Acting out her part

Senior Emily Godwin finds place in theater


Edna Hernandez

Senior Emily Godwin recites her lines.

The sound of her heart pounding reaches her ears as she walks into a room full of kids ready to audition. She receives her name tag with her audition number and waits 15 agonizing minutes for her name to be called, while nerves rush through her body. A theater student older than her walks in and calls out her name as well as four others. The older student takes them into a hall where they stand outside a door. She leans against the wall between the other four kids waiting for her turn.

She walks into the room, fingers shaking, to see five separate people ready to judge her. She starts off with her monologue and goes on to sing, hoping for the best. When she finishes, she starts to feel scared again. The judges then ask her to leave and say they’ll keep in touch. An email is sent out a few days later with the casting and, filled with relief, she sees she earned the main role in the play.

Senior Emily Godwin started off performing for The Actors Conservatory Theatre three years ago after trying out for the school theater. “Newsies” was her first show and she was able to play the main role. Now, she has been in 13 productions, the most recent being “Madagascar Jr.” in which she played as Marty the zebra. She will later audition for two new shows The Actors Conservatory Theatre will showcase including “The Sound of Music” and “The Little Mermaid.”

“I used to play sports [and] I was good at them but they didn’t really make me happy so when I had to do a fine art credit at school, I chose theater,” Emily said. “[But] I didn’t want to spend more time at school than I needed to, so I chose [theater] outside [of school because] I had a better connection with people outside of school than I do at school.”

Although she’s described as an excellent singer by her older sister, Caitlynn Godwin, Emily started off with problems finding pitch ranges. After years of practice, she now is able to project her voice and find the pitch ranges. Apart from being an outstanding singer, Emily is also described as a brilliant dancer.

“[She danced] around the house and [sang] songs from musicals and [memorized] scripts like it was nothing,” Caitlynn said. “So I suggested one day to my parents, ‘What if Emily joined theater?’ Ever since that day she has grown so much [and] thrived in that community.”

Because of the constant repetition of memorizing and eventually working her way off the script after appearing in multiple shows, Emily has loosened up and has become used to rehearsing but still takes theater seriously.

“Honestly, you don’t have to worry about whether you do it right or wrong because if you’re playing a role there isn’t really a right or wrong way to do it,” Emily said. “You don’t have to be serious on stage or with the people around you because it’s good to be a goofball.”

Secondary production manager Amy Coates has seen all 13 productions Emily has starred in throughout her theater career. But one sticks out to Amy, which is Emily’s performance of Maureen in “Honk Jr.” Since then, Emily has learned what the concept of a team is and gives her best to embody the concept of each character she plays.

“Emily is a hard read when you first meet her [but] I now know a side of Emily that is playful,” Amy said. “[She] has grown into a very confident and talented individual [and] has proven to be a straight shooter and a loyal friend to those around her. She does have a serious, intense side that drives her to be all she can be.”

When Emily auditions for roles, her mother, Monica Godwin, hopes for her daughter to land the lead roles, however, to Emily it does not matter. She never feels upset if she doesn’t achieve a lead role. Instead, she congratulates those who do which shows how humble she is. Monica sees the raw passion Emily has for theater and the effort she puts into roles when she watches her on stage.

“I am very proud of Emily,” Monica said. “She has always been outgoing and has loved to sing and dance since she could walk and talk. It did not surprise us that theater had become such an important part of her life. One thing I think theater has instilled in Emily is the importance of being a team player.”

Because of Emily’s success and enjoyment for theater, she has realized she wants to major in theater and obtain her teaching certificate. So far she has applied to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University but leans more toward UNT.

“In a way, kind of after this I want to go to college,” Emily said. “Not necessarily [to] perform on stage but to become a theater teacher just so I can teach other kids, preferably middle or high school, how to love theater as much as I do.”