Setting her sights on Broadway

People Editor

Rachel Jackson has a goal in mind when she sings.

And the ninth-grader from Genoa has been performing for more than half her years.

"My goal is to be on Broadway," said Rachel, 14, who is home-schooled and aspires to major in performing arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.

Rachel's latest accomplishment was winning first place at the Stars of Tomorrow Talent Showcase in Minden in April, her first time in a competition. She has done musical theater for years, since she was 8, at her church, Carson Valley Christian Center in Minden, and with the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City and Western Nevada Community College in Minden.

"I hope to build a name for myself and get lots of training here so I won't be shocked when I go into a bigger setting," said Rachel.

Rachel has taken dancing lessons for years and took singing lessons for just six months, although she has been singing for as long as she can remember.

"As far as I know, I did it before I talked," said Rachel. "I think it just kind of ran in the family somehow."

Rachel's mother, Pamela Jackson, and her two sisters, Dena, 18, and Jennifer, 22, all are singers.

"My mom sings and she used to do performing arts when she was in high school," said Rachel, "and my sisters do it too."

Both sisters have competed in the Stars of Tomorrow in previous years and Dena was second runner up two years ago.

As far as acting lessons, Rachel said rehearsals and performing in musical theater has been her greatest teacher.

"In community theater, you kind of get all three of those," she said, referring to acting, singing and dancing.

Participating in Stars of Tomorrow was exciting for Rachel, who said she was "really surprised" when she won first place.

Of her competitors, she said, "I watched all of them. They were really good and they were really fun to be around too."

Although contest rules don't allow her to compete in Stars of Tomorrow next year, Rachel said, "I'll still be there as entertainment" and she plans on being back in the competition in 2008.

Before Stars of Tomorrow, Rachel played Hodel in Western Nevada Musical Company's "Fiddler on the Roof" in November and is now waiting to audition for something new.

"I'm hoping soon!" she said.

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 210.


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