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Opportunities at Marion gave Emma Fitzpatrick the launching pad she needed in her career. Fitzpatrick, now based in Nashville, has traveled the world, leaving her mark in the film, television and music industries.
“I felt like growing up, the arts were encouraged and valued,” says Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick started school in River Valley and moved on to Harding High School. With the choir of the Singers show, she participates in competitions, including one in New York. Fitzpatrick notes that his upbringing included a small town feel, with a good foundation on which to build his craft.
She sang for the first time on stage at Trinity Baptist Church. She landed her first spot in a musical at the age of 7 with River Valley.
“My mom bribed me to audition for the musical with a Christmas present in advance,” Fitzpatrick said of his debut. “My dad has a beautiful singing voice, naturally. He taught me to sing harmony. We had an exceptional musical inclination and sang together in church. They saw a gift in me and probably thought I didn’t even see it in myself at the time.
Because she was in Marion, Fitzpatrick had access to many resources.
“Marion is a good place to study and dream of where you want to go. I was motivated by music. I went to Miss Popcorn and I was able to go to Miss Ohio. Marion was a great place to grow up and play with these things to see what I liked, ”says Fitzpatrick.
Outside of school, Fitzpatrick was able to take voice lessons and perform on the historic stage of the Marion Palace Theater.
“It was a great step to grow up doing community theater. I felt like there was always something going on, ”says Fitzpatrick. “This is where I learned my skills, where I learned that I love to act and how to navigate on stage.”
After Marion, Fitzpatrick went to Belmont University in Nashville for musical theater. Right out of college, she sang in shows on the Celebrity Cruise lines. After returning from the waters, she went to New York and auditioned for Tokyo Disney. She worked there for a year, then moved to Los Angeles for 10 years.
Fitzpatrick has worked in film and television, notably in “The Social Network”, “CSI” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”. She incorporated music into some roles. Fitzpatrick also has a band whose music has been featured in movies and on television.
“It all merged into one beast,” Fitzpatrick says of his career.
Fitzpatrick has advice for all of Marion’s members, especially those who wish to follow a similar path.
“Study the thing you love. Allow yourself to live experiences with Marion. It’s a great, safe space to grow and understand what you want and who you are. What makes a good artist is a wealth of experience and allowing yourself to see how other people do things, ”she notes. “I feel like there was never any other option for me. It was so clear that’s what I like.
Fitzpatrick found a lot of encouragement in Marion.
“I don’t remember saying the opposite,” Fitzpatrick says. “I think having a good foundation, feeling supported and that the arts were important, prepared me for fearlessness in my career. I had expectations instead of hoping, just expecting good things to happen. Looking back, it all depended on feeling like what I wanted was important enough. “
Fitzpatrick has something to note for those interested in theater.
“How powerful it is to support young people when they show these interests and their passion, it is life changing. If I hadn’t had the support of the people, I don’t think I would have had the courage to go out and do these things, ”she says.
Fitzpatrick says his biggest cheerleaders were his family, his singing teacher, his choir director, Ms. Houk, and everyone at Marion’s Palace Theater.