“My experiences with Opening Act give me hope that I can actually do something with my life.”

Krystal | Opening Act Student (Manhattan)

Very few students have experienced the profound power of theater and performance as much as Krystal.

As a freshman, Krystal thought about joining Opening Act but decided she was too shy to act or perform. “I was bullied for not knowing the language and when I learned it, I was bullied for having a thick ‘Spanish accent.’”

On top of her struggles at school, Krystal says she was forced to grow up faster than other kids at home. “We were tossed out of shelters, in and out of churches, we even slept in a park in the Bronx for a night.”

However, sophomore year, she forced herself to join Opening Act and remembers how nervous she was during her first class. “Everyone was playing a game and singing and I thought to myself, ‘there is no way I’m doing this’ but when they got to me I just started singing.” Krystal thrived in the program and felt an immediate impact on her confidence and social life. “I never really liked school, I never felt comfortable. But Opening Act changed all that. It helped me find my voice and introduced me to some of my best friends in life.”

Through her participation in Opening Act, Krystal has been exposed to many other opportunities to pursue her passion for performance, including an Opening Act scholarship that allowed her to complete the Teen Summer Conservatory at Michael Howard Studios and a monologue coaching session with Emmy Award-winner and Opening Act Artistic Advisory Board Member Uzo Aduba.

“My experiences with Opening Act give me hope that I can actually do something with my life. It helped me figure out who I am and has empowered me to continue to figure out who I want to be. I feel stronger than ever before.”

Krystal is currently attending college in Brooklyn and is a proud member of Opening Act’s Alumni Network.

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