Bright lights in NYC


With a dream of one day becoming a Broadway star, Diamond Bar High School sophomore Alison Santogrossi had the chance to experience the life of an actress in New York this summer.

Santogrossi was first introduced to a program for budding performers after taking a trip to New York City with her mother her freshman summer. There she found a one-day workshop held by “Class Act NYC,” a program teaching students  what it takes to make it in the acting industry. Soon after the experience in New York, Santogrossi received an invitation to join the week-long program the following summer.

“One of the administration people there heard me and they kind of convinced everyone that they wanted me to come back for their workshop this year which was a week-long workshop,” Santogrossi said. “So, they called my mom up a couple days later and asked if I was able to come back.”

Santagrossi’s first role was as an understudy for the character Grampa Joe in Chaparral Middle Schools’s “Willy Wonka Jr.”. Now, she is getting ready for her debut in DBHS Drama Department’s “Suite Surrender” playing the part of Claudia Mcfadden on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

Santogrossi’s main goal in New York program was to be able to make connections in the world of Broadway as well as to overcome discomfort performing live on stage.

Despite having been involved in theater for three years, Santogrossi said she felt uncomfortable in front of a “more important” audience.  

“The main event was the performance at the end of the week where our parents could come and also talent agents were there. It was a stressful experience at first, but by the end it was all good,” Santogrossi said.

Along with real-life experience, the program brought Santogrossi in contact with those who have found a niche in the entertainment industry.  

“It was really nice to bond with people about theater, and to bond with people that I wouldn’t have meant without the workshop because they live so far away,” Santogrossi said.

Before going on this journey to NYC, Santogrossi said she was uncertain if she was a fit for the spotlight. Now along with her new friends and knowledge, Santogrossi is planning her future around the stage.  

“I really hope to be on Broadway in my future and I also want to go to NYU…I think it was very important that I took away as much as I did from this experience,” Santogrossi said. “It’s also nice to know that I have people out there that know how I work and what I can bring to different performances.”