Michaela Adkins has been dreaming of Hollywood for a long time. As a child, she would wear a big hat, sunglasses, hold a bottle of water and pretend her mother’s fingernail file holder was a telephone as she would speak with jet set-like hyperbole about how she was busy and needed to get back to Los Angeles.
When Michaela was around 3-years-old, her mother, Silvia Adkins, recorded her singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” “She was singing in the bathtub, the shower,” Silvia said.
After years of singing in choir and performing in plays and musicals, Michaela - a Wellington High School National Honor Society student - has been accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Arts Academy (AMDA), a private performing arts college in Los Angeles. Only 20% of applicants are accepted into the school. She received an $8,000 scholarship.
She auditioned for AMDA last Sept. 14 at the Sheraton Hotel in Oklahoma City. She sang, “I Don’t Need a Roof” from the musical, “Big Fish” and did a two-minute monologue called, “It’s Terrible Being Nice” from the one-act play, “Goodbye Charles.”
“Most schools are looking for your SAT & ACT scores and your GPA but this school really focuses on your performing arts talent which was why the audition was such a significant part of the application process,” Michaela said. “The only other thing I submitted academically with my application was an essay. They asked for my transcript, but that was all. They really wanted to see on a performing arts spectrum how good I was.”
On Sept. 18, Michaela learned she was accepted.
“I was told at the college to call a few days after auditioning to make sure I’d submitted all paperwork,” Michaela said. “I did that. They called me back about 45 min later and said the judge was impressed with my audition and they accepted me on the spot, on the phone. I was at school and i was in the library so it was a quiet reaction but I was with a friend so there was a lot of jumping around with no sound.”
AMDA is a small college of around 1,000 students. Michaela plans to live in the dorm. The school tries to give some sort of financial assistance to every student, she said. The maximum amount of scholarship the school gives is $10,000 “but few students get close to that amount so to get $8,000 was a blessing,” she said.
Michaela’s first solo performance before an audience was at a school talent show when she was in second grade and sang the China Anne McClain hit, “Calling All the Monsters.”
She was most recently seen on stage as the ghost of Christmas past at Wellington High School’s production of “Ebenezer.” She also sings in the WHS choir and plays piano in jazz band.
Her favorite role so far was playing Laurey in the WHS production of “Oklahoma” - a stage musical her mother, Silvia, also acted in during the 1970s. Musical talent runs in Michaela’s family. Her grandfather, John Henry Washington, Sr., who passed away earlier this month at age 90, liked to play guitar and sing blues music.
Michaela does not necessarily care about becoming famous as a performer, but she does want to make a living at it.
“I think a lot of people tend, when they go into performing arts to say, ‘I wanna be famous or I want a lead role in a Broadway show. I just want to make an impact on the industry in itself whether it’s acting or singing. I just want to influence it in my own way.”
Theater performance art is the only career she has ever envisioned for herself.
“I’ve never heard her say, ‘I’d rather do this,’” Silvia said. “Never came out from her mouth. She’s doing what she’s dreamed to do. She’s grabbed a hold of it and not letting go.”