Kidsday reporter Aanya Dhamiija took formal lessons on how to...

Kidsday reporter Aanya Dhamiija took formal lessons on how to walk, smile and pose like a model. Credit: Dhamiija family

I always try to follow my heart into things I love, and modeling is something I always dreamed of. One day, I was visiting Manhattan with my mom, and someone approached us. She gave my mom a paper advertising the Barbizon Agency. My mom and aunt took me there. The employees gave us instructions on what to wear and what not to wear. The agency trained me on how to walk, smile and pose.

After the training was completed, part of our graduation ceremony was a modeling show. We all walked the ramp and had a photo shoot, and we also did a monologue. My monologue was about Oreos and milk. After I graduated from Barbizon, I got the chance to participate in Off-Broadway shows.

I’m going to tell you about my experience performing in two Off-Broadway shows, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Happily Ever After.” I went to the auditions and got selected as a narrator for the first show, and Cinderella for the second. A narrator is an onstage storyteller who moves the story along. Narrators are the eyes of the whole story.

For my role of Cinderella, I practiced the script every day with my family at home and with my friends on stage to make sure I could imagine the show and speak loudly and clearly. To remember all those lines, I was practicing little by little, and because of that I memorized my lines as well as the others. I had beautiful costumes. It was an exciting experience.