born with a cleft palate. survived heart failure at age 2. started playing piano at age 5. participated in a high school production of The King & I around age 8. moved to Batesville, Arkansas at age 10. skipped 5th grade. started playing oboe in 6th grade. joined the colorguard in marching band in 8th grade. became a cheerleader in 10th grade. quit cheerleading to be colorguard captain in 11th grade. after 11th grade, attended Oklahoma City University's summer musical theatre camp where she played Eponine in the high school version of Les Miserables -- her first real experience with musical theatre. became a 3-year all-state oboist. named high school salutatorian. attended OCU for music theatre. competed in Miss Arkansas and placed in the top 10 -- her platform raised awareness for Arkansas Children's Hospital's cleft lip and palate program. graduated summa cum laude.