege working with a diverse ensemble and making new friends. At first the audition process was intimidating…….there were a lot of students who had backgrounds in both dance and in singing. Unlike others, I was never a part of any form of theatre production nor had experience with musicals before. During my sophomore year I tried out for Cabaret but didn’t even make-it past the first round. My friends encouraged me during my senior year to try-out for Kiss Me, Kate. At first I was really hesitant since I didn’t think I had the talent to even make it past the first round. However, after much thought I realized that Muir Musical was an experience of a lifetime and if I didn’t try-out I would never know if I would make the cast. I am extremely proud of myself for believing in myself and giving my all during the audition process. I would say that having a positive attitude and trying one’s best are the most important factors in doing well during an audition. Muir Musical was a great way of introducing myself to the art of musical theatre. During the production of Kiss Me, Kate there was a sense of camaraderie fostered amongst the cast and orchestra. There was a great balance of professionalism and fun while on set. For anyone who is at all interested (even a little) in musical theatre…….I HIGHLY recommend at least auditioning for Muir Musical and giving it a go. Although there is a high time commitment required for the show, the dedication and hard-work placed into the production itself pays-off. Not only do you learn how to balance your academic, social, and extracurricular schedule – but most of all you learn/grow from the Muir Musical journey. Thanks again to the KMK cast who made my Muir Musical experiences a great one!!!

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JOCELYN HU

Jocelyn Hu

Year(s) involved:

  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Orchestra – Violin)
  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Crew – Spot Light Operator)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Orchestra – Violin)

What I’m doing now:
Applying to medical school is taking up most of my current time. Otherwise, I am volunteering and doing clinical research at the VA Hospital, working as a biology TA, and finishing up my classes to graduate in June.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I’ve loved musical theatre since high school, so when I found out that this organization existed at UCSD, I immediately had to join. Even though there is a hefty time commitment, everyone manages to juggle rehearsals with school and work, and the end production is always SO worth it. It still amazes me that everything is completely student-run, and it’s been great to work with people from all colleges/majors with the same passion. I’ve met my best friends in college through Muir Musical, and I can’t wait for the 2009-2010 production!

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HENRY JOHNSON

Henry Johnson

Year(s) involved:

  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Production Staff – Rehearsal Pianist)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Production Staff – Musical Director)

What I’m doing now:
I am going to the University of Michigan to finish my undergraduate studies.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
The Muir Musical was a fantastic experience because it not only brought me together with other musical theatre enthusiasts, it also showed me what a group of college students can do if they are motivated enough. Being able to take a script, orchestra scores, and a huge group of motivated college students and to produce such wonderful productions is nothing short of inspiring, for anyone who ever helped out, even for just a minute. Teaching the cast their vocals and working each night was an insanely rewarding experience because I got to see each individual progress as the time went on, and their sound by the end of the show was more than I could have dreamed of. The Muir Musical means a lot of hard work, motivated students, long hours of rehearsals, and determination, but it also means wonderful memories, great friends, hilarious inside jokes and memories that will last a lifetime.

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AMANDA KU

Amanda Ku

Year(s) involved:

  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Production Staff – Rehearsal Pianist & Run Crew)

What I’m doing now:
I’m finishing up my first year at UCSD and hopefully settling on a major very soon. I’m also looking forward to what should be a music- (and of course musical-) filled sophomore year.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I’d never been part of any kind of theatre or musical production before this year, even though I’ve always wanted to work on something behind the scenes, so doing Seussical was quite a learning experience. I saw firsthand just how much work goes into a getting a musical together and up on stage, looking and sounding amazing. I even stuck around for tech week as part of run crew, just to really soak it all in, and so that I could see this show through to the end. As a rehearsal pianist, I have to say that playing through all that music on sight was definitely a challenge, but it was all for a fantastic cast, and I got to do something I enjoyed for a great cause. I got to meet and work with so many fun and talented people this year that I hope to stay in touch with, even those that are graduating. I feel like I finally found my niche as a pianist, and my place here at UCSD, by helping out with Muir Musical, and I feel incredibly lucky that I jumped into this as early as I did. And then getting to perform again with Muir Musical people at the Loft was another challenging but incredible experience. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I had this year to make music, and I hope I have many more in the years to come.

