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The Understudy Takes the Stage: UM student works toward acting career and April show

Quincey Huerter. Photo by Addis Olive.

Addis Olive
Oxford Stories
alolive1@go.olemiss.edu

Quincey Huerter, a nomad of sorts, is an aspiring Oxford actor seeking fame and the opportunity to perform. Starting considerably late in theatre, Huerter always loved being the center of attention. After dancing 12 years, she realized the stage was her home.

In college, she began her theatre career in the laundry crew backstage, then became an understudy, and is now debuting, for her first time, in the Ole Miss Student Dance Company. Huerter is taking advantage of her surroundings and making changes to follow her passion.

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Huerter studying her monologues. Photo by Addis Olive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A self-proclaimed “military-brat,” Huerter was born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The actual place has no importance to her since she’s from a lot of places and said: “I do not have a place that I claim as home.”

She has lived in Georgia, Texas, Kansas, North Carolina, New York and Mississippi. The University of Mississippi sophomore began college as a double major in theatre and journalism. She is now pursuing a bachelor’s of arts degree in theatre, a minor in journalism, and she will seek a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in musical theatre and acting in about two months.

“I’ve always danced my whole life,” she said. “Something about performing for people has always given me a lot of joy. It’s what makes me happy.”

Huerter aspires to be an actor for the screen, movies, TV, then maybe one day, Broadway. She joked she will not get married until she earns an Academy Award.

Huerter wasn’t always interested in theatre. She loved dance. During her sophomore year of high school, she tried out for the school dance team, the same one her mom had been on, but she did not win a spot because her kick was not high enough. Therefore, she lost interest in a kick team.

Since she was a great dancer, her friend suggested that Huerter try out for the school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. She tried out, won the principal dancer (the main dancer) spot and rehearsed all summer.

“I never got bored,” she said. “My whole summer was dance, acting and singing, and I just fell in love with it. And then I preformed, and it felt like I had been there my whole life. That was my first show, and that started the pinwheel.”

Huerter thought her theatre career in college would start off on a high note. She participated in the Ole Miss Theatre Scholarship audition in high school and won the scholarship, which is what brought her to Mississippi, but she overestimated herself.

“I’m thinking that I’m something special at this point, and it’s going to be like high school,” she said. “I’ll make something really easy.”

However, when she showed up for the Ole Miss auditions, she froze, frightened by the large crowd. She didn’t sing, but showed up later for dance auditions and got a call-back. However, she didn’t know that meant she didn’t make the show, and instead was part of the laundry crew.

“To sit there and wash people’s clothes and listen to them talk about how they’re performing, broke me,” she said. “The rest of the year was not good. I did not make the BFA program. So I kind of had some downs. But something about this past summer made me want to actually figure out why I wanted to do this in the first place, so I worked hard, and I tried out this year and got understudy.”

Huerter then understudied in “practically every role.” She was at every rehearsal, and then to her luck, on opening night, three hours before the show, the theatre crew called her and said “You’re going on.”

“I performed three out of the four shows,” Huerter said. “You could not even tell I was an understudy. It was like I was there the whole time. It was the greatest feeling, because it was a really great accomplishment for me.”

Hunter said she believes there’s a time for everyone to pursue an acting career, but she satisfied being in Mississippi presently. “I think right now, I’m supposed to be absorbing every bit of knowledge I can before I go anywhere to pursue it (acting) at a professional level.”

Sami Ladouceur, a fellow military-brat friend of Huerter’s, met her when they were kids. Their dads attended college together and worked at the same military unit in North Carolina. Growing up, Ladouceur said her friend was “the most dramatic and competitive person I knew. We constantly competed in everything and for everything.”

“We did this speech contest in the 5th grade on national monuments,” she said. “Quincey’s was on the Lincoln Memorial, and mine was on Ground Zero and the freedom tower that was being built at the time. Quincey came up with this whole production with arm movements and voice fluctuation. It was pretty impressive for the 5th grade. I won second, and she won third… She still brings it up till this day.”

By joining the Ole Miss Student Dance Company, Huerter said she is happy to get back into dance again. The company is comprised entirely of students, and some choreograph the pieces.

Actual teachers who majored in dance and danced their whole lives choreograph three pieces. “I am in the Prince tribute piece,” Huerter said, “so it is about a 15-minute montage of Prince songs, and we’re just going at it.” She strongly encourages everyone to come to attend the April show.

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Preparing for class by reading monologue in Isom building. Photo by Addis Olive.

Ladouceur said Huerter’s passion is obvious. She said she is funny and never takes life too seriously, which she thinks is one of her best qualities. “She is really dedicated to improving herself in all aspects of theatre and acting pursuits, and I think it’s admirable that she is working so hard and taking on so many new things in college.”Save

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