Get To Know The Blogger: Jeilianne Vazquez

Jeilianne Vazquez
Sophomore BA Theatre major

Hello GTA blog readers! I’m Jeilianne Vazquez, and as of today, May 7th, 2021, I am 20 years old. I have learned a lot these past 20 years while also knowing nothing at all.

Humor aside, this semester has had its up and downs for me. However, one of the great ups has been able to post blogs for you to read. I never saw myself as a “blogger.” I honestly didn’t think I’d be up for the task. I am grateful to Keri (GTA Marketing Manager) for giving me this amazing position on the GTA Marketing Team. Thank you.

Today’s blog will be all about me. It is my birthday, after all. This is a “get to know the blogger” kind of post.

Baby Jeilianne

I was born in Buffalo, New York. I am the firstborn child to my parents and this firstborn grandchild to all four grandparents, so I was a pretty big deal. I was then blessed with two younger brothers. I have a lot of memories of Buffalo. Mostly good ones. I remember the only painful memory when my parents told us we were moving to Gainesville, GA. Aside from leaving my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, I was most hurt by my parents needing to give away our pet Guinea Pig (R.I.P. Scooter).

Gainesville, GA, was actually the best decision for my family. We soon set into a routine. My father got an agent and was a part-time actor and full-time educator. He began teaching acting classes on weekends at an academy for K-12. Because he was a teacher, his kids could get courses for free. Wanting my brother and me to be more social and involved, he took us to his acting class and several others. I was not happy about it. In school, I had dreams of becoming a veterinarian. I loved animals, so that career choice made sense at the time. I did not want to go. After a few weeks, I began to open up more. I made some friends and was really starting to enjoy the classes. I even loved improv (yes, I love improv)! Soon, plays were being put out and even short films. This all sparked something in me, and I knew I wanted to be an actress.

My 10-minute play “Sex Eyes,” directed by the amazing Michael Dotson!

While I loved acting, I loved my dance classes and singing. I wanted to do all three. That’s when I learned about musical theatre. The incredible discovery was shut down when I realized I didn’t seem to fit in that world. I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. So why even bother, right?

A few months later, my grandmother bought tickets to see a musical and invited my brother and me to go. I remember walking into the building and immediately falling in love with the atmosphere. We walked into the theater, sat in our seats, the lights dimmed, and I heard these lyrics.

“Lights up in Washington Heights…”

I was in awe. The songs, the dance, the characters were all familiar to me. I was in love with the show. It was then I knew I wanted to pursue theatre once again. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized that theater was the Hosch building, and the production of In The Heights was a Gainesville Theatre Alliance show. It all comes back full circle.

Me and the Legally Blonde Run Crew fam

That’s just a snippet of my story, but thank you for reading. I look forward to doing more blog posts. I am so grateful for my experiences so far in GTA.

I am approaching my junior year, and I am so excited for what this year has in store for us. See you in the fall, and be blessed!

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