Local singer/actress aims high

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Chatham’s Alyssa Doherty hopes to follow her dreams in her pursuit of a career on stage. The 17-year-old Ursuline College Chatham student has appeared in performances from Sarnia to Toronto, and will soon be seen in an episode of the Discovery ID series “See No Evil.”
Chatham’s Alyssa Doherty hopes to follow her dreams in her pursuit of a career on stage. The 17-year-old Ursuline College Chatham student has appeared in performances from Sarnia to Toronto, and will soon be seen in an episode of the Discovery ID series “See No Evil.”

For something her mother got her into 12 years ago to help her overcome her shyness, Chatham’s Alyssa Doherty hopes to take performing to the next level.

The Ursuline College Chatham student loves musical theatre. She’s been on various stages in Chatham-Kent, as well as Sarnia and even Toronto.

And it all began with a visit to Take a Bow Productions when she was just five.

“I was insanely shy. I literally would not talk to anyone,” the outgoing teenager said. “I would hide behind my mother.”

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Her mom, Karen, opted to enroll Alyssa into classes at Take a Bow, and “it rolled from there.”

Alyssa, 17, is currently in the UCC musical “The Addams Family,” and is also taking vocal lessons and drama lessons.

She also just started her own business as a princess party planner, where she’ll come to your home dressed as a princess for your daughter’s party. Alyssa will sing and perform, and do the children’s hair and makeup, depending on their age.

“I love kids so much. It’s just good fun,” she said.

It sounds like a busy schedule, but that may seem like down time to her. This past summer, she filmed an episode of “See No Evil,” a true-life crime story show. Alyssa said it should air in the coming weeks on SLICE in Canada.

Her time filming in Hamilton involved 12-hour workdays, but she certainly wasn’t complaining, instead thanking her booking agent for finding the opportunity.

Prior to landing that role, Alyssa said she auditioned for another television role, this one on a musical TV series, making it through three callbacks before falling just short.

Her time on stage has also included productions with Theatre Kent, as well as Take A Bow and UCC shows here in Chatham, plus in Ridgetown, she said.

On top of the local performances, Alyssa has appeared in a production of “Anne of Green Gables” in Sarnia, and landed the lead role in “Annie” in Toronto back in 2009, a role she reprised two years later in Ridgetown.

Karen admitted the family didn’t think things through when Alyssa tried out for the Toronto production.

“We made that drive three times a week for a few months,” she said, admitting it quickly became second nature. “When you see her loving what she’s doing, it’s not different than doing travel sports. She works really hard and is very determined.”

That hard work also got into the Respect Revolution, a tour that is comprised of high school and elementary school kids singing and talking about anti-bullying.

“We teach you to respect others and believe in yourself,” Alyssa explained.

She dreams of going to post secondary school for musical theatre, perhaps at St. Clair College in Windsor, but thinks she’ll take a year off after finishing Grade 12 next June to “hone her skills.”

Judging by her performance history, she’s apparently done a fair bit of honing already.

 

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