Clovis woman makes major step toward making Broadway dreams come true

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Clovis resident Bianca Norwood is just one of nine students accepted into a program at the prestigious Julliard School of the Performing Arts in New York. (KFSN)

A young woman from Clovis is a step closer to her dream of being on Broadway. Bianca Norwood has been accepted to the prestigious Juilliard School of the Performing Arts in New York.

"People from around the world audition to get into Juilliard," she said. "So to be one of the nine kids to be accepted into the program is a huge honor."

Many top stars in acting and music came from Juilliard, including Audra McDonald of Fresno. Bianca graduated from Clovis East last year and has been acting at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, but she's been acting for a long time.

"I started doing plays in elementary school," Norwood said. "Never got the lead role, I was always like the dancing spoon."

She did drama and speech and debate at Clovis East High School with state championship performances.

"In high school, I got into speech and debate, we'd take like plays and books and we'd perform them," she said. "We'd play all the characters, so I competed on national stages doing that all through high school and once I got a taste of it, I couldn't stop."

Actor Chris Colfer came through the Clovis East drama and speech and debate programs and has been a mentor to Bianca and other students. At Juilliard, Bianca is now facing a rigorous morning till night test of her talent.

"The students are in there six days a week from 9 a.m. to 10:30 at night," he explained. "The students coming out of Juilliard are prepared to work. And prepared to handle anything that comes at them. It's because the training is so rigorous and so intense and that's the reason is one of the top acting schools in the world because they really put you to work."

But it's something her parents Tony and Dina think Bianca was born to do as the youngest of their six children.
"She's always been a performer since a baby," Tony said. "She's always wanted to be the center of attention."

"I'm excited proud of her, I know she will do well because she's so good at her craft and she works so hard," Dina added. "So, I know she's going to be successful."

But Bianca has no illusions despite her big Broadway aspirations.

"Oh, I'm expecting to be really tough," she said. "It's no joke. It's not an easy program."

But Bianca wants to encourage others

"I remember feeling like in high school that I did speech and debate and drama, that I wasn't as valuable as the football player or the guy who wanted to be an engineer," she said. "And I think it's important for kids today to know that they are as valuable and that playing the violin or dancing or drama is as just as valuable and important as any other sport or activity in school if not more valuable."

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Go Fund Me: Help Bianca go to Juilliard School in New York City

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