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CHRISTA LEE

Christa Lee

Year(s) involved:

  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Production Staff – Publicity Chair)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Production Staff – Publicity Chair)

What I’m doing now:
I’m a third year at UCSD but studying abroad in Yonsei University at South Korea for a semester. I’m realizing UC’s have the most requirements when studying abroad when other colleges allow you to take just 2 classes! I’m learning a lot about native Korean culture and lifestyles while I’m here and taking a close look at their level of technology and visual arts media design, since that’s what my major is.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
The Muir Musical is an amazing organization that’s changed the way I look at college students because of the amount of motivation and willingness everyone has to put together an awesome show. I first got involved in my first year and I feel really lucky to have stumbled upon it because I learned a lot about advertisement and publicity so quickly and only as a first year! I really got a taste of what a publicity job would be like and I realized that I love it! Because I was able to help bring people together to watch the shows, I feel I’ve helped the performing arts community make itself more known on campus and it feels great!

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ELIZABETH LI

Elizabeth Li

Year(s) involved:

  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Orchestra – Bassoon)

What I’m doing now:
I’m still in school trying to pass class and have fun at the same time.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical is an organization that allowed me to meet others who are interested in music and musicals and keep me in music. It also allowed me to meet amazing people and keep me out of my room. =)

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MICKEY LYLE

Mickey Lyle

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Harry Trevor/Baptista)

What I’m doing now:
I am currently unemployed, looking for work in the game industry.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I met a lot of amazing people during my involvement in Muir Musical, and am glad to keep in touch with them since graduating! Kiss Me, Kate had an amazing cast and I hope to be involved with my friends from that show in many things in the future.

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DANIEL NEETHLING

Daniel Neethling

Year(s) involved:

  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Cast – The Wizard)
  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Cast – Clifford Bradshaw)
  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Production Staff – Musical Director)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Hortensio)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Production Staff – Musical Director)
    (Cast – General Genghis Khan Schmitz)

What I’m doing now:
I am still in San Diego pursuing my MS in Aerospace Engineering to be completed in June of 2010. After that I plan to work full time in the Aerospace industry, perhaps Lockheed Martin in the bay area. If I had my druthers I’d stay in SD for the friends, ocean, and Mexican food!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
The Muir Musical was one of the things that convinced me to go to UCSD in the first place. It was freshman admit day and I was told about a musical producton on campus that was open to all majors. That along with other factors like a great program and the short distance to the beach made UCSD the choice for me.

The Muir Musical has given me some of my closest friends for life. I’ll never forget my first encounters with many people at auditions or meet and greets. And I’ll never forget standing next to my friends at the final bow. The Muir Musical was the avenue through which I found my family away from home.

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NICOLE OGATA

Nicole Ogata

Year(s) involved:

  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Mrs. Mayor)

What I’m doing now:
Finishing up my junior year in college as a transfer student to UCSD. I plan to graduate a year from now, so I’m working on finishing my requirements as a Communications major and a Theatre minor! I plan to attend graduate school, so I’m looking for internships and thinking about possible schools to apply to. I keep the singing alive all year long through Tritones!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical is a place for me to grow not only as a performer, but also as an individual. It is a place where peers can guide me and help me to improve my knowledge and skills in all aspects of musical theatre without feeling pressured or overwhelmed. I feel that already, I have become more open to trying new things and taking risks! Through Muir Musical this year, I have met so many talented and motivated people that inspire me–and there is no better feeling than being surrounded by wild, crazy, and amazing musical theatre lovers that have changed my life in some way….no matter how small. ;)

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SARA OSMUS

Sara Osmus

Year(s) involved:

  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Orchestra – Clarinet)
  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Orchestra – Clarinet)
  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Orchestra – Clarinet)
  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Orchestra – Clarinet)

