Grace Parker: actress, singer, and student

Pictured+above%2C+Parker+performs+as+Snail+in+%E2%80%9CA+Year+with+Frog+and+Toad%E2%80%9D.+She+plans+to+be+an+actress+in+the+future.%0A

Photo Courtesy Gracie Parker

Pictured above, Parker performs as Snail in “A Year with Frog and Toad”. She plans to be an actress in the future.

Athena Brown, Staff Writer

“I’ve learned that you should always be yourself and shouldn’t change for anyone,” said seventh grader Gabby Cooke. “Gracie is always herself no matter who she’s around, and I think anyone could be more like her.”

Grace Annabelle Parker, an eighth grader, has been acting since kindergarten when she joined a drama group called Drama Kids International. Also, she has been taking singing lessons for almost a year. She has performed in numerous theatre productions since then, including “A Year with Frog and Toad” as Snail, “Bye Bye Birdie” as Mae Peterson, and “The Princess Who Had No Name” as the Princess. Other productions include “Cyrano De Burgershack” as Wanda and “Tortoise and the Hare” as Hare. In addition, Parker won the Faith Lutheran Middle School Female Thespian of the year award in seventh grade.

Parker has appeared in six theatre productions, but said she mostly enjoyed “The Beverly Hillbillies” because “the role was very fun, and it was a very comedic show.”

Some people look up to big stars to help achieve their goals. Parker said she looks up to Sutton Foster, because “she has been in so many shows and she’s just so humble. She just has a really great personality and is a wonderful performer.”

As people watch more shows, they may find a character that they really like, and may even want to play in the future. These characters may even inspire the actor or actress to reach their goals.

“I would love to play Mary Poppins in ‘Mary Poppins’, Reno Sweeney in ‘Anything Goes’, or Janet van de Graaf in ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’,” said Parker.

Since she has participated in acting for most of her life, it may now become something that she wants to do for many years to come. She even contemplates the idea of acting for her career.

“I really want to be a part of theatre and performing when I get older,” said Parker. “I just love it. It’s like my favorite thing to do and I just strive to get better at it, and I plan to take that on as a career.”

Usually, play and musical rehearsals run right after school until 5:30 pm or 6 o’clock.  During that time, students run scenes and practice the show. Since the students  usually stay very busy, many will not always have time to get their homework done, and getting their homework in on time may end up as a challenge. “Some things that challenge me are probably just getting homework done, because rehearsals often run to like 5:30 or 6 o’clock,” said Parker. “So, getting home, doing homework, and getting good grades is the probably the biggest challenge.”

Parker makes an impact on the people around her because of her nice attitude that she has towards people.

“I have learned to be kind to others at all times,” said eighth grader Talina Hajar. “I have learned that surrounding myself with positive and beautiful people like (Grace) can really make a positive impact.”

On stage, Parker helps the other actors around her and may give them advice that can benefit them.

“(Grace) always can come up with something that can help you onstage,” said sixth grader Ava Rogers.

Cooke agrees that Parker does help, especially with her energy.

“Gracie has helped me become an amazing actress by being energetic.” said Cooke. “Actors feed off of other actor’s energy, so whenever Gracie is really energetic and happy she makes everyone around her energetic and happy on and offstage.”

Some people really like Parker for the fact that she impacts people and always acts positive.

“Personally, I love that Grace is a supporter. She loves to help and be a positive impact for people,” said Hajar.

Other people like her because of her good heart and respectfulness.

“I like everything about Gracie; she is extremely respectful, an amazing singer and actress, funny, smart, kindhearted, and responsible,” said Cooke. “She is overall an amazing person with such a genuine heart.”

Parker takes part in Applied Christianity. In that class, the teacher notices how she contributes and benefits the class.

“Grace makes Applied better simply by her presence,” said Joanne Krafft who teaches Applied. “She is mature and thoughtful and always a creative source when we are working on chapel.”

At Faith Lutheran, students are encouraged to act in God’s image. Krafft believes Parker does just that.

“I’ve never heard Grace say an unkind thing about anyone,” said Krafft. “She is a fine witness to the love of Christ as she works well with everyone, and she always thanks me at the end of class, even if I’ve yelled at the class a lot.”