Amber Peskin, Sioux of 1999 and current Alumnae Board President, can point to one defining fact about her daughter, Lucy. “She’s definitely not shy,” she says and laughs, even as a tiny voice behind her says sheepishly, “sure I am.”
That tiny voice is Lucy, a third-grader at Ursuline Academy. At 8 years old, she’s already larger than life, and tonight she is bouncing around happily as her mom tries to get her and her 1-year-old sister, Phoebe, ready for bed.
Peskin isn’t sure where Lucy gets this energy – or her passion for singing. Lucy’s love of musical theater and performing on stage has placed her in a local musical theater group called The Sparkles, performing in the New Orleans area. And, this summer, The Sparkles placed in a national competition, with Lucy placing first in a solo singing competition in her age group.
Peskin recalls that when Lucy was little, she would watch Broadway musicals with her and “she would just sing these songs at the top of her lungs.” For fun, the family enrolled her with Marrero-based TADA Young Actors & Artists Studio when Lucy was three years old. Since then, Lucy has learned to sing, act, and perform in front of audiences in musical theater. Since 2016, Lucy has been paired up with other two local girls who make up The Sparkles, a tiny trio who can sing, dance, dress up in wild costumes and entertain audiences around the city. Their biggest hit so far: “New Girl in Town” from Hairspray.
“They are so cute, with the big wigs,” said Peskin. “But they are very good. Lucy really works so hard at this. It’s definitely been a confidence booster for her.”
This summer, The Sparkles made it big in the world of tiny actors. In the annual talent competition - Access Broadway, the girls competed against national teams of a similar age and won second place all-around. Lucy sang a solo, and took first place overall in her age group.
Her mom sees a much bigger picture, though, and that is that Lucy sees her singing as service. She has performed at nursing homes, the local Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House.
“I remind her that singing can be a way to serve others,” said Peskin. And that is part of her upbringing at Ursuline, where Serviam to others is not only encouraged but woven into the fabric that is Ursuline Academy. She sees her daughter encouraged and loved, supported by her teachers and nurtured to give back.
Peskin, who was captain of the Lionettes during her time at Ursuline among other things, said she wants to see where all of this goes for Lucy. “I’m always amazed that she has no hesitancy, no fear – she gets on that stage, sometimes in front of hundreds of people, and she just gives it her all,” Peskin said.
As for Lucy, a Skip of 2028, she just enjoys the spotlight on stage and how “it makes me feel happy.”