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Year in Review 2021

“I’ve been very blessed to play some of the most iconic venues in the world and be on those stages. But the gratitude I have for Orlando for the quality of training and what I was able to do here, I couldn’t be prouder to be from the city.”

  • Michael James Scott, Broadway star and Orlando native


“I’ve had times where I’ve sat on a beach or gone horse riding or something else equally rewarding and relaxing … and pretty soon I sat there thinking to myself, ‘Why am I doing this, why am I not working?’ The truth is I love [making music] so much and I look forward to it. Performing is something I’ve always liked to do and of course I feel privileged to be able to do that for a living, and that is a feeling that never goes away no matter how old you get.”

  • Paul McCartney


“I’m still 25 years old in my head. You just have to avoid mirrors. When we walk on that stage, we’re 16; we’re 22. You get back to that same feeling when you were a kid. That doesn’t change.”

— Steven Van Zandt, guitarist in The E Street Band


“My mother has taught me the importance of not taking things too seriously and to try to be very open and free-spirited. Instead of letting things get you down, my mother thinks you need to learn to laugh even in bad times. I really believe in that. She’s a great woman and she always inspires me. She’s been my rock and has taught me so much about life.”

  • Kate Hudson


“I’ve missed touring and performing a lot. I was sitting on the bus in Omaha waiting to do a show the night when we had to cancel the tour because of COVID. And that was March of last year so I can’t wait to get back out there! And I hate that I’ve not been able to see the new Orlando location [of my restaurant Ole Red] yet but I promise y’all, it will be a long night of music when we get on stage, so get ready.”

— Blake Shelton


“My wife and I have a [baby] boy due in March. That’s a major thing. I remember when my wife was pregnant with my daughter. I’ve never really told anyone this before, but back then I was really hoping that it was not a boy, because I wasn’t ready to raise a Black man. I didn’t know if I had the stuff yet. With [the pandemic] and life being on pause, I’ve learned that you have to have faith and keep walking. I’ve felt more ready, and I owe a whole lot of credit to the lessons my daughter taught me about what it means to be a father. It has made me a whole lot more ready to welcome my son in March.”

  • Leslie Odom Jr.


“People talk about the choices we make in life and what road we take and where we could be now if we had tried something different. That’s true, but I do always think we have the opportunity to start life over every day—every single day is an opportunity, and at each minute is a new path that we can take. You know, we are the captains of our ships and that’s daunting but that’s also exhilarating.”

  • Idina Menzel


“My dad has said to me my entire life, ‘You’re only as good as your last gig, babe.’ I really believe that to this day. It means that we all have to contribute, work hard and stay in the game. You’ve got to deliver on integrity every time. … Integrity is really important to me because I think audiences can tell.”

  • Kate Winslet


“I earned my law degree and moved to the United States shortly thereafter. I initially lived in Lake Buena Vista and got my first job as a paralegal. On my very first day of work, I was given an assignment to read a lot of big legal books in preparation of a case. I started to have a mini panic attack because I realized that this was not the career for me. I knew in that moment that I wouldn’t be happy reading books in an office all day. … I began thinking about enrolling in culinary school and becoming a chef because I have always loved cooking and the way food brings people together.”

  • Lorena Garcia


“I speak my truth every chance I get, and I will continue doing so. I always feel that I am trying to heal my younger self; that little girl who grew up in poverty, who didn’t have enough to eat, and who grew up in abuse. She follows me everywhere I go.”

  • Viola Davis


“I think when you have a school that’s big and successful [like Dr. Phillips High School], you’re going to draw in a lot of the talent. In terms of acting, I think a lot of the talent was drawn there specifically because of the program that Karen Rugerio was running and the type of person she is. So many people wanted to be in her sphere and as a kid, I know she made me feel like a professional. By the time I walked out of her classroom and having done the productions that I did, I knew that I was ready to work. She did that for everybody. You can throw a rock on Broadway and at some point, you’ll hit someone from Dr. Phillips High School whether they are onstage, a producer, a tech or a stage manager. She churned out a lot of great people.”

  • Wayne Brady


“I love acting in the movies I get to direct because it’s much easier to speak up when you don’t like the way a scene is being shot. Obviously, you have so much more control over the entire process and you can create the kind of atmosphere on the set that you feel is going to help you and the other actors do the best work possible.”

  • Ben Affleck


“[T]hat’s where I developed my ideal for perfection. During the time I worked for Disney, as well as Universal Studios and Sea World, I was barely making ends meet but I was loving it because I was being creative and I was doing exactly what I needed to do.”

  • David Bromstad, HGTV personality


“In all my songs I try to be honest and open. But much of the inspiration these days comes in me wanting each song to say something autobiographical about myself. Each song has a personal connection.”

  • Lady Gaga


“Growing up I didn’t really have any insight into Tony Soprano in any way, shape or form. Luckily, I played Tony and not my dad, and that was the distinction in my head; that I was not playing my dad. I think if I let myself go to those places, it would have opened a door to becoming so overwhelmed by his legacy, the fans and making the show’s original cast members proud.”

  • Michael Gandolfini


“This new start of the tour has me on a tight schedule, thus demanding a strong vocal commitment and good health. But it is a labor of extreme love, because I can finally reunite with my audience again in person, as I had done for so many years. I can thank all of those who have been so kind to appreciate my music. To return to concert venues and sing is like finally being able to hug the many friends I was not able to meet for so long.”

— Andrea Bocelli


Readers’ Choice



Ten Thousand Villages,

Winter Park


Dog Daycare

Dogtopia, Downtown

& Winter Park



Fitness Training

Body Coach, Windermere




Foreign Accents, Orlando


Hotel Spa 

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando,

Grande Lakes, Orlando


Kickbox Fitness

9 Round, multiple locations


Juice Bar 

Clean Juice, multiple locations


Pet Food

Pawsitively Pure Dog Food,


(407) 450-6151 |


Pet Boarding 

V.I.Pet Resort, Orlando


Stretch Studio

Stretch Zone, multiple locations


Veterinary Care

Winter Park Veterinary Hospital

Winter Park

(407) 644-2676 |