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story.lead_photo.caption SubmittedMaddison Gil sings during her performance in Finke Theatre’s “The World’s Greatest Showman.” Gil, a senior at the Jefferson City Academic Center who played the character of “Jenny Lind” in the show’s production, recently auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice.”

While preparing for their show in early October, the cast and crew of the Finke Theatre's "The World's Greatest Showman" production was proud to discover that one of their younger cast mates, Maddison Gil, had taken a big leap for herself by auditioning for NBC's "The Voice."

Gil, a senior at the Jefferson City Academic Center who played the character of "Jenny Lind" in the show's production, said she had built a great deal of confidence being a part of the play. By practicing with cast and crew, she said she could see herself improving on her talents as a singer in many areas. She said that it was the encouragement and support from her cast mates that gave her the ability to believe in herself as a performer.

"(The play) made me much more confident, the people in California were so nice to me and I've never had that kind of support before," Gil said. "I wasn't even going to show up to audition (at the Finke) at first because I didn't think I was going to make it, but I did show up and I was so glad because I had the best time ever. It changed my life for sure."

Having much more conviction in herself as an artist and performer, Gil said she appreciated everyone's kindness on set. While it was her first time on stage, she said the environment fostered by the cast and crew showed her how many talented people there are in all corners of the area. Although she is not a resident of California, Gil said she felt more than welcomed by those in the production.

"I just loved (performing) so much," Gil said. "Everyone was so nice and it was actually my first musical that I had ever done, so it was really awesome to be a part of that and seeing everyone grow from day one to our final show night. I got to see everyone's talents and it was so amazing. I didn't know there were so many talented people in Missouri and I got to witness that for myself."

By seeing just how much talent was around her, her time on the stage inspired her to pursue another dream of hers by auditioning for NBC's "The Voice." Having been a fan of the program from a very young age, Gil said she had always been interested in auditioning at some point in her life, although she did not know when.

While she said her family often told her to reach out and audition, it was the introduction of her favorite artist, Ariana Grande, as a judge that made her want to do so this year.

"I've always been a singer and it's been one of my biggest dreams to audition for it," Gil said. "My family would say that I should go for it but then Ariana Grande showed up on 'The Voice' and she's the one who got me into singing and is the reason I sing. I thought, 'If she's there, then there must be a reason for me to audition this year.' So I finally did and while I didn't make it, I believe it's okay because I'm glad I got the opportunity to (do so to begin with)."

Gil said she will be studying music and music production at Full Sail University next year. She said as she continues to develop as an artist and producer, she hopes to release music that will ultimately make people smile. Gil said singing is what leaves her at her happiest and she would like to do the same for others.

"(Singing) brings me to a different world," Gil said. "When I sing, I am in a different place and I'm in my happiest place that I have ever been. It's really amazing because I've been down the route of mental health before and singing brings me out of it a lot. I'm just grateful that it's there for me and it always has been and it always will be."

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