Grit: The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Molly Rozetar, 20, is a ‘17 American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) graduate and lives in Washington Heights. Originally from Sinking Spring, Penn., Molly moved to the Big Apple after graduating from AMDA. In the last year after her graduation, Rozetar has been pursuing her dream of one day performing on a Broadway stage.

“I’ve always wanted to be Glinda from Wicked. I distinctly remember at my first broadway show, seeing Glinda come out, I said I want to do THAT,” Rozetar said. She has seen Wicked [x amount] times. Rozetar was 14 years old when she realized that the stage was her home. While this dream seems miles away, Rozetar is facing every obstacle to achieve it.

Rozetar graduated from AMDA in February 2017, but she chose not to go straight into the industry. “I took some time after graduation to live life a bit. After four straight semesters of living, sleeping, eating and drinking musical theatre, I just needed some time to live normally,” she said.

Getting settled into the city life was easy for Rozetar. “My program [at AMDA] helped me to adjust to city life. We were in the heart of Manhattan,” she said. While auditioning for roles off Broadway, she also works a part-time job in retail in Times Square. In the busier seasons, she works 28-32 hours and 20-28 hours in the slower seasons.

Rozertar’s days start off as early as 8 a.m. and most of her day is spent working. “I usually work in the mornings, get up and go right to work for five or so hours,” she said. When she isn’t at work, she likes to walk around Time Square to go shopping, hangout with friends, and possibly see some shows.

While her dreams are for the Broadway stage, it is difficult for Rozetar to attend open calls for shows. “I’m always busy working,” she admitted. Her part-time job pays minimum wage, and on top of paying her $627 contribution for rent with her three roommates, vocal lessons to keep her voice in shape can range anywhere from $85-90 per hour session.

To be a performer takes a lot of agility and sacrifice. One of the hardest things Rozetar has had to face on her career path is the sacrifice of time. “Sometime I’m faced with having to sacrifice hours at work to be able to go to auditions. It’s all about balancing time wisely,” she said. “Say I have a shift scheduled but I don’t have a lot of hours that week – do I skip the audition or do I put myself out there so that they at least have my headshot and resume?”

Rozetar’s first real audition was in July 2017, five months after her graduation. But that is not to say that she wasn’t still performing. “At work I do a lot of performances, dances, and sing a-longs,” she said.

Her strong suit as a performer lies in her comedic charm and ease in characterization. “She always knows how to get into character no matter what the character may be,” Donna Falzon, 23, and a friend of Rozetar’s said.

“I can definitely see her making it one day. She has the right headspace to determination to not stop until she makes it,” Falzon said.

Rozetar considers herself a triple threat in the field. As a dancer, singer and actor, she has a lot to showcase on a resumé. In her repertoire, she carries many comedic songs and monologues. Once, in one of her AMDA classes, she was given a song called “Lost in the Brass,” from the musical Band Geeks. “The character was a flutist, and my professor had no idea that I was an accomplished flutist,” Rozetar said. She showed up to the performance day with her flute and marching band outfit. “Everything fit perfectly, and this is my go-to song for vocal auditions,” she added.

Having the perfect audition materials is only half of the work towards landing a role. Even when Rozetar is confident in an audition, it doesn’t always turn out in her favor. “I auditioned for a Magic School Bus musical, and I was very excited for it and felt good about it – but I didn’t get a callback,” Rozetar said.

But Rozetar does not let the fear of denial get her down. “With the smaller roles I’ve auditioned for, if I get it – that’s great. But the saddest part is losing the headshot – you don’t get those back,” she said. On average, Rozetar spends about $25 for every 10 headshot photos she prints.

New York City, the city of dreams, does not come without its hardships. But Rozetar remains positive. “I’m hopeful for eventually getting into a show for anything to the point where I don’t need a survival job to maintain it,” she said. With the support from her friends, Rozetar believes that she is close to achieving that goal.

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