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Sequim today, Broadway tomorrow

Acting. Dancing. Singing.

These come easily to Sequim High School sophomore Trey Baldwin, who is described as a natural performer.

"It's who I am. It's what I've always done. I don't feel right not performing," he said.

Baldwin has acted since he was 3. He started with an offbeat role as a mermaid in Five Acre School's production of "Peter Pan."

He began dance lessons when longtime friend Sophia Carter invited him.

"I knew he had very talented abilities and I convinced him to come to his first lesson, and he showed me up. I had been dancing for six years," Carter said.

"I had always wanted to perform but never had gone to dance class," Baldwin said.

The 15-year-old has studied several dance forms since then.

He is taking ballet and jazz lessons twice a week at Aspire Academy of Expressive Arts in Sequim where his dance instructor Yvette Lantz admires his God-given talent.

"He has a natural gift that can't be taught. You can't manufacture that at 15. He is gifted."

Baldwin has performed in numerous school plays and nine musicals with Missoula Children's Theatre, a traveling troupe based in Montana that comes to Sequim each year.

In January, he was Prince John in Missoula's performance of "Robin Hood." He caught the eyes of the directors, which led to his nomination and acceptance into a new musical theater program called "Next Step Prep."

The program will bring 60 high school students to Missoula, Mont., from June 22-Aug. 7. They will train full time with writers, actors, dancers and other entertainment professionals. Guest instructors include Martin Charnin, author of the musical "Annie;" J.K. Simmons, an actor in "Juno" and "Spider-man;" Broadway performers Bill Bowers and Alexander Gemignani; and Tony Award-winner Alan Campbell.

"This will take him to a larger arena and give him professional teaching experience," Lantz said.

Baldwin is eager to go to the performing academy but needs to raise money. He was granted a scholarship of $4,200 but the academy costs about $4,400 more. Baldwin is committed to raising $1,000 himself with the rest coming from donations.

"I am available to work every Saturday. I can do yard work, stack wood, clean garages, wash dishes, sweep, mop, vacuum; walk friendly, well-trained dogs, and I bake terrific corn muffins from scratch," Baldwin said.

His mother, Sandra Ramsey, is 100-percent behind his going but the cost would be burdensome for the family.

"I see this as the opportunity to expose him to what he can become if he rises to the challenge," Ramsey said.

Baldwin can be reached at 681-6489 for work and/or donations.

To see Baldwin perform, attend the Sequim High School Talent Show at 7 p.m. March 20-21 at 601 N. Sequim Ave.



Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.





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