Freshman Friday- Mercedes Padilla


Image by Autumn Pagan

Freshman Mercedes Padilla loves to draw, sing, dance, and perform in musicals.

Mercedes Padilla is a freshman here at Mt. SAC Early College Academy and loves to be on stage performing in musicals.

“So far, I have done 7 shows and am on my 8th currently” Mercedes stated. “I have been in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Beauty and the beast Jr, Annie Jr, Frozen Jr, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and Seussical. I am currently in Legally Blonde which I am very excited about.”

Before starting out in musical theater, Mercedes was a fólklorico dancer. Which they believe is why the transition to theater was easier since they already had experience in performing from dancing.

The first live musical that Mercedes say they’ve ever watched was Shrek the Musical, and they happen to be performing with the same company that produced it; Top Billing Entertainment.

“After seeing their rendition of the show, I joined…my first musical which was Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” Mercedes described. “From then on I fell in love with musicals as a whole.”

Their first major role with Top Billing Entertainment was in Peter Pan, where they played the lead lost boy.

Although performing in a musical is thrilling, some parts can be stressful, especially since everything has to be perfect and almost nothing can be drastically changed at the last minute. It can also be even more stressful when the entire cast happens to get sick on the last day of the show; “When I was doing Seussical, on the last show day, half of the cast had gotten sick and we had to perform the show with people having to play double the parts!” Mercedes wrote. “That has to be one of the most stressful situations I’ve been in so far.”

Another stressful thing about doing theater is just being onstage. To perform in front of many people is challenging to many. To become less nervous before a show, Mercedes partakes in breathing exercises and even warmups to prepare. Mercedes also tries not to think about what will happen onstage, instead letting everything come naturally to them.

Some other hobbies that Mercedes has besides doing musicals is singing, dancing, and drawing, which they are very passionate about. “There’s not a day that goes by where I am not singing. Music is a part of who I am and gets me through life,” Mercedes described. “Even though I am not a very good [artist,] I am a very creative person.”