Ridgewood student hits milestone while achieving dreams

Despite these uncertain times Kylie Gordon, 11, has clung to her passion for the performing arts. Considered a “triple threat”—skilled at singing, acting, and dancing—Gordon took things to the next level by auditioning for Broadway shows, eventually landing her first role in “The Lion King.”

Unfortunately, the very same week she was cast, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing Broadway to temporarily shut down. Because of that, she missed out on her big break.

“Unfortunately, now she is over five feet tall, which is too tall for children on Broadway,” Kylie’s Mom, Kimberly, explained. “We’re hoping she’ll have additional Broadway [opportunities], but now a lot is more commercial modeling and acting.”

Kylie Gordon, 11, aspires to perform on Broadway

Since the second grade, Gordon has been home-schooled through Time4Learning, which allowed her to get her education and pursue her passions of singing, acting, and dancing, all while continuing to enjoy being a kid.

Last month, the Gordon’s celebrated Kylie’s fifth-grade graduation and her transition into middle school.

“I get to spend a lot more time with my family than when I actually went to school, so it’s fun. I get to mess around with my sibling, and it’s great,” Kylie said.

Kylie’s mom, who plays an additional role as her teacher, said that the home schooling experience was quite challenging at first, but eventually, it got easier and helped the mother-daughter duo strengthen their bond.

“One thing I remember from kindergarten was math, which was really stressful. She didn’t get it; I didn’t get it. But with home school, I have to dive in and kind of understand it,” Kimberly said.

“Once I did, our relationship with schooling and understanding each other in terms of learning style improved greatly,” she continued. “It took some time, but I think we’ve gotten into a great groove and I understand when she needs a break, especially when she has a job or something of that nature.”

Since she was two years old, Gordon has loved singing and dancing.

Vocally, she trains with Craig Derry, a coach and producer who has worked with prominent artists including Foushee, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, SWV, Al B. Sure, Tamar Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Mario, and more.

Gordon takes dance lessons at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she says she’s made a lot of friends and developed a great passion for ballet dance.

“I love ballet dance because I get to show my technique, which I love. It’s so fun to do,” Gordon said.

“I like performing because I know that I can make people smile,” she added. “I love choreography too, because I can show off my moves and my pizzazz.”

Although sad she was unable to perform on Broadway, Gordon did not let that stop her tenacity and urge to create art.

Gordon, who sings under the stage name KylieBear, recently released a new single, “This Girl,” which she wrote with her mom.

“‘This Girl’ is about a girl who’s telling people not to just pay attention to her looks, but also to her feelings,” she said. “We had so much fun doing it. First, we just had a little melody, and then we started writing the lyrics, adding the details, and then I started singing it.”

“I like to show my feelings in my songs in ways I can’t actually speak them sometimes.,” she continued. “I like people to listen to them when I don’t think they can actually hear me.”

Gordon’s discography also includes original songs such as “Hey Mr. DJ,” “You Are My Friend,” and “Lights Camera Action.”

She said that her biggest musical influences are Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and the Broadway cast of Hamilton.

Kylie and her mom are extremely thankful for Time4Learning and the way they were supported throughout her rigorous schedule as a performer.

In fact, Gordon was able to interact with other students her age who were also graduating via the virtual graduation ceremony, hosted on YouTube Live.

As she moves on academically, Kylie also looks forward to advancing her performance career — and even has some big goals for herself.

“I want to perform all over the place, and hopefully have my own tour,” she said. “I want to have a bunch of people in the audience singing my name. I want to showcase myself.”

Off-Broadway in the Boros holds first festival-style series

Oh, what a night!
To celebrate Broadway’s official reopening since the pandemic, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment presented the Off-Broadway in the Boros event for the first time as a five-day festival.
This year, the stage traveled to audiences across all five boroughs to connect them to theater and live performances just off the Great White Way.
“A couple of years ago, we put together a small study that showed theaters smaller than Broadway generate $1.3 billion in economic activity for the city,” said Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
“We thought bringing these performances to the boroughs would be a great way to connect people to the resources in their communities,” she added. “It’s really important to remind people of what’s so inherently unique about New York and how we have talent in every nook and cranny.”
Various acts performed throughout the five days, including the Gazillion Bubble Show, Hell’s Kitchen Happiness Krewe, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and the cast of “TORCHED!” from Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.
Deni Yang of the Gazillion Bubble Show kicked off the Jackson Heights event in a way that was whimsical enough to make a person of any age feel like a kid again.
The Gazillion Bubble Show was started in New York in 2007 by the Yang family. Ever since, they’ve found ways to make it better.
“At first, my parents and I were traveling around in a circus act, which then developed into bubbles because we got more into the science side of things,” said Yang.
The Gazillion Bubble Show holds two Guinness world records, one for the world’s largest bubble and another for the most people put inside a bubble, which is 181.
Yang said that he was delighted to perform at the Off-Broadway in the Boros fest and see so many families and children having fun.
Folks who attended the festival had the opportunity to enjoy a preview of the musical “TORCHED!” performed by Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.
Writer and director Rosalba Rolón said the musical is still in development and will make its debut on December 2.
“TORCHED!” is a story about what Bronx residents went through during the infamous fires in the ‘70s, and much of the soundtrack is influenced by Latin music.
“I think the idea of Off-Broadway in the Boros is that we need to honor multilingualism, not only bilingualism,” said Rolón. “Artists have a way of communicating so that if someone doesn’t understand a word in a specific language, there is the imagery and the music so they do.”
Guests then got to sing along and tap their feet to tunes of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and Frank Sinatra sung by Hell’s Kitchen Happiness Krewe, and were kept on the edge of their seats by the sword swallowers and contortionists of Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.
Castillo said that one of the best parts of her job is being able to see all of the different parts of the city, but it has also been a privilege to bring the performances of Off-Broadway in the Boros to places hardest hit by COVID-19.
“Arts and culture are what make the heart of New York City beat,” she said. “It’s a global parameter and what makes it the greatest city in the world.”
Regarding last week’s sudden closure of Broadway’s “Aladdin,” Castillo said that it was caused by the few cast members who were affected by the virus, combined with a lack of understudies to perform those roles at the time.
“Being in the creative community means that you come up with creative solutions every time,” she said. “From what I’ve seen across all of the creative community, they’ve been really diligent about the protocols and being safe.”

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