This past year I had the privilege to see two rising stars, Angela Steele and Emily Scinto perform. Both young ladies attended St. Paul Conservatory of Performing Arts (SPCPA). Angela played the title role in “Edwin Drood” at her school and I saw Emily in the History Theatre’s production of “This Side of Paradise”. Each of them stood out to me among the other actors in their shows as phenomenal. This fall, Angela will be going into her senior year and Emily starts her first semester at Mankato.
We chatted at the local hot spot, Uncommon Grounds, outside one morning. We quickly learned the three of of us share interest in the TV show “Smash” as well as “Dance Academy”, actor Jeremy Jordan and the fabulous musical “The Last Five Years”. Both girls have very supportive families. Angela is from New Zealand and her family relocated because of her dream to pursue her theater career. She has an adorable accent, I might add.
The Playbill Collector (TPC): How did you know acting was for you?
Angela: Some people are born with it and you cant do anything else. When I was three years old, I did performances for my family. I’d turn off the TV, watch my reflection and sing into ice cream cones.
Emily: My story is different. I was into sports for a long time. My dream was to play soccer in the Olympics. When I was young, I had stage fright but I looked up to my cousin who sang. In 6th grade I did a play at school and had a solo at church. After that, I saw “Beauty and the Beast” at the Ordway. I turned to my mom and said “this is what I need to do.” There’s just a feeling of happiness at the theater.
TPC: Do the two of you compete for roles?
Angela: She’s my idol. Emily is my biggest competition but we are close so we don’t have a hard time.
*The story of how they met in class was cute. They were both fans of each other from day one.
TPC: Do you read the reviews of your shows?
Emily: Reading reviews is the only way you can learn. Taking critique comes with the territory.
Angela: Yes, also going to SPCPA has helped me grown exponentially as a performer . They give you technical notes as well.
TPC: Do you do a lot of shows at SPCPA?
Emily: J term is the only time we do shows. The rest of the time we audition for outside work.
Angela: They have a program called, Arts Excused Absences. Our school is really good about it.
TPC: How is it being in shows?
Angela: The experience is fun and you become a family. You bond with your cast. It’s my second home.
Emily: Its hard closing shows. It takes an emotional toll on yourself. Being in shows makes me happy.
TPC: If you could pick one company to work with who would it be?
Angela: Theater Latte Da
TPC: Favorite musicals?
Angela: This is a dumb one but Legally Blonde, Little Shop of Horrors, Company, and anything Sondheim.
Emily: Chicago and Guys and Dolls.
*Both agreed: Jekyll and Hyde and Anything Goes
TPC: Who are your favorite actors/actresses:
Angela: Bernadette Peters, Raul Esparza and Stephanie J. Block.
Emily: Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Laura Osnes and Rachel York.
*Both agreed: Jeremy Jordan (he’s so good looking!), Christian Borle (love him so much!), Joel Grey (I want him to be my grandpa he is so cute.)
TPC: What was your first paid gig?
Angela: When I was ten years old I was in a TV show called “Top of the Class”. They died my hair platinum blonde. Then I did a few commercials. In “Bridge to Terabithia” I had one line and was considered a “featured extra”. Also, I did a touring production of “Les Mis” as little Cosette around the North Island of New Zealand.
Emily: When I was 17 I did the show at the History Theatre.
TPC: Do you ever watch shows and think I can do that?
Emily: (Big eyes) YES! All the time.
Angela: The two of us have sleepovers and watch YouTube clips of stuff. We also look at Broadway.com a lot.
TPC: What’s your strongest of the three: acting, singing or dancing?
Both agreed: Singing
TPC: Are you in any shows this summer?
Emily: I’m taking voice and dance classes plus a workshop at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.
Angela: I’m playing Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” for the ISD 622 summer show in North St. Paul.
It was a pleasure talking to these girls. They shine off and on the stage. Both are down to earth, bubbly and kind. Be on the lookout for these lovely ladies. Can’t wait to see where their career takes them!