Paloma Garcia-Lee Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self
(Matthew Murphy for Broadway.com)
Broadway baby Paloma Garcia-Lee has been all over the Great White Way: She's performed in The Phantom of the Opera, Nice Work If You Can Get It and On the Town, and was the dance captain in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Her mom was a Broadway performer as well, and Lee grew up training at the studio her mother owns, The Pennsylvania School of the Performing Arts, in Newtown, PA, and commuting back and forth from NYC to take class at Steps on Broadway during the day. By the time she was 14, Garcia-Lee was studying ballet seriously at North Carolina School of the Arts. These days, the 26-year-old is performing in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
You're first and foremost a passionate human being. Keep that endless fire burning. Never stifle the passion you have in your heart and soul. You're so driven and you never let anyone stand in the way of what you want. Never, ever lose that tenacity. It's one of the things I adore most about you.
You don't know exactly where you're going to land yet, but know that what is meant for you will not pass you by. You love to dance, sing and act, and, most importantly, you love to work. Keep loving the work and the process; always be a student and seek to better yourself as a person and an artist. If I ask you to trust that it's going to be even better than you imagined, take a chance and believe me. Trust that the universe is conspiring for your greater good at all times.
In "Natasha Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812" (photo by Matthew Murphy for Broadway.com, courtesy Garcia-Lee)
You're not conventional. You're unique, and while that might be uncomfortable at times, it's something I want you to start celebrating. Each of us has a magic all our own, and the people you look up to now have embraced their singular magic. Soon, you'll see that you need to step up and claim yours, too.
I'm learning that the journey is still just beginning. I'm 26 and am dreaming bigger than ever before. I feel like I'm just now at the very beginning of my career and there is so much that I still want to do. I want you to know that I'm very, very proud of you, and I really believe that you would be proud of me too.
I love you. I can't wait to see what the future has in store.
Garcia-Lee as a young dancer (courtesy Garcia-Lee)