A Killeen seventh-grader dreaming of a career on Broadway got an up-close glimpse recently of the bright lights of a world-famous performance venue.
Jonathan Dominguez performed in December with a group called the Camp Broadway Ensemble in a pre-show of the Rockettes “Sounds of Christmas Show” at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The son of David and Kristi Dominguez recalled a whirlwind experience of auditioning, traveling, learning the show and finally appearing on the huge stage with a group of talented peers.
“I never really processed what was happening until I was going on stage,” the Liberty Hill Middle School seventh-grader said. The youth ensemble performed a medley of five holiday songs before the Rockettes took over.
In some ways, Dominguez said the experience was similar to other performances, but in other ways it was a unique setting.
“It wasn’t real different from performing for other audiences, it was just bigger and more professional,” he said, acknowledging that the crowd was huge.
“Walking into Radio City Music Hall is a bit breathtaking, especially due to its size,” said Kristi Dominguez, who accompanied her son to New York City for the Dec. 7 performance.
“When I got to my seat, I was both excited and nervous, knowing Jonathan and his group was about to perform in front of 6,000 people.”
The seventh-grader said he remembers watching child actors in movies and knowing he wanted to perform on a big stage.
He received confirmation of his desire when he won the role of Michael Banks in Vive Les Arts’ 2016 production of “Mary Poppins.” He also played a lost boy in “Peter Pan.”
In addition to taking piano, voice and dance lessons, the last two-and-a-half years he has participated in Camp Broadway, learning firsthand the rigors of living and working in New York City’s famous performance culture.
As a Camp Broadway participant, Dominguez received an invitation to audition for the Rockettes pre-show.
“When we got to New York, we had one day to get the songs together,” he said, describing a five-song Christmas medley.
“Then, we went to Radio City Music Hall and performed for a live audience and got to watch the whole show.”
“Once they took the stage, I just felt a lot of pride in how hard he worked from his past two summers with Camp Broadway, to his audition for this performance, to the practicing,” his mother said. “It was so fantastic to see it all come together in such an incredible venue.”
“They did a wonderful job, too,” Kristi Dominguez said. “This was such an honor and a blessing that we’ll never forget.”
Dominguez is scheduled to return to New York City in April for the New York Pops Birthday Gala at Carnegie Hall.
Shooting for a Broadway career and roles on television and in the movies, the young performer said it’s the creative challenge of acting that he loves.
“In the moment when you’re acting, getting to be someone different, exploring someone else’s life, that’s what I love.”