Jericho’s Superstar: Amanda Swickle
By CHRISTINE BAE and CHARLOTTE LEIGH
Jericho Middle School seventh grader and successful child actress Amanda Swickle recently returned home from a 7 month tour with Broadway’s “Annie the Musical.”
A working actress since the age of 7, Amanda Swickle has taken the theatre world by storm. She loves the feeling of acting and said, “It feels really cool to go on stage making people happy and bringing characters to life.”
Despite having played multiple iconic roles throughout her career such as Jojo in “Seussical,” Flounder in “The Little Mermaid,” and Marta in “The Sound of Music,” Swickle describes the roles of Annie and Pepper in the recent Broadway tour to be her favorite. “[Annie and Pepper] are very special to me and I definitely enjoyed playing both parts.”
Starring as Annie in 55 performances and as Pepper in 132, Amanda had the opportunity to experience life as a working actress. “I just love bringing the character to life and letting the audience enjoy such an iconic show,” she said.
Throughout the tour, Amanda and the cast spent the majority of their days on a tour bus and experienced difficulties such as rarely being able to find a proper meal. “We didn’t get fresh homemade meals a lot. Most of the time, our only food option was McDonald’s,” she said. Amanda’s mother Orit Swickle shared how difficult life on tour was for the both of them. From finding proper meals and making sure Amanda had enough sleep, the elder Swickle worked hard to make sure touring was smooth for her daughter. When describing the tour she said, “It was very rewarding. It was fun and hard. Finding what to eat, finding healthy food, getting enough sleep every night was my focus for her.”
Though Amanda made memories of a lifetime, there were some downsides to being on tour. She missed out on spending time with her friends and important learning experiences in school. “[Amanda] missed some tactile stuff like actually being in a science lab and holding a microscope, ” said Mrs. Swickle. Despite this, being on tour and visiting new places gave Amanda a different type of learning experience that most kids in a typical school receive. “She had field trips all the time–the Boston Tea Party, that’s an education within itself, ” Mrs. Swickle said. However, Amanda was able to remain a full-time student while on tour. Studying with a tutor, she had classes 3 hours a day and managed to keep up to speed with her fellow classmates in Jericho.
Despite the downsides, Swickle enjoyed many aspects of life on the road, especially being able to spend time with the animals in the show and with her mother. Amanda said, “[My mom and I] became really good friends and we laughed a lot.”
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