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High School Drama Student Takes it on the Road

Candace Scholz decides to try her luck in Hollywood.

Armed with a resume that lists last year’s Cappies nomination, Candace Scholz is going to Hollywood. A junior at West Potomac, Scholz is going to spend most of her third semester in Los Angeles auditioning for pilot season. She is hoping to land a role in one of the pilot shows.

Candace already has a taste of the big screen. She played the role of a champion high-school debater in the upcoming movie, “Rocket Science,” directed by Jeffrey Blitz.

“I had one scene but it was very exciting. It was my first time on set,” Scholz said.

Candace has also done extensive print and commercial work, but it was that movie role that gave her access to two important groups — she is now a member of the Screen Actors Guild and she also has an agent (Linda Townsend Management).

Yet, it was local theater where it all began. While her family was living in New Mexico, she played the lead role of Helen Keller in a college production of “Miracle Worker” — she was 10 years old.

“I did a lot of community theater,” Candace said. “It really sparked my interest.”

She continued to perform in productions in both New Mexico and Alaska. When her family returned to this area after being gone for seven years, she enrolled at West Potomac. She played Bianca in “The Taming of the Shrew” and Stoney Brook in “All My Murders.” She received a Cappies nomination as best comic actress for her latter role.

CANDACE FINDS the drama program at West Potomac to be much more intensive than the high school she attended in Alaska. They spend a lot more time on production, including weekends. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Kathie McCormally, who has been running the drama program at West Potomac for the past 11 years.

“Candace has been a joy to work with — she is very busy with auditions outside of school as she tries to get her career started, but she is very conscientious about her commitment to our program,” McCormally said. “She works in the costume construction room whenever possible and tries to make every effort to be as involved as possible in our program. She has made many friends at West Potomac and has really become a great asset to our department.”

Candace said that her parents have been very supportive and that her father, Mark Scholz, will go out to California with her. Her mother, Dawn, had hoped to retire soon but that won’t happen in time for her to go to California for the whole time. She will make frequent visits, however.

“She keeps doing so well that we can’t ignore it,” said Dawn Scholz. “They [Candace's agency] wanted her to go last year for pilot season. We had too much going on then and promised her that we would try to make it work this year.”

Candace realizes that it’s not a great time to miss school, but said that there’s no good time and has to get her feet wet sometime. She is going to continue with her schoolwork while she is gone.

“We’ve talked to the teachers and principal,” said Dawn Scholz. “I think it’s do-able, and may be worth it if she can keep her grades up.”

Dawn Scholz knows that it’s a dangerous industry and is nervous about it.

“You hope that you’re doing the right thing,” said Dawn Scholz. “But she loves it; she thrives on stage. Timing is everything. She has to go out and give it a shot.”