For most freshmen, adapting to college life can make you feel like a little fish in a big pond. But for Melissa Tingey the transition has come with charm and grace as she balances the role of leading lady with being a bright-eyed and eager college student. Tingey currently stars in the production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre located in Centerville, Utah.
Tingey has been making the nearly two-hour commute via FrontRunner three times a week for performances since school started. “It’s hard” she said, “but I love it and it’s worth it.”
The show follows J. Pierrepont Finch, a young want-to-be businessman as he climbs the corporate ladder in America. Along the way he meets the sweet, yet determined Rosemary who assists Finch in his rise while following her plan to succeed in love by marrying up. The witty and satirical script is balanced by the genuine portrayal by both of the leads.
Tingey does a wonderful job at balancing the sweet, girl-next-door mannerisms of Rosemary with the power and command needed from a leading lady.
Although originally she wasn’t in love with the character, that didn’t dissuade her from delving deeper into the character’s traits.
“At first she seemed like a shallow character,” Tingey said.
Tingey spent hours watching YouTube videos of others performances, scouring through the script and making copious notes. Her hard work has not gone unnoticed and has led to the respect and accolades of both her director and co-star in the show.
Tanner Rampton, who plays Finch, recalls the huge steps Tingey has taken from the first rehearsal.
“I think she was a little nervous, but by the end she owned everything she did and made strong choice,” Rampton said. “I think her future is brilliant. She will learn so much and really blossom.”
Maurie Tarbox, who directed Tingey in this production, also spoke highly of Tingey’s attitude and talent.
“She would always show up with a smile on her face, always positive and always building others,” Tarbox said.
Tarbox recalled how charming Tingey was at callbacks and how she really delved into Rosemary’s world by the time the production opened.
The future seems bright for Tingey, who plans to audition for the Music Dance Theater program here at BYU. Her ability to balance work and school will be a valuable asset as she pursues her dreams on the stage.