From the very first, Sydney Grayson knew. As she stood, awash in a yellow light, singing the melody with perfect clarity, Sydney felt calm. More than that, she felt at home. At age 12, Sydney performed as Maria in West Side Story at the Seattle Opera. Her very first experience with theater, this role would impassion Sydney to pursue theater and singing for years to come.
Despite scoring the starring role in her first production, Sydney path to theater has not been entirely easy. After performing in West Side Story, Sydney auditioned for a role in the Fifth Avenue production of The Sound of Music, but Sydney ended up being turned down for a part in the play.
While some might find this rejection discouraging, Sydney valued the chance to grow. “It made me want to prove myself to everyone else that I was capable,” Sydney said. It taught me not to ever assume anything going into an audition, and that’s really given me a good head on my shoulders.”
Sydney took this rejection as a lesson and a gift, and has used it to shape how she approaches each new venture. To her, theater is not merely about getting the best role. When asked why she cherished the stage so much, Sydney said the theater is the only place in which “you can share drama and humor and sadness all at the same time.”
Since discovering her passion, Sydney has been in numerous productions, including the Seattle Academy production of The Wedding Singer. During this musical, Sydney played Tiffany, a newly engaged pregnant woman from New Jersey. The official character description for Tiffany is succinct, saying only “Tiffany should sound like Janice from Friends.”
With nothing more than this brief image and the expert direction of Mike Cimino, Sydney breathed life into the character and the production. She brings this same light to each role she inhabits. Sydney uses the stage to communicate feelings in a way that is not necessarily possible in everyday life.
On stage, everything from the big and bold to the nuanced conveys something powerful. To Sydney Grayson, performing is not simply about the performers. It is not simply about telling a story. To Sydney, theater is a way to connect.