Young Artist Spotlight: Maddie Clinkscales

Maddie has a bright and bubbly personality and always dressed to show it.

Allie Reardon

 Maddie “Dingus” Clinkscales has grown up around the theatre, from enjoying the shows at the Derby Dinner playhouse as a toddler to her first audition at the Hardin County Playhouse after her parents saw how much she enjoyed performing in her school’s Christmas program. Since then, Maddie has taken part in many different productions: in Annie as Lily St. Regis, The Little Mermaid as Ursula, Our Town as Emily Webb, even taking on the role of Student Assistant Director in the MCHS Drama club her senior year. On top of being a dedicated member of the Drama Club, Maddie also took part in the MCHS Choir during her time as a student in Meade county. She was a member of both the Madrigal and Soundwave audition choirs while enrolled at MCHS. Along with being a talented performer Maddie has pursued other callings within the arts, taking part in costume design as well as backstage work for plays, and even picking up playing the ukulele. Maddie’s current artistic endeavors include learning the piano and pursuing her Creative Writing Degree at Emory University in the fall.


Q: You are very multi-talented. Where did your love for the arts start?

A: My family has been taking me to the theater since I was a toddler. Some of my first memories of the arts are the shows my aunt took me to at Derby Dinner. We had season tickets and we saw so many shows together. My parents have also curated my interest in the arts through introducing me to the classics, in theater, music, and literature. It became a passion very quickly as most of my good memories came from singing with my dad in the car or going to rehearsals with my mom.

Q :I know you already have many roles credits under your belt, but do you have a dream role?

A: There's a master list of roles my dad envisions me in, but one I've had a particular interest in since childhood is Judas from Jesus Christ Superstar. I grew up with my dad singing Judas' songs to me, so I have a very sentimental attachment to that role in particular. Additionally, I think his part is just beautiful from the songs he sings to the struggle he faces in the show, and I can't tell you how many times I sang Heaven on their Minds or Blood Money all throughout the house.

Q: If you had to reprise any of your roles which one would you pick?

A: It's a pretty tough race between Emily Webb from Our Town and Ursula from The Little Mermaid. I loved both of those roles for very different reasons. Emily was such a raw and emotional role, and I've never felt a more rewarding moment in my acting career than the energy from the