What I’m doing now:
Currently I am a graduate student at UCSD working to get my single subject teaching credential in English Language Arts and also to get my Masters in Education. Starting this fall I will be student teaching at either a middle school or high school in the San Diego Unified School District. I am also currently working in a before and after school program at Park Village Elementary School in the Poway Unified School District. Once I have my credential and masters I hope to be teaching somewhere in San Diego. I also continue to play clarinet at my church choir at home, and maybe I will even find my way back to Muir Musical in this last year at UCSD!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical has by far been the highlight of my college career. I have had so many wonderful experiences and I have met so many amazing people. Doing the musical requires about a half of a year commitment during school and as a result I always felt like I had somewhere that I belonged. I would always look forward to our orchestra social gatherings, rehearsals, tech week (even though it felt like it went on forever sometimes) and of course, the shows. Disneyland was a blast too!!! I will also never ever forget my clarinet solo when I got to sit on stage during Kiss Me, Kate. As nerve wracking as that experience was, I had so much fun and it cured a little of my stage fright! Overall, I think Muir Musical gave me a great amount of experience in working with a team. Not only did I have to play together with the other orchestra members, but the orchestra also had to learn to work with the cast, crew and production staff in order to make everything turn out well. It was always truly amazing to see what would happen when everyone and all of their hard work came together in the end to create an awesome show. I also think that the Muir Musical gave me more confidence as a musician. No matter how hard the music was, I knew that I had to practice, believe in myself and be get my part as good as I could because in most cases I was the only one playing that part. I definitely now have much more confidence in myself as a musician and as a person in general. Overall, I loved every minute of my experience with Muir Musical and I wish it never had to end!

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DANIEL PALAY

Daniel Palay

Year(s) involved:

  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Production Staff – Conductor)

What I’m doing now:
Graduated in 2008, Spent July through November living in St. Louis and working for the Obama Campaign as the Deputy Director of Operations for the Missouri Campaign; Currently, I work for a political consulting firm in San Francisco handling several local clients as well as serving as the Deputy New Media Director for the Kamala Harris for Attorney General-2010 Campaign.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
From the first time I ever saw a marching band perform with its Drum Major orchestrating their every note with his hands, I wanted to conduct a performance. I studied my music teachers’ styles as I played cello in orchestra and marched snare and bass drum in Marching Band. I spent my high school years working as a tech crew member and actor in various performances. The opportunity to conduct the Muir Musical was something I could not pass up. I filled out my application in a night and when I had my interview, I was more nervous then when I interviewed for my first Congressional internship.

Through the course of rehearsals and preparations, i really found myself learning more than i had in several years of orchestra, simply because conducting forced me to hear all the notes individually instead of together. It forced me to focus on each instrument and ensure that they all were musically talking to one another in harmony….plus it gave me one hug bicep ;).

The Musical has given me a new appreciation of how important a conductor is to the success of the show. One can’t really just stand up there and wave their arms and hope for the music and the singing to come together. The time and preparation to learn the show and learn the non-musical cues really showed me that to do my job – or any job correctly – i have to be in-tuned with everything related to my job. It is a lesson that I carry with me to this day when trying to solve problems that arise during any given campaign.

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PARISA POURHABIB

Parisa Pourhabib

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Cast – Ensemble)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Jojo)

What I’m doing now:
I’m entering my second year at UCSD, continuing as a Theatre major and adding Communications as a second major. I’m also preparing myself for the upcoming musical!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I’ve been performing in musicals since I was seven years old, but I can say that being a part of the Muir Musical was by far the best experience I’ve had in a cast! I was disappointed that the school didn’t have a Musical Theatre program at first, but when I discovered the Muir Musical, I was determined to be a part of it. Kiss Me, Kate was the biggest part of my freshmen year and not only did I make wonderful friendships and indescribable memories that will last throughout college and beyond, but the musical was a great growing experience for me, as my involvement in musical theatre is something I intend on pursuing professionally. The musical showed me how a diverse group of college students with a common passion and tenacious work ethic can come together and create something truly inspirational and beyond what anyone could have expected of a student run production. I am so proud to be a part of the Muir Musical family and thank everyone involved for all of the love, support, and memories. I look forward to continuing to take part in the productions over my next few years at UCSD!

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RYAN RICKETTS

Ryan Ricketts

Year(s) involved:

  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Cast – Sir Studley)
  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Cast – Ensemble)
  • 2007-2008: Urinetown
    (Cast – Billy Boy Bill)

What I’m doing now:
Currently living in Burbank, CA. Working at the Playboy Mansion. Doing sketch comedy writing in my free time. Still working with my sketch comedy group THOSE AREN’T MUSKETS (www.thosearentmuskets.com). Going to take the GRE and go to Grad School for History.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
The Muir Musical was important to me because it got me back into theatre. After taking a break from theatre I caught the theatre bug once again. It paved the way for more UCSD productions within the Theatre Department. It also allowed me to meet some truly amazing people who have become some of my nearest and dearest best friends. My UCSD experience would have a huge gap in it if not for the Muir Musical. It should be noted that I helped start the MM tradition of going to Disneyland for cast bonding. Each show brought new challenges and learning experiences to me, whether it was challenging my talents or doing something I have never done before. I also threw numerous cast parties/functions at my party house in Mira Mesa simply known as the Schneple House.

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JESSICA SPRAGGINS

Jessica Spraggins

Year(s) involved:

  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Cast – Lady Larken)
  • 2006-2007: Cabaret
    (Cast – Fraulein Kost)

What I’m doing now:
I graduated from UCSD in December ’08 with a B.A. in Communication, then found myself back in Orange County. Life is a little crazy at the moment: I’m getting married on October 11, moving to LA, and changing my career path completely! I swore I wouldn’t go back to school, but I guess I just couldn’t stay away… I’ll be pursuing a Masters in Education and simultaneously getting my teaching credential. I’m hoping to teach AP Literature, which, ironically, is the class where my soon-to-be-husband and I first fell in love :)

What the Muir Musical means to me:
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the Muir Musical was by far the best part of my college experience. In high school, my schedule revolved completely around whatever show I was doing, and after one theater-starved quarter at UCSD, I was ecstatic to learn about the Muir Musical. Yes, the auditions are intense, the rehearsals even more so, but it is SO worth it. By the time you get to curtain call on closing night, you’ll look at the people around you and realize that you have a new family. Every single one of my closest friends from UCSD, I have met through Muir Musical. And they are the most passionate, dedicated, and FUN people I’ve ever met. Even if you doubt your own talent, the Muir Musical has a way of bringing it out of you… so find a way to get involved! You will never regret it.

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KELLY STYGER

Kelly Styger

Year(s) involved:

  • 2008-2009: Kiss Me, Kate
    (Orchestra – Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet)
  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Orchestra -Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute)

What I’m doing now:
I am currently finishing up my third year at UCSD and plan on graduating in the Spring of 2011. I am pursuing degrees in both Music (Jazz) and Political Science (International Relations) and I am seriously considering a career as an orchestra musician in Broadway or off-Broadway musicals (probably the latter) or even auditioning to play on cruise ships. If all else fails, I suppose I’ll go to law school, but music is what I’m truly passionate about :)

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Muir Musical is where I’ve met most of my closest friends at UCSD, so it really means the world to me. It lets me participate in something that I love to do (play in musical orchestras) and meet new people that I connect with at the same time. I’m looking forward to the next production!

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CRYSTAL TONG

Crystal Tong

Year(s) involved:

  • 2009-2010: Seussical the Musical
    (Cast – Ensemble)

What I’m doing now:
This fall 2010, I’ll be starting my 2nd year at UCSD as an undergraduate Junior, most likely studying Psychology and/or Cognitive Science. As of right now, I’m enjoying my 1st year relaxing, continuing dance classes, and working on making some music covers and writing songs with a few Seussical pals!

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Wow…Muir Musical has been absolutely been the highlight of my year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the highlight of my college experience. When I came in for my 1st quarter this year at UCSD, I was so excited to meet new people. However, it turned out to be disappointing, because I felt like I had no friends and like no one wanted to hang out with me. It was quite a confidence killer. Thank goodness, though, that I had the privilege to have been cast in the Muir Musical! Being a part of this amazing production made me realize that I had simply been looking for friends in the wrong places. I click so much more with musical people! In a nutshell, being a part of this production allowed me to fulfill my passions of singing, dancing, and performing, work with amazing and inspiring musicians and performers, and most importantly share bonds with people who are better friends than I could ever ask for.

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DANIEL WATTS

Daniel Watts

Year(s) involved:

  • 2003-2004: Once On This Island
    (Production Staff – Rehearsal Pianist)
  • 2005-2006: Once Upon a Mattress
    (Production Staff – Rehearsal Pianist)

What I’m doing now:
After spending a year teaching English in Japan and substitute teaching in San Jose, I’m now starting my second year of law school at UC Davis School of Law. When I’m not filing Public Records Act requests and writing legal memos, I’m flying to New York to see Stephen Colbert, getting famous on YouTube (youtube.com/governorwatts), and running for governor of California in the 2010 Democratic primary. I’m the musical director for UC Davis’s “Law Capella” group, where I’m trying to convince the members to learn the a capella version of The Simpsons theme song, which would be awesome.

What the Muir Musical means to me:
Playing piano is more fun when people sing along. Helping the cast rehearse also gave me a chance to practice sight-reading and work on time management skills– good God those rehearsals took forever. They were fun, though. And the people are hilarious. Theatre people usually are.

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