Cedars Alumni Story – Dramatic Arts – Submitted 2018

World-renowned writer, Oscar Wilde, once remarked: “It was only in the theater that I lived.” Caitlyn Gairns, a 2015 Cedars graduate has taken Wilde’s words of passion to heart.

Caitlyn has been heavily involved in performing arts scene since she was age five, when she first began to ascertain her definite appreciation and affection for the stage through weekly Speech and Dramatic Arts classes. These lessons allowed Caitlyn to hone her talent as a performer in various productions ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary works of art alongside participating in local competitive festivals. From a young age, Caitlyn was recognized as a fierce competitor amongst her peers and consistently placed at the top of her class – subsequently resulting in the opportunity to take her talent to a provincial level. At provincial competitions Caitlyn continued to excel and has been recognized for multiple years as being within the top three young actors within British Columbia.

“Returning to Provincials year after year has been an incredible privilege and opportunity. It is beyond encouraging as a young actor to recognize that your devotion to the art is paying off – people begin to know you by name and expect you to bring a stellar performance; I find it challenges me to perform to the best of my ability. Having your name recognized province-wide in the theatre industry is a huge stepping stone, to say I am thrilled would be an understatement!”

Caitlyn recently was awarded with best overall performer in the Prince George Speech Arts Festival which was paired with her qualification for the 2017 Provincial of the Performing Arts which took place in June in Kamloops. Caitlyn’s performance was regarded highly, and she obtained a top three placement within her class opening a door for an international opportunity. Caitlyn sent in a video entry showcasing her talent, hoping it would be enough to be recognized at a worldwide level. Caitlyn found out in late August that she had been selected through Magnum Opus International Speech and Dramatic Arts Competition as a finalist and would be performing at Carnegie Hall in New York in November!

“I was in a state of shock for sure, the magnitude of my excitement did not hit me until after I had thrown my phone half way across the room. I remember thinking, this must be a dream… though my friend assuredly confirmed that it was not. It is an artist’s dream to perform in Carnegie Hall and I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity, who knew speech arts classes would lead to this?”

Caitlyn ventured to New York accompanied by some of her closest friends where she took on the world-renowned Carnegie stage amongst other theatrical performers showcasing a piece she has been perfecting for several years. Caitlyn excelled in New York and with her spellbinding performance leaving the audience speechless leading to Caitlyn securing a place as a finalist in this competition.

“I remember walking out onto the Carnegie stage and peering out into the audience, seeing people who had willingly travelled across the Country to watch me perform – this was a catalyst that sparked one of the best performances I have ever given. I stood there in a moment of silence after I finished my piece and there was this moment of serene silence, which was then followed by a “Wow…” I have never experienced a vocal reaction from sharing a piece. It affirmed in all ways that acting is something that I need to continue to pursue, it was crazy.”

From Caitlyn’s success, universities have been scouting her for theatre programs. Caitlyn has recently been accepted into Trinity Western University where she will be pursuing a double major in Theatre and Psychology.