Faith Christiansen takes it easy in the empty Moffat County High School auditorium. Christiansen, a graduating senior and a regular part of MCHS drama and choir, was accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy this year. While she may be unable to afford the full program at the moment, she intends to study theater whatever school she attends.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Faith Christiansen takes it easy in the empty Moffat County High School auditorium. Christiansen, a graduating senior and a regular part of MCHS drama and choir, was accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy this year. While she may be unable to afford the full program at the moment, she intends to study theater whatever school she attends.

Moffat County actress pursuing dream despite setbacks

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Earlier this year, Moffat County High School student Faith Christiansen received the best news of her life — followed by a realization that the goal she had in mind for herself was even more difficult to reach than she had thought.

The graduating senior was accepted into a theater program at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. But, being among those elite few who gain entry was only the first step, and whether or not she’ll be able to attend is another matter.

“It’s ridiculously expensive,” Christiansen said.

Between moving to New York and the tuition for the school itself, the cost is hardly feasible right now for the aspiring thespian even with a special scholarship she received for her strong audition.

At first, she was heartbroken when what was at first a worst-case scenario became the harsh reality.

“I was super-hostile about it for a while, but now I figure there’s no point in wasting energy even though I still sometimes get mad or sad about it,” she said.

Part of the reason for this emotional reaction was due to being a latecomer to MCHS’s drama and music programs, which she was only able to join in her junior year. Christiansen’s family lives in rural Moffat County near Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, a commute that takes nearly two hours each way each day, which meant she was unable to involve herself in extracurricular activities for much of high school.

However, Christiansen said things aren’t as bleak as they seem.

Her spot with AMDA will still be available through February 2015 if she’s able to work out the details, possibly by going for an associate’s degree instead of a full bachelor’s. She’s also recommitting herself to applying to other academic programs that had interested her before New York seemed to be a sure thing.

Though not everything is certain as she prepares to leave MCHS, one thing is definite for Christiansen.

“I’ll be studying theater no matter what college I go to, it’s still something I want to do for a career or on the side of a career,” she said. “It’s my legit passion, I love it so much.”

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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