Congratulations to Fridley High School (FHS) junior, Boomer Xiong, who was selected as a Triple Threat on Hennepin student finalist! Xiong is one of 24 Minnesota students who earned the opportunity after a high caliber audition process. The competition is sponsored by the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight Education program.
'Triple threat' is theater term for an individual who can sing, dance and act at a high standard. This year, 200 Minnesota students from 80 schools were invited to submit video auditions based on their performances in their schools' musicals. Performers also submitted a 400-word essay about leadership and their musical theater experience, along with completing an in-person audition prior to becoming one of the top 24 finalists.
Recently breaking into the world of musical theater, Xiong began his performing career in last year's musical All Shook Up.
"I was actually homeschooled until 7th grade," Xiong said. "I had always wanted to be a singer, so my mom would coach me. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I officially started my musical theater career."
Once he arrived at FHS, choir teacher Jeff Johnson realized Xiong's gift for singing and began giving him voice lessons to develop his technique. "I gave him a solo his first year because he had the voice," Johnson said. "I encouraged him to audition for last year's musical, which is when we all realized he can dance too!"
As a Triple Threat finalist, Xiong advances to the next phase of the competition, where he will participate in intensive coaching, rehearsal and performance process to prepare for the Spotlight Showcase in downtown Minneapolis at the State Theater on June 13 and 14. Six Spotlight Showcase student performers will be considered to earn the Triple Threat New York Experience or become a Minnesota nominee for the National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards.
"Boomer is a standout leader," Johnson said. "He's very humble, and it makes me proud to see him pursue his passions and succeed."
Xiong said that his goal through acting and theater is always to entertain and make people happy. "I love playing the role of a character, and helping people have a good time by my performance."
Congratulations Boomer and best of luck in the next phase of the competition!