Nine-year-old Alexandra Cseke has a talent and a love for singing. So far in her short life, she's been keeping busy by using her talents in productions all over central Delaware. This fall, though, she'll break out of Delaware to perform with the traveling Broadway production of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." She tells us what it's like to audition in New York City.
Alexandra Cseke looks like your average precocious fourth grader. With long hair and freckles, she echoes the sentiments of her peers with statements like, “Summer is better” and “School is not my favorite.”
But Alexandra’s interests go far beyond homework and after-school lessons. You see, Alexandra dreams of making it big as a singer or an actress some day. And, the way things are going, it looks like she just might make it because at 9 years old, Alexandra landed a part in the Broadway traveling production of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” which will take the young actress from rehearsals in New York City in October to a show in Indiana, Connecticut, Virginia, Illinois and Michigan.
Alexandra and her mother, Michelle Cseke, spoke with the Dover Post about what it’s like to audition in New York, Alexandra’s ambitions and inspirations and what’s next for the budding star and her family.
DP: When did the acting bug bite?
Alexandra I’ve been acting since I was probably 5. I have done plays at the Everett Theatre in Middletown, in school and with the Children’s Theatre.
Michelle She participates in several theater companies. She just did the musical “Oliver!” and she was the cat in “Snow White,” both with The Children’s Theatre of Dover and Kent County, Inc. She was also in “Annie” at the Everett and she’s done a couple of things in Smyrna.
DP: So, how did you go from local auditions to Broadway auditions?
Michelle I just decided to take her to see if she was as good as New York talent. You can go online — they have the casting of plays there and I decided I would take her up. You know, what the heck, right? And, she actually got called back so we thought we might have something here.
DP: This was your first audition in New York City. What was it like?
Alexandra I’ve gone on many auditions in the past but never a Broadway audition, so I wasn’t that nervous but I was kind of nervous. There’s a whole bunch of judges or people in front of you and it’s really scary and you’re thinking all these questions like 'What if I mess up?' 'What if they don’t like me?' There’re so many questions to ask. Then, they asked me how old I was, how long I’d been singing for and what kind of auditions I’ve been on. Then, I had to act with this guy and read the lines of Cindy Lou Who and you had to dance in a group. So, it was pretty much a whole bunch of work.
DP: What are you looking forward to the most?
Alexandra Making a lot of money, and I really, really, really just want to have fun and work together with my team and make sure I do the right lines and go to all these places. I’ve never been to Chicago before.
DP: Do you want to be an actress when you grow up?
Alexandra No, I want to be a singer. And, a millionaire.
Michelle She can do so much. She takes a lot of dance lessons at the dance conservatory. She also takes voice.
DP So, who's your favorite singer?
Alexandra Selena Gomez. She’s my favorite. I love her. I don’t really like Justin Beiber, though. He sounds like a girl.
DP: Well, what about a career like Selena Gomez’s? She does a little bit of everything — some singing, some dancing, some acting.
Alexandra That’s a triple threat. She’s on shows. I want to be on shows. I want to be on records. I want to win Tony Awards. I want to do a lot of stuff. I love “Phantom of the Opera,” too. It’s my favorite Broadway play because it’s really cool. And, I like the girl Emmy Rossum. I want to be just like her. I want to get all the way up to the scale that she sings in. She’s really good and I want to be in that play when I grow up.
DP: Do you have any plans to move to New York City to pursue a career full time?
Michelle Well, luckily my husband has a building in New Jersey that has an apartment in it so when we’ve got to go to New York, we’ve got somewhere to be. So, right now, we’re not thinking of moving.
Check out Alexandra's singing. The song she sings here, "Don't Rain on My Parade," is also what she sang for her audition.