Maddie Parish

Interview Highlights

Q:  Can you speak about some challenges either in your career?

I have a lot of doubts.  I went to college prep school for high school, a private high school with a great Fine Arts program.  I was the first student to come out of the high school to major in dance, or to want to be interested in majoring in dance. They had a very small sprinkling of students who went off to study acting or musical theater, but I was the first one who really wanted to study dance. I'll never forget the first meeting that I had with my college counselor. I told her what I wanted to do. I told her that I wanted to go to NYU for dance. She said, “I'm going to be honest with you, I don't think that that's going to happen. You're going to need to adjust your expectations.” She also said, “I don't know how helpful I can be to you because no one has come through and wanted to go into dance.” I was kind of taken aback by it.  First of all, this is a private school education we're paying them to help me get into college. Second, I think just because I want to do something more artistic and something that is less sort of cookie cutter for what from the environment that I came from at least, she should have been more supportive. I feel like I grew up with all of these doubts because all my friends said, “I want to be a doctor, I want to be a dentist, I want to do all these things that are going to make me a lot of money and people need me. Everybody needs a doctor.  I'm really feeling that with the whole conversation of essential versus nonessential workers. Right now I've never felt more non-essential in my life, but there are people out there who are literally saving lives. So it's hard. It's kind of hard to not doubt yourself.  I think that has been my biggest challenge and continues to be my biggest challenge is finding that support within myself and trusting and knowing that this is what I was designed to do and this is my purpose...
Read full interview here

National Tour: FINDING NEVERLAND (Ensemble/Peter Pan). Parsons Dance Company. NYU Tisch.