Silver Chips Online

Musical dream comes true for Blair senior

Adam Carey performs in "Les Misérables" at Wolf Trap

By Sophia Deng, Online Managing Editor
September 14, 2008
French soldier Adam Carey lies on the floor, face calm, eyes closed and mouth shut. His body is limp and lifeless, around his corpse a battle rages. Suddenly the scene changes, Carey pops opens his eyes and quickly feels his way off the stage.

From Aug. 29 to Sept. 7, Carey, a senior, appeared in 13 performances of Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables" at the Wolf Trap Theater in Vienna, Va. Out of the 150 teens who auditioned to sing in the chorus and play minors roles in the musical, Carey was selected along with 17 other teens from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia to participate in the acclaimed musical.
Adam Carey (third row, far left) stands with the 17 other local teens who were selected to perform in Victor Hugo’s "Les Misérables" at Wolf Trap. Photo courtesy of Adam Carey.

On July 19, Carey attended auditions at Tyson's Corner Mall. He learned two of the musical's songs, "At the End of the Day" and "Master of the House," and sang and acted individually and in a group in order to be selected as a member of the cast. Ironically, Carey almost missed this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "I almost didn't go to the audition because first, I didn't think I'd be able to make it, and second, I had something else I wanted to do - I think Six Flags," he laughs.

This was the first time teens were put into a professional production of "Les Misérables," according to Bill Newberry, the Teen Ensemble Director who coordinated the audition. "The producers decided it would be a wonderful way to introduce teens to this great musical as well as give talented teens an opportunity that very few their age have," he says. In his selection, Newberry looked for teens who "popped" onstage; Carey caught his eyes and ears instantly. "Adam immediately impressed me with his strong voice, his acting ability and also his professionalism. I knew that he would be one of the ones who would shine in the show," Newberry says.

While Blazers were enjoying their last weeks of summer, Carey left for West Point, N.Y., where he joined the remainder of the cast. From Aug. 18 - 25, Carey practiced with the 17 others - teens and worked one-on-one with the assistant director to perfect the performance. Working with the cast was intimidating at first. "There was a lot of fear of throwing people off," Carey admits. Despite his nerves, Carey truly enjoyed the week of practice in New York. "It's been a great experience working with such talent," he notes.
Adam Carey belts Lyle Lovett's "She's No Lady" in a May concert with InToneNation. Julia Seiger
Adam Carey belts Lyle Lovett's "She's No Lady" in a May concert with InToneNation.

When the day of the first performance arrived, Carey set foot on the Wolf Trap stage with a body full of nerves. "It was ridiculously crazy on stage," he says. He never realized the enormity of his performance until he saw how many people were in the audience. "I looked out to the right and to the left, and there were at least 1,000 people. And then, there's the back and the balcony," he breathes. Carey's emotions were swirling. "I was excited but nervous that I would mess up," he confesses.

Carey's path to "Les Misérables" has been several years in the making. He has been in Blair's Chamber Choir for two years and in Blair's a cappella group, InToneNation, for two years as well. However, Carey did not get truly interested in singing until he participated in a musical at Eastern Middle School. "I definitely wasn't serious about singing until recently," he remarks.

Carey still cannot get over the fact that he performed in "Les Misérables." "It's been unreal. It's been unreal because it's hard to imagine that I have this opportunity. Then, I kind of want to say I'm lucky because it could have been anybody else. I'm lucky to be on stage," he says. "Even though I wasn't the lead role, I feel I've gained knowledge of how to play different roles."'

As Carey lies bleeding on the floor, acting out the death of a French soldier, he knows that he is anything but dead. His emotions are incredibly alive; his body is overpowered with excitement, looking ahead to future successes.