America's Oldest · Founded 1808

What the Walnut Means to Me - Angel Clardy

September 18, 2019

I was introduced to the arts at a young age. However, my journey within performing arts truly began once I attended Meredith Elementary. I grew up as a very shy girl and dance was always my outlet to break free. I grew to love both dance and theatre arts, however, I always held back with acting due to my shyness.

When I was 13, I auditioned for our school play, “Beauty and the Beast.” The show was directed by T.J. Sokso from the Walnut Street Theatre and I have always credited him for helping me break out of my shyness. T.J. assigned me as the character Lefou, the goofy and silly sidekick of Gaston. Each day, T.J. worked with me to find ways to teach me to let loose and be carefree on stage. After that role, my confidence grew like never before. It also inspired me to learn more about theatre arts and to challenge myself as I joined the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) as a theatre major.

I am now 26 years old and can confidently say that art education helped shape who I am today. I am now a host and content creator for my own podcast, titled “All of the Above” which airs on PHL Radio. Prior to my podcast, I worked in Los Angeles as a red carpet reporter for Entertainment Scoop, as a Hollywood associate for AwesomenessTV, and as a direct assistant for the Kardashian and Jenner family. I won an Emmy Award in 2016 for Outstanding Media Coverage as Associate Producer with NBC Sports Group. I have also worked in Philadelphia as a promotion and programming intern for Wired 96.5 and a sideline reporter for Penn Sports Network.

Art education is a great outlet for children and an amazing resource for keeping them productive during an era that highly revolves around technology. I am proud to be a former student of Meredith Elementary and CAPA High School. Both schools ignited a fire in me to continue art education, and I am excited and happy for T.J. Sokso to continue inspiring those around him at the Walnut Street Theatre!