The woman that has it all: Kerry Madden

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Abby Holtfort

Senior Kerry Madden posing for a head shot. Head shot's are important for preparing for auditions, according to Madden who has certain activities she does before performing. "For me, preparing for auditions and preparing for a show are two separate entities," Madden said. "When preparing for an audition I consider what I'm auditioning for, be it a general audition or for a specific show, so I can select a monologue or two that show my strong suits. You only have a minute or two to make an impression, so the material you choose is critical. When preparing for a show, I read over the script multiple times even after we're off book. Otherwise, most of a show's success is derived from how the cast and crew spends rehearsal time. So, I try my best to focus and spend rehearsal time wisely when we're together."

Anjali Sundaram, Reporter

Kerry Madden. A senior. A legend. A novelty of her class. The star of this year’s UIL play. She is the next big thing.

Madden has starred in 14 plays for CP and five plays during middle school, gathering around 19 plays overall. With CP, she has starred in plays such as: “Midsummer Night’s dream,”  “Anatomy of Gray,”  “Almost Maine,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and many more. However, her favorite play to date is “Singin’ in the Rain” where she played Lina Lamont.

“It was my first major role in the department,” Madden said. “As the antagonist and a comedic relief, I had an enormous amount of fun playing around with the different ways I could portray the character and certain scenes. How I moved, talked, looked at people, everything, I could do things that, in any other role, would seem outrageous. But in the case of Lina Lamont, outrageous was exactly what she needed to be. As a cast we worked diligently to run a clean, sharp, show.”

It wasn’t just the amount of effort that she put into the show that made it her favorite though, it was the support she received along with it.

“Receiving audience members, my fellow cast mates’, and my directors’ responses after the show was one of the most joyful feelings I have ever felt,” Madden said. “The pit director who came into the rehearsal process two weeks before the show opened, pulled me aside after our last performance and told me that I should seriously consider auditioning for local professional shows. It’s an overwhelming and wonderful thing to hear a professional in the industry tell you something like that.”

However, her biggest supporter doesn’t come from within the theatre department, but her family and one person in particular comes to mind.

“My sister, Kathryn,” Madden said. “My sister, without a doubt has been both my greatest support and inspiration. She’s always willing to listen to what I have to say, and gives honest and wise advice when I need it. Even when she doesn’t know what to say, she doesn’t feed me empty words of advice. She’s my older sister, so since she’s literally known me my whole life I feel completely like myself when I’m with her. Her wisdom and perspective and sensibility makes me want to be a better person.”

Though despite all the support that Madden receives, she still has great adversary: herself.

“I’m an over-thinker and am most often over critical of myself,” Madden said. “Quite simply, I get in the way of myself, my happiness and my success. On the other hand, even though it admittedly gets in the way, I can’t say setting high standards for myself and wanting to be beyond mediocre is a bad thing. Pertaining to theatre, lack of progress is frustrating. It might sound goofy, but trying to say one word the most effective way can feel like repeatedly hitting your head against a wall.”

Overthinking helps Madden in a lot of ways, and it definitely transcends into her college choices. She has narrowed it down to Trinity University in San Antonio and Goucher College [a small liberal arts school] in Maryland.

Getting in to college isn’t her greatest achievement to date, according to Madden, it’s the role she plays right here at CP as a leader in the theatre department, president of the Thespian Society [honor society for theater] and lead in several department shows.

“The transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen is tough,” Madden said. “There’s always been a sense of needing to fill the shoes of the people who graduate. They’ve been hard shoes to fill. Now that I’m in a position of leadership, it’s been extremely important for me to set a good example for the underclassmen and leave the department better than how I found it. Admittedly, I’ve been working towards this point since I started theatre in sixth grade, so it’s satisfying that I’ve gotten where I wanted to go.”

While Madden is a leader in many ways at CP, one of her favorite aspects of theatre isn’t the performances, but her friends.

“One of the most miraculous things that has happened to date is that I have grown incredible friendships that I still think, ‘How did I end up with such amazing friends’,” Madden said. “The best part about theatre at CP is the department’s essence of spontaneity. Theatre people are really awesome people. We know how to make progress while having a good time together. The elements of work and fun create a really nice atmosphere. Calling my friends achievements feels a bit odd, but at the same time I’m endlessly proud of them.”

Despite being a leader in the department, cultivating lasting friendships and a career, Madden still has one major regret.

“I am not involved with any other programs outside of CP,” Madden said. “Not extending myself and failing to go out for other productions is my biggest regret. And the stupid part is that I had opportunities right in front of me and I was too timid to try. If I had involved myself with theatre outside of school, I might have pursued a degree in theatre.”

Even though Madden was not involved in theatre outside of school, the art form has a close place in Madden’s heart for many reasons, mainly the telling of the story.

“Theatre is storytelling,” Madden said. “Unlike books, movies or other mediums of storytelling, there is the direct connection of energy between the story and the audience. The give and take of energy during a performance is incredible, practically indescribable from my point of view from the stage.”

Madden’s love of story can also be expressed when she is performing, and the magic that happens when she steps onto the stage, bringing a 2-D character to life.

“It’s hard to explain [the feeling when performing], but the best thing I can find to say is that from the stage I can always feel the mood of the air,” Madden said. “Theatre is a unique and important form of storytelling. The way the energy of a great performance makes me feel makes it important to me. My love of storytelling makes it important to me. The ability to think about life from another perspective other than my own makes it important to me. It feels right. It makes me happy. What more can a person ask?”