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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Her Name in Lights: Abigail Curran’s Journey to the Great White Way

Abigail Curran loves the stage (Abigail Curran)

WILLIAMSBURG — Abigail Curran lives her life center stage, where she’s happiest. While juggling auditions, bookings, and her personal life, it’s the determination to be a Broadway star that truly makes her heart happy.

But it didn’t start out that way.

“Growing up, my parents always had us moving but dance wasn’t one of the things that came to mind when it came to extracurriculars. Until about fifth grade, my mom had me playing basketball, lacrosse, drawing, sewing classes, doing every extracurricular that a child can do, but I didn’t excel at anything. I was the kid who would shoot a basketball and score two points and celebrate at the end of the season. I was a happy and excitable kid but never really found my niche,” Curran recalls.

Curran, a Williamsburg native who now calls the Big Apple home, finds herself thinking of fifth-grade Abigail a lot. No surprise, since that’s where the love for the stage began.

A student at Walsingham Academy, Curran went to see the high school production of “Meet Me in Saint Louis” as a fifth grader, and she was hooked.

“I remember going with my mom who was on the board of Walsingham and we were just getting out to enjoy a Friday night. I watched it and I told my mom ‘I really want to do that.’ From that day on, my mom threw me in dance classes and the rest was history,” Curran said.

Determined to attend New York University and the Tisch School of the Arts, she made a decision during her high school career that she believes help set her up for success.

After earning her BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Curran stayed in New York City (Abigail Curran)

“I’ve always been such a determined kid, and since I started dance so late compared to most, I felt very behind. My first lead in a musical was ‘Peter Pan’ at Williamsburg Players. Through my experience playing a lead, I knew I needed to train harder and spend more hours in the theater to reach my ultimate goal, which at that time in high school was getting into NYU. I went to my parents and I told them I wanted to be homeschooled to allow more time for training,” Curran said.

Giving up a traditional high school life, Curran never doubted her decision to achieve her dreams. After graduating from Tisch School of the Arts in May 2022, Curran’s professional career took off.

“Young performers are always told that it’s going to be a very difficult path. But you are usually being told that by someone who has made it through the rough parts already. I think the last semester of school was tough and through auditioning a lot and being told no a lot, you realize that you are really signing up for a deal with the devil. I’ve been so blessed this past year that I’ve been able to consistently work,” Curran said.

From Kristine in “A Chorus Line” to Rhoda in “White Christmas,” Georgette in “Amelie” to the Ensemble in “Damn Yankees,” the list continues to grow.

Curran hopes to inspire the next generation of performers. According to her, the best piece of advice she has for those coming up the ranks is to stay passionate about their craft, even through the tough times.

Abigail Curran performs in a recent production (Abigail Curran)

“Auditioning is 90% of a performer’s career. When you are auditioning for musical theater, it’s all about what the casting team is looking for. Nine times out of 10, what you do in the room is not important, it’s more so, do you fit what we’re looking for regarding typecast and ability? You need to trust your gut because if you don’t trust yourself, it’s never going to work out. You need to know that you are so unbelievably capable for everything you are auditioning for and if you don’t get it, it’s not because of you, you were just not right time, right place,” Curran said.

Many people have inspired Curran and helped her on her journey to New York City and her Broadway dreams. Fifth grade Abigail is so proud of herself, and each day is a pinch-me moment

“I’m so grateful to so many people who have worked with me and helped me along the way, but I’m also so proud of that little girl, little Abigail, who really worked so hard to get to where she is now,” Curran said.

Curran’s learned much about herself both on and off the stage. One thing in particular she wishes all performers knew was the art of being kind.

“In the midst of climbing this theatrical ladder, you encounter a lot of people who want the same thing that you do. There are so many people who want to be on Broadway, there are so many people who want to make performing their primary income. It’s not a unique dream. There are a lot of very selfish and unkind people and it’s an Easter egg when you find an artist who genuinely wants the best for their peers. Kindness is such a superpower within this field, especially in the audition scene. Community is everything and being kind on your lowest days is the most important thing,” Curran said.

Curran is realizing her dream every day that she steps out onto the streets of New York City.

The million dollar smile that says it all (Abigail Curran)

“I’m a huge dreamer, and my dream is to be on Broadway. I want to be on Broadway performing material that I am very passionate about. My end goal is to work, work, work, and perform, perform, perform, because that is what I live for. I live for the stage lights,” Curran said.

While the journey isn’t an easy one and is often filled with hard work and disappointment, Curran wakes up grateful for her love of the performing arts every day.

“Work ethic is everything. I firmly believe all of the successes I have achieved so far are due to how hard and deliberately I work. I am always the first to arrive to a rehearsal and the last to leave; no amount of practice is ever enough and no amount of rehearsal is ever too much. This of course, stems from passion. My passion for the performing arts is rooted so deeply that I would be willing to sacrifice all of my time in order to be the best performer that I can be,”

For more information on Curran, visit abigailmariecurran.com.

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