[ Mah-ree-ah-ee-lee-sa ]
One Word, no space. cAPITAL e.
Unique as her name.
As a baby she cried. Loudly. Eventually she learned to do it in tune and thus this website was born.
Extroverted & dramatic, she soon discovered the stage. When they tried to get her off it, she cried and thus discovered musical theatre.
Fascinated by storytellers, MariaElisa cultivated a deep love of connecting with others through fiction and performance. Though she's had fleeting whirlwind romances with practicality, her love of artistry always won her back.
At 20, she cancelled her classes at Who-The-Hell-Cares University, transferred to Brooklyn College as a theatre major and stepped back on the path that that wailing baby had started on 2 decades prior.
Haunted by self doubt & the occasional UNSOLICITED sext from practicality, MariaElisa struggled to believe in herself on stage and thus she stayed behind the curtain line. But being surrounded by Theatre fed her infatuation, and her time at Brooklyn College helped her discover a fiery love & aptitude for stage managing.
Sunrises rose, curtains fell & by her final semester, she was simultaneously juggling a job, a commute, 18 credits, & a broken foot- all while stage managing the Spring One-Act Play Festival. It is also of note that she was the first Brooklyn college stage manager to go paperless. She was happy.
But somewhere in the back of her mind, that baby was still wailing.
(story time, bitches!)
One night in August of 2012, MariaElisa enthusiastically dragged her then-boyfriend to see Phantom of The Opera. Despite having seen the show 5 (or maybe 6 times - records are unclear) she had never managed to stay behind and greet the cast at the stage door. That night however, she and her boyfriend had time to spare.
If you would've told MariaElisa that meeting the man who was the alternate for Piangi that night would change her life...she probably would've backed away from you slowly. But when she met Andrew Drost, complimented him, shared that she was a theatre major but couldn't (at least as far as she believed) sing, two essential things happened:
Andrew smiled, turned her playbill over, wrote his number on the back and told her to call him for a voice lesson.
Her boyfriend enthusiastically said "She will!" and then marched her over to the nearest ATM, took out cash, put it in her hand and said "you have to go."
So she did.
Andrew helped her find the voice that had been screaming for release all her life. Then one day, Andrew told her that he was thinking of expanding upon his private vocal coach business and starting a school. MariaElisa encouraged the idea but figured it was years in the making. then one day he handed her a folder with her acceptance letter to The Institute for American Musical Theatre tucked away inside.
Practice turned into performance. A Bachelor's Degree turned into a Master's Certificate, Stage management grew to include prop & sound design. Ensemble roles turned into leads. Musicals clashed with Covid 19 to create Zoom Musicals. Prop design blossomed into product design. Quarantine turned into creativity. And creativity spawned photography, modeling, screenwriting, cosplay, & event planning.
And that's the story of how MariaElisa started to believe she was good enough, talented enough, and special enough to live her truest dreams.
...and the story continues....