Now in her junior year at Northeast High School, it’s time for Lillie Jewell to start thinking about college. But she’s getting mixed feedback about whether or not college is the right track for her.
Lillie is pursuing a career in the performance field, be it singing or acting. If she had to choose, Lillie said it would “probably be singing.”
“There’s all types of music for different emotions, and I’m always listening to music,” Lillie said. “There are certain songs that inspire me sometimes, so I want to write songs that make people feel passionate about music as I am.”
Though her YouTube channel is still in progress, Lillie boasts an impressive resume with 20 community theater performances, four appearances on the Investigative Discovery Channel, and a handful of commercials and live events.
Currently, Lillie is gearing up for the school musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” and spends her weekends working at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
Lillie will play the lead role of Dorothy in Northeast’s production of “The Wizard of Oz,” which will be in November.
At Renn Fest, Lillie works at Royalty Foods, where she sells funnel cakes. This is her second year at the festival, and she aspires to one day be a character.
“I like seeing everybody in all their costumes, and I like dressing up in those types of costumes,” said Lillie, who wears a peasant costume. “The guy at a booth across from me, he has one of those [pan] flutes. It makes me feel like I’m really back in the times. It’s cool.”
Lillie’s performances and experiences are not limited to Pasadena. She has performed in regional theater, traveled as far as Montgomery County and West Virginia for auditions, and, this summer, participated in camps in Nashville and New York City.
Now that it’s time to consider college, Lillie has to figure out which path is the best for her to take.
“I have two older daughters, so I thought when it came time for college, it would be a no-brainer and we’d do everything we did before,” said Laura Jewell, Lillie’s mother. “The challenge is trying to decide to go a traditional track for college or something else. I’m confident enough in her abilities to allow the something else if it happens.”
Lillie and her mother have discussed many possible options, including a music conservatory, a gap year and other potential majors. If she goes the traditional route, Lillie said she wants to attend the University of North Carolina and would consider a major in music therapy.
“If I don’t [perform], I want to go to college, but it’s my dream to do this stuff,” Lillie said. “It’s hard to know where to start. We’ve been doing this for a while, and now we want to get to the next level.”
Lillie and Laura often talk about achieving the “next level,” which they define as a paying job in Los Angeles or New York City.
“I feel like most young people who make it in the industry, they actually do move to New York or LA,” Laura said. “If she somehow got networked and got representation out there and actually had real job potential out there, we would consider it.”
Until then, you can watch Lillie perform in Northeast’s production of “Wizard of Oz,” which will run November 15-17.