LCM alum moves to Big Apple, takes career by storm

Sophie+Braud+graduated+from+LCM+in+2015+and+is+currently+on+a+nationwide+musical+tour.+

Sophie Braud graduated from LCM in 2015 and is currently on a nationwide musical tour.

Sydney Bowman, Editor

Many kids who grow up in a small town may dream to one day move to the big city. LCM alumna Sophie Braud, who graduated in 2015, has made this particular dream a reality. 

Braud currently resides in New York City and has been traveling the country performing in “Escape to Margaritaville” with one of her favorite childhood singers, Jimmy Buffett. According to Braud, the production is a combination of jazz funk and hip hop with balletic accents and a full-on tap number. She will be performing on tour until July 5, 2020, and even made a recent stop in Orange to perform at the Lutcher Theater in front of her family and friends.

“If you would’ve told my 12-year-old self that I would be performing on stage with the same guy I listened to at all my Gulf Shores, Alabama vacations growing up, I would have NEVER believed you,” Braud said. “He pops in from time to time to perform with us and it’s a dream.”

According to Braud, the musical takes place on a Caribbean island with a charming bar tender/performer who ends up falling in love with one of the tourists.

“This is a big surprise for them both as he is a charmer who never settles down and she is a workaholic with big goals,” Braud said. “There are so many twists and turns in the story that is enhanced by the ensemble playing various different characters. The show is all molded together with Jimmy Buffett’s music in a way that is high energy, exciting, and sweet.”

Life as a dancer/performer is different to say the least.”

Braud said the tour is reaching 40 cities within 10 months and the crew is typically in most cities for a week or longer with a few one or two nighters throughout the tour.

“Life as a dancer/performer is different to say the least,” she said. “The entire lifestyle is a hustle. It’s very competitive, and is an industry full of networking, so it’s important to be scrappy, yet kind and I really feel that my training prepared me greatly for that.”

After graduating from LCM, Braud attended the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma State University, which was recently rated the #1 Dance school in the nation. While there, she took classes in ballet, tap, and jazz. She also took various acting classes and voice lessons, along with all of her other studies.

“My time at college was different than most,” Braud said. “It was a strict, rigorous, performing arts program that took a lot of personal strength to accomplish, but it very much prepared me for the competitive nature of this career in New York City. My days at college started at 8 and usually ended around 10:45 at night, so it was busy to say the least. I know that I would not have the musical theatre credits/careers I have without OCU, so for that I am thankful.”

Braud was involved in a production outside of OCU every summer throughout her time in college, including such productions as “West Side Story” and “Hello Dolly.”

“Being on stage performing is a feeling that is indescribable to me,” she said. “It is the one place where all my worries disappear and I am at my utmost happiest. It is truly a personal escape that is unlike any other. I feel beyond thankful to get to experience a career that makes me this happy.”

I feel beyond thankful to get to experience a career that makes me this happy.”

Along with performing, Braud loves to teach dance as well. She comes back home to Orange from time to time to teach masterclasses and choreograph for her hometown dance studio, Lorna Badon School of Fine Arts. 

“It’s so special for me to come back and see babies that I would teach in high school be all grown up as I teach them a dance for their competition team,” Braud said. “I love visiting them and working with them and watching them grow.”

Braud said when she is on the road, she misses the cozy hometown feel that Orange has, as well as the people, security, and love.

“Being on tour, some days I really miss the idea of being settled and having home-cooked meals, but coming home occasionally makes having that even more special,” she said. “I would not have this crazy dream of a career without God, my family, and my friends/community who taught me the lessons and skills I needed to achieve what I have thus far.”

High school holds so many sweet times that I will remember forever.”

Braud was involved in multiple organizations during her high school years and said some of those memories at LCM are the best she has made to date.

“I loved all of my experiences from classes, pep rallies, football games, doing announcements, to truly everything in between,” she said. “High school holds so many sweet times that I will remember forever. I’m thankful for my teachers at LCM who I continue to keep in contact with today. The people at LCM are the reason I had the most amazing high school experiences, and they truly equipped me with everything I needed to tackle college, and my career by storm.”