Read original article at www.weloveannarbor.com.
Zoe Reséndez has found a home on the stage and she can’t wait to get “home” this weekend as part of Pioneer Theatre Guild’s FutureStars 2022. The popular event returns for its 20th year at the University of Michigan’s Power Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26.
And if you don’t think FutureStars is an exciting and popular showcase of amazing young talent, then you haven’t talked with Zoe Reséndez.
“FutureStars is such an amazing opportunity for high schoolers and young performers,” says Reséndez, a senior at Pioneer HS. “Singing for a crowd as large as the one we’ll have on the 26th (sometimes larger) and singing with a live band is something I can’t fully believe we are able to do.
“I think for many in PTG, FutureStars has allowed us to be more confident onstage and become better performers. I love it because it gives me a space where I feel truly in my element.”
Reséndez has been “in her element” since her freshman year. She has been in the Pioneer Choirs since ninth grade, serving in multiple leadership positions and joining Sha Bop Shoppe, an extra-curricular acapella group they have within choir.
And, of course, she has performed in every FutureStars since FutureStars 2019!
“I started out in RisingStars my freshman year, then moved on to FutureStars my sophomore year,” she says. “I’ve sung A Whole New World (from the Disney movie, Aladin), 7 Rings (Ariana Grande), and my personal favorite of all, Warwick Avenue (Duffy).”
This year, Reséndez will hit the Power Center stage for two numbers, including a solo performance. She will be singing “Hallelluja,” with Ana Baldwin and Suri Giana as well as “Sunday Kind of Love,” by Etta James. And, of course, she can’t wait for Saturday to get here.
“I am so excited to share what my trio has done,” she says. “I’m very proud of the way we’ve worked together through this rehearsal process. Our act has taught us to blend with one another while still showcasing each of our skillsets.
“As for my solo, I am so thrilled to be singing a song by Etta James! Her genre of music and style of singing is something I really enjoy and think best showcases my skills.”
Reséndez says rehearsals for both of her acts have provided different challenges and learning opportunities.
“With Hallelluja, Suri, Ana and I had to get our act together with only 20-minute rehearsals once a week,” she says. “It’s been difficult to work around Covid protocols and the loss of our theater spaces at Pioneer. As a result, lots of crucial voice memos and outfit ideas were swapped through text. I’m so proud of where we’ve gotten our song and how we’ve worked professionally through challenges!”
For Sunday Kind of Love, Reséndez says it’s been an “absolute joy” working with Adam Plomeritas, one of their vocal coaches and music directors. “I’ve learned a lot from just our 20 minutes a week together,” she says. “I feel like I’ve grown to be a better musician this past month by working with him.”
Reséndez says despite her experience she still feels some nerves when she walks out on stage. But thanks to that experience, she knows how to better deal with them – and even turn them into a positive.
“I have a lot of nerves when it comes to the stage, but I’ve gotten so much more comfortable than I used to be,” she says. “Something I’ve learned is that it’s not about getting rid of nerves, it’s learning how to perform with them and use them to your advantage. I’m confident in my abilities and am excited to share my work with the audience. I want to feel good and soak up all my time onstage rather than panic or let fear take over.”
Zoe, 17, the daughter of Christa Lindemer and Angelo Resendez, plans on taking a gap year next year before mapping out her future. And, of course, her future includes music. She says she will be applying to schools for either vocal performance or musical theater.
“I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet, but I know I want to do something that involves music and performance,” she says. “I want to be a voice teacher. I have a passion for singing and vocal technique is something I find fascinating.”
And, of course, she is excited about the near future as well.
“I am so grateful to have all of my loved ones supporting me this Saturday,” she says. “I come from a very musical family who enjoys theater and live music. I’m excited for them to see everyone perform!”
By Terry Jacoby