my story, part I: the big dream, insecurity, and getting there.


 Picture a little girl with big dreams. Picture a scrawny, freckle faced, snaggletoothed, 10 year old who only wore dresses, had stained teeth, no curves to save her life, parted her thin hair down the middle and was much too inspired by The Lord of the Rings trilogy. After she finished watching the last of the trilogy, her heart was overwhelmed and full of excitement.

"I want to be an actress!" 


I remember that night so clearly. I remember leaping out of the rocking chair and telling my mom I thought it would fun to be an actress. We pulled up Google and searched for theaters nearby that could potentially use a girl like me. A show called The Man Who Came to Dinner caught our attention. After we read a bit about the show and auditions, I shut the laptop and went to bed. I can almost feel the exact essence I had that night. Heart pounding. Mind racing. "I want to be an actress."

A year later, I participated in my very first theater production and proudly wore the title of "Munchkin". I was convinced that The Wizard of Oz would bring me to fame. After all, Vanessa Hudgens was a Munchkin and she was cast as a principal role in High-School Musical! Wait, you think I'm kidding? Ha! I was also convinced that a movie director would miraculously come driving through our neighborhood, see a spastic 10 year old outside, and cast me as the lead role in a film. I'm serious.

Moving on.

I wanted to be an actress so bad, I could hardly stand it. When I was 13, a friend suggested checking into some modeling agencies so that I could get acting auditions through it. We submitted to several. However, as we checked back on email to see their response, my hopes were slowly shattered.

"We're sorry, but...."

"Unfortunately, we do not have room..."

"Thank you for submitting, but..."

I pretended that it was no big deal. "Ah, that's okay!" Dramatic as it sounds though, I was devastated. Did I let it show and did I tell anybody? You better believe I didn't. I needed to come across as confident and positive. However, I began to fill my head with negativity, especially with the thought of "Am I not good enough?" I remember questioning whether I was actually pretty or not, whether I could really make this crazy dream come true, whether I really had any talent. I can vividly remember scrawny little me standing in front of my mirror and just staring at myself and thinking, "Am I pretty?" I was insecure (welcome to the world of a 13 year old. such an awkward age). I hated my teeth, hated my hair, wished that I needed a bra (puberty: thank you), wished that I actually liked wearing jeans instead of sporting a dress all of the time. I remember thinking that if a modeling agency let me sign with them, I would suddenly become a much prettier person and like myself more.

In which I say, and I do mean this with all sincerity, thank God I was not accepted. I wasn't ready. I did not have the confidence or the burning passion to pursue both acting and modeling.

On down the road, I participated in a few more shows, perused through articles of actors' success stories, wished it could be me, but just sat around because the thought of actually going to an audition made me nervous and quite frankly, my reasoning was because I wanted to be "famous" (shake. my. head.). When I was 14, I began suggesting signing with an agency to my parents. They were open to the idea. However, they could tell that realistically, I only wanted to be famous (NEVER pursue acting if your idea is to try and attempt to be famous. Put shortly: That is stupid, stupid reasoning). They told me to give it some more time so that they could tell that I was really passionate about it. I was upset at first (Because I would become famous overnight! Hello!), but I would definitely continue acting.

Fast forward to when I was 15. I decided that when I auditioned for Annie Get Your Gun, I would actually pick a song from Broadway or the musical itself rather than sing something from Colbie Caillet. I ventured out into the wild, slayed vicious beasts, had sleepless nights, and finally, after much turmoil, arrived at the destination where I met a wizard who looked at me very deeply in the eyes.

"If you research the role you want and actually practice your song, maybe you will get the role!" I collapsed in tears at his feet, kissed his pointy shoes out of gratitude, and exclaimed how thankful I was for his gracious words.

 I felt passionate about this and my parents could tell I felt passionate about getting this role.

Now, skip to this past January. I was desperate to be Frenchy in Grease. Put shortly: I researched the show and the character like a madman, practiced for (literally) half a year, auditioned, got a callback, and got the role. My life was made. Everything clicked at the end of the show.

"I want to be an actress."

From then on, I confirmed an oath that I would try and sign with a talent agency by May. I found some, applied, and said my prayers that just one would accept. My appetite for acting was hungrier than ever and I truly just wanted to act. The thought of fame was silly, but my passion of acting was strong. One morning, I clicked onto my email to see if any of the agencies responded, and they did.

"We're sorry, but..."


As the feeling of hope shattering reemerged, my heart lit up when one of the agencies asked for my mom to send photos of me. I began to get excited butterflies, but tried not to get my hopes up too much. She sent my photos through email and then I thought I was in a dream. They were interested and we scheduled an interview. The interview took place and I had the opportunity to sign with this agency. My heart was so overwhelmed and I prayed, "God, if you want me to sign with them...let it happen.". After a few months of praying about it and talking it over, we officially signed.

And now I would just like to say:

Let the journey begin.


  1. I'm so excited for you dear! Your story is incredibly inspiring to any age and any dream to never give up and pursue because of passion. Thanks for sharing. <3

  2. Beautiful story, Anna Gray! I loved that you shared how God helped you grow along the way.

    And CONGRATULATIONS on signing with the talent agency! That is so exciting! :)

    -Alex L.

  3. How exciting! I'm so happy for you. :) wish you the best of success in your journey. Oh,and when you rich and famous remember us little blogging people who love you! =)

  4. Congratulations! That is sooo exciting! Can't wait to see you on broadway or in the movies. ;)

  5. Congratulations! Love your hair :)


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