My name is Rhyleigh Russell and I am 14 years old. I live here in Old Lyme Connecticut and have 4 siblings. I've just entered my freshmen year at Lyme Old Lyme High school. I am one of the Varsity goalkeepers on our school soccer team. I am fortunate to say that I am having one of my most productive years ever performing. In the winter I surprised my mom the day of the show that I had the lead role as Fiona in Shrek the Musical. It's very hard to keep a secret like that from your mother in such a small community. I followed up my new found love of performing with Sara Bareilles "She Used to Be Mine" in the Bizz. Later in the year I had the opportunity to perform at the Shoreline talent show.
Last season I made it to the Eastern Regionals representing our school for the state performance. I have always loved being a part of our schools choir. Everyone here is amazing and supportive. Ever since preschool I have always wanted to be a singer and my previous teachers remind me of that little girl that always told them that is what she is going to be when she grows up. Since then I have gotten a lot more serious about pursuing this path and hopes singing and performing is always a part of my life. I say to almost everyone that I have no idea what I would do without music in my life. Life would be dull without it. My whole family runs on music never going a day without it or discussing it in some manner. That is why when people ask me what my favorite genre is I can never answer. I listen to the classic from my parents, country from my sisters and punk and rap from my brothers.
My favorite things to do are writing poetry, songwriting, and writing stories. These all work hand and hand with opening myself up to musical expression. For the longest time I had stage fright and was nervous to perform in front of people. The difference now is that that nervousness is converted into positive energy to perform. My theater group has helped me immensely by instilling the confidence in me to just be me. My goal with every performance is that I'm making someone proud or connecting with someone who may be uplifted in some way. My purpose is to help as many people as I can through music and performance whether its a smile on my parents face, a tear rolling down someone's face because they don't feel alone or to uplift a spirit. Everything I sing is with purpose and emotion. There are times I may stumble and even blank the words (and it has happened) the experience of each show is a great one regardless. It's all part of the growing process.
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