Students take a shine to Broadway


Prodigy Talent Training students Cecil Garner, left, Kimm Marie, Ralphael Agee, Tyler Matas, A.J. Peters, Angelina Gaffey, Savanna Katter, staff member Christina Matas, Sean Devlin, Emily Zook, Amy Dukershire, Kira Parker, Chris Graham and founder Jonathan McFadden prepare to board a subway train to Manhattan during the Prodigy On Location trip. Not pictured are Janae Deimeke, Kristen Warren and Kylie Higginbotham.

Linda Wiggins

Six Viera High School students traveled to New York City July 8 through 15 for the Prodigy On Location adult and teen trip that provided a “real experience” of working as an actor in a major metropolitan market.

The experience included 15 professional-level workshops by noted talent and modeling agents, dance choreographer, photographers, a show and dinner afterward with “Waitress” Broadway star Charity Angel Dawson, sports broadcaster Larry Ridley of NBC Sports New York, and working professionals teaching comedy improv, acting, singing and voice-over skills.

VHS freshman Tyler Matas was signed during the trip by a New York talent agent. Other VHS students included Amy Dukershire, Janae Deimeke, Kira Parker, Emily Zook and Angelina Gaffey.

Remaining teen students included A.J. Peters of Port St. John, who was signed by a talent agent last year, Ralphael Agee of Melbourne and Savanna Katter of Tampa.

Adult students included Cecil Garner, a local celebrity who is a doppelganger of “Walking Dead” star Andrew Lincoln, Kristen Warren, Kimm Marie, Sean Devlin and Chris Graham. Parent chaperons included Rodmika Agee, Charise Deimeke, Karen Parker and Linda Gaffey.

The trip is an annual summer event designed to bring students to the performing capitals of the world and have included Atlanta and Los Angeles. Prodigy Talent Training founder Jonathan McFadden said it is important to give students direct access to the industry and a real experience of what it is like to pursue their dreams in reality.

“When a person finds a task to be challenging but loves the work and the process anyway, they are on the right path,” said McFadden, who was joined on the trip by staff members Kylie Higginbotham and Christina Matas, all of whom are also professional actors. 

McFadden, a third grader at Suntree Elementary School the year it opened in 1993 and helped write the school song “We Are The Young,” went on live, study and work in New York City after high school graduation and made connections that continue to pave the way for his students' careers. For more information on the Prodigy Talent Training of Rockledge trip, future trips and current classes, go to, Facebook or call 321-693-8438.

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