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Tracy Frank, Published January 22 2013

HerVoice: Moorhead student chosen for competitive arts program

Her Voice is a weekly article about women in or from our area and how they make an impact on the world around them. If you know someone SheSays should feature in HerVoice, email Tracy Frank.

MOORHEAD – Nina Grollman, a senior at Moorhead High School, is a true performer at heart.

She started acting in second grade and has been singing as long as she can remember.

Grollman comes from a musical family that will occasionally hold folk band nights where she, her sister and her parents all play instruments and sing German songs, she said.

Grollman participated earlier this month in the National YoungArts Foundation Week in Miami.

She was one of 152 students chosen from about 10,000 applications from students in the visual, literary and performing arts.

Grollman applied in musical theater and popular voice and was chosen to study popular voice out of 2,600 applicants in the discipline.

She spent the week in intense master classes with internationally renowned artists.

“It was life-changing. It was so incredible,” Grollman said. “I got to basically just hang out with these incredibly talented, amazing artists and performers and have master classes with these famous people who would just lay these pearls of wisdom in my lap.”

YoungArts recognizes students in the categories of cinematic arts, dance, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice and writing. Starting this year, a 10th discipline, architecture and design will be added.

Every night young artists showcase their work. Grollman performed the high-energy bluesy pop song, “Mamma Knows Best” by British singer-songwriter Jessie J. It was one of the songs she used to audition for the program. Grollman said she’s never been so nervous in her life.

She said she usually plays a character and focuses on the character’s intentions when she sings in public.

“When you’re yourself, you don’t have that crutch,” she said. “You have to just be yourself and hope that people enjoy you. There’s a whole new level of vulnerability when you go out and sing your song and it’s just you.”

Still, she said performing during YoungArts Week was an incredible experience.

“It was the most amazing feeling,” she said. “But the whole time I was performing, I saw my leg trembling uncontrollably.”

It all started when her second-grade class performed a show about whales, and Grollman’s mom noticed how expressive she was and signed her up with an acting company, Grollman said.

“I immediately fell in love with it,” she said.

Grollman has been involved in high school plays, musicals and speech. She has also performed on The Stage at Island Park with ACT UP Theatre, a musical theater training program through Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre.

“I love the adrenaline rush. I love giving people joy. I love giving in performance and getting that energy back,” she said.

Grollman is auditioning for acting schools all over the country and plans to pursue a career in film, television or music.

To see Grollman perform, go to her YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/WHATHEPOO

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526