With a resume that could rival most adults, Long Island native, Maddy Mullahey has made her Broadway, national tour, and television debuts all before the age of 19. Now, she's off on her next adventure studying Musical Theatre at the University of the Arts where she is learning how to play piano. While talking to her, her passion for supporting arts education really caught our eye, as we started 13 Wishes to bring the arts to places where it is limited or nonexistent, and the support for arts education worldwide is something we are constantly trying to support. Our favorite answer was when we asked what she does and she said "eat cookies". She's destined to be a role model for theYasisters.
We know you travel to the city for auditions, how do you balance that with schoolwork?
I’m not gonna lie, it’s really tough. The absences we’re allowed are very limited. There were lots of times where I had to memorize sides/ songs for auditions in NYC along with sides/ songs for school in the midst of exams. Then on top of that, trying to schedule appointment times, trains times, and email teachers.
If you had a friend visit you in your hometown, walk us through a fun day in the life of Maddy and her friend…
I spend more time in the city than I do at home, so we’d get bacon and eggs for breakfast before heading into the city. We’d go to the high line, central park, or see a show. Then we’d train back to Long Island to barbecue and ride bikes at sunset. We’d probably go to the beach the next day.
Can you tell us about choosing UArts?
It was one of the only schools I got into, but I’m happy to say everything happens for a reason. UArts is one of the more diverse schools in the country with a supportive community. The school encourages students to explore all their passions, so I have opportunities to delve into writing, photography, teaching, and more.
What’s it like as a freshman at the University of the Arts?
University of the Arts is an arts based school, so there’s a place for any kind of artist you can imagine from Musical Theatre majors to Craft majors. It’s crazy being surrounded by so many talented artists. Musical Theatre is typically a pretty secluded major, but UArts encourages us to collaborate and create new works. It’s a welcoming and supportive community in an artistic and fun city. So it wasn’t long before I felt at home.
Favorite experience performing so far?
One of my favorite performing experiences so far was with my high school in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The ladies ensemble was truly a wonderful group of women, many of whom I look up to and still keep in touch with. We all had so much fun creating our own characters and interacting with each other on stage; It was cool to be a part of a group of women whom I admire and we all collaborated well together.
Do you have a routine before you perform?
It depends. I feel like this is something I’ve started to develop as I’ve gotten older. I like to stretch, warm up vocally, listen to music that gives me the right energy, and make sure I pee:).
I’d love to play Girl in Once. That acoustic folky style of music is right up my alley. I think Wendla in Spring Awakening would be a good role for me too.
Do you write music? If so, what’s the process? If not, what is your favorite kind of music to sing?
I took a songwriting class my junior year of high school and ever since then I’ve had a passion for writing lyrics. I write lyrics for myself and have recently wrote some for friends. I have a journal where I write down a lot of ideas, feelings or experiences I have. Later on, I pull from those entries for lyrics. But for the most part I sing and I love singing acoustic folk style songs like Joni Mitchell.
If there was one thing in the world you could change, what would it be and why?
I'd like for every school to have arts education. The instruction not only helps students become more proficient in their art form, but develops creativity, critical thinking skills, communication and collaboration skills which can be carried into any career. All of which are necessary in bringing about change. Art and activism come hand in hand. We send messages through our art, and that’s how artists bring about change. We bring a fresh perspective. We’re able to collaborate, create with one another, and communicate messages to the public. It’s easy to see what needs to be changed but arts education is a great way to teach young people how to make change.
You can find Maddy on social media @maddymullahey and check out another Music Series talk here.