On Monday, Jan. 28, Broadway and film actress Deidre Goodwin visited KO to share her experiences in the acting industry. She addressed the entirety of the student body during an assembly from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and then conducted a three hour masterclass with the cast of the winter musical “Chicago.”
Deidre Goodwin is a female African American actress who has been in the film industry for over twenty years. She has been a part of 37 film and television shows and 10 Broadway shows.
The assembly started with a video created by senior Nick Spina, highlighting different aspects and moments in Ms. Goodwin’s career. Director of Theater Kyle Reynolds enthusiastically introduced Goodwin, mentioning her background and telling the story of the creation of “A Chorus Line,” while emphasizing the ideas of following your passion.
She started with mentioning her childhood and how she tried a lot of different things. She knew she loved singing and acting from a young age. However, she started to pursue dance from the age of 17 and pursued a dance major at Missouri State University. While surrounded with people much more experienced than herself, Ms. Goodwin said that it fueled her to keep pushing and doing her best. “I loved it, and I didn’t let the negative things distract me from my love and my passion,” she said.
Ms. Goodwin expanded on her ideas by bringing in some advice central to her message. “Whatever your passion is, follow that voice,” she said. “Don’t limit yourself as to what your possibilities are; stay open to it.”
Afterwards, Goodwin answered various questions posed by a panel of faculty and students. The panel included junior Remy McCoy, sophomore Olivia Pear, sophomore Sadie Margolis, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Joan Edwards, and Mr. Reynolds.
One of the questions Ms. Goodwin answered was about her training and education. She said that she is always learning new things and one of her biggest inspirations was Paula Kelly. “It was the first time I saw someone who looked like me that planted a seed of ‘hey, maybe I can do that,’” she said.
Later that day, she also held a masterclass with the “Chicago” cast of the winter musical during their rehearsal, and shared her own take on the show. She provided advice to the cast and even taught them some new dance steps. “She taught us some warm-up tricks and corrected our moves in the opening song of Chicago, which is ‘All That Jazz,’” junior Cecilia Wang said.
Students said they really enjoyed being part of the masterclass and listening to all Ms. Goodwin had to share. “She was incredibly supportive of everyone in the cast answering all or questions and perfecting parts of our opening number,” sophomore Olivia Pear said. “She was so kind and took our number to a new level finding lots of little subtle changes that made it ten times better. Her confidence and fun was still so professional and I have never learned so much in three hours.”
Remy said she agreed that Ms. Goodwin’s words were invaluable. “She was very nice and supportive and had many corrections for the cast as a whole,” Remy said. “We worked on some technical things with ballet and turns and then we did some flick kicks which was very fun.”
Mr. Reynolds said that Ms. Goodwin’s advice means a lot to the community. “It is very exciting for experienced people to come to KO and shed light on what we are doing here,” he said. “She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share.”