Lip-synch fundraiser for Incline schools takes the stage this weekend | SierraSun.com

Lip-synch fundraiser for Incline schools takes the stage this weekend

Kate Brower
Special to the Bonanza
A large contingent of Incline Middle School students (seen here during a recent rehearsal) will be dressed to impress at this weekend's Star Follies event.
Courtesy Joy Strotz / Strotz Photography |

If you go

What: Incline Star Follies

When: 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Friday; 1 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Incline High School

More online: inclinestarfollies.org

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Star Follies is upon us once again. This year’s 44 members of the student cast includes middle-schooler Sam Schafer, and Dylan Hale is among the 54-member adult cast.

Sam is unique in that sports activities for kids her age is not something she can always participate in. Sam has mild cerebral palsy, for which she has undergone two major surgeries.

Dylan is unique in that he is one of eight Incline schools’ alumni who have joined as adults, and one of two members who participated in the original 2000 Star Follies cast.

Below is a Q-and-A with Dylan and Sam about their roles in this weekend’s annual Star Follies event:

Question: Dylan, it’s been a while since the last time you participated, what was it like then?

Dylan: I was in Ms. Franklin’s fourth-grade class. I enjoyed the social part and the structure of participating in Follies. I liked having a creative way of expressing myself.

Question: And what made you rejoin the cast?

Dylan: A coworker brought it up. They were looking for some young men, and I feel you’ve gotta let your star shine. It is a bit intimidating to be in the cast, but at the same time, it is important to have a way of positive self-expression.

Question: Sam, how did you come to join the cast?

Sam: Last year, I was at the Rec Center doing an exercise session with a personal trainer. Two ladies were also there dancing, and I was very curious. They said they were practicing for Star Follies. I had never heard of it before, but I really wanted to go see it. I thought it was amazing! I really loved the music!

Question: So, seeing made you want to join. Now that you’re in it, how has it been?

Sam: My favorite part so far is being able to act and sing on stage. I really love being on stage and singing my heart out! I didn’t know how challenging it would be to learn all the steps. My favorite dance move is striking a pose in the adult number I’m in.

Question: Has being in Follies changed something about you?

Sam: Oh yes! It think I’ll be funnier!

Question: Dylan, how has practice been different since you were a kid?

Dylan: Now, I have to drive myself to practice, which is a little bit of a challenge. But we’re still just a bunch of big kids up there. Everyone is just dancing around and having a good time. Now it’s more like the kid is being brought out of me — this is an opportunity to go back to that 10-year-old, to have fun and be childish again. Back then, I was trying to be an adult, doing an adult-like thing with adult-like responsibility.

Question: Do you have any advice for Sam and the other student cast members?

Dylan: I could say the stereotypical thing, “Just have fun with it,” which is absolutely true. But my advice is to be as enthusiastic as possible. It’s OK to be silly, and it’s OK to stand out. You might think you’re embarrassing yourself, but you’re not. All the kids in the crowd are going to wish they were on stage with you. As hard as practice is, and as silly as you think you may look, come show night, everyone who is clapping is clapping for you. All that hard work you put in, it should feel really rewarding. You should feel proud of yourself for putting yourself out of your comfort zone, taking on the challenge, and getting to see the fruits of your labor. Just be proud.

Question: Sam, what do you think about that?

Sam: Dylan’s advice is very encouraging to me. It helps me not to feel so nervous. I think it’s great advice to just be yourself and not feel self-conscious. Watching the Follies last year from the audience made me really want to be in it and on stage this year! My advice for the adults is to listen to your heart, follow your dreams, and never give up! Just be yourself, and the audience will cheer!

Star Follies tickets are available now at the Potlatch, located in the Raley’s Shopping Center. Star Follies is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that benefits Incline schools. Visit inclinestarfollies.org to learn more.