In the Loop
Alumni News : Jan 16, 2019

"Nobody is you"

Broadway actress and UF alumna returns to Constans for “Hairspray"

By Sunny Khan (BA History '19) | Video by Coral Dixon (MA Museology '19) | Filming by Carolina Watlington (BSJ '20)

LaVon Fisher-Wilson (MFA '98) is a Broadway actress appearing in notable titles including Chicago, The Color Purple and Newsies.

Fisher-Wilson made a historical return to Constans Theatre as Maybelle "Motormouth" Stubbs in the fall 2018 production of Hairspray.

While rehearsing for Hairspray, she sat down with Tony Mata, professor and head of musical theatre, who began his career at the School of Theatre + Dance at the time that she auditioned for the MFA program.

Mata said that Fisher-Wilson’s return has been invaluable for himself and the current theatre and dance students. Because of her presence, students were able to learn about professionalism and managing a career in acting from a seasoned professional.

Fisher-Wilson opened up about the challenges of moving to New York and pursuing a career on Broadway. She said that she had to stop making comparisons and believe in herself.

“Nobody is you," she said. "There could be someone who sings higher, there could be someone who dances better, but you've gotta believe that you're the answer to the question that those auditors have in that room."

She also emphasized the importance of having a network of people who believed in her, including her mother and Mata. Fisher-Wilson said that her experience at UF taught her that through perseverence and learning from every audition, she can improve and achieve her goals.

After Hairspray's closing production, Fisher-Wilson thanked the students for their dedication to the show and for letting her share the stage.