Artist Spotlight: Jillian Reef

Artist Spotlight: Jillian Reef

Angela Benzigar ’22

Jill Reef ’21 in front of the Knight Fine Arts Center.

You may know her from the many dance performances, her wonderful singing, or her multiple roles in Western Reserve Academy’s productions. Meet the artist of the month, Jill Reef ’21!

Jill has been interested in performing ever since she can remember. “Legend has it that I was singing before I started talking,” she claims. Her love for performing has certainly evolved as she notes that she spends over twelve hours a week on her craft (mostly due to the multiple college auditions, essays, lessons, and classes). But, she hopes that once she gets into college, she’ll be able to focus on her abilities as a performer.

Most of her inspiration comes from past experiences since she finds that bringing her own emotions into performances and being genuine resonates best with the audience while also providing a better understanding of the character. She also takes to people around her and says that when she’s not busy with practice, she enjoys spending time with her family, such as kickboxing with her father and friends. When asked about the future, Jill explains that she plans to play Elphaba, a character from Wicked, and afterward she plans to keep a career on Broadway hoping that she will be able to write, produce, direct and star in musicals of her own creation. As for goals farther away, she hopes that at some point she could win an award, such as a Tony; however, she admits that it’s not always about the reward, but rather the journey and the work put in that makes one feel fulfilled.

Jill believes art holds power within society because it can make people feel a wide range of emotions. It can also communicate people’s thoughts and ideas. She states, “Not only does it present the passion and emotion of artists, but the very purpose of art is to fulfill the creator and cause a reaction from the viewer. Art can make people feel empathy, joy, anger and sadness.” She also believes that the wide range of art can bring light to many conversations and analyze a specific perspective. Jill emphasizes the idea that there is a need for more art in the world since it allows people to shine in ways no one else can recreate, “[since] where we are different is where we are stronger as a community.” We can’t wait to see what else Jill Reef accomplishes during her senior year at WRA!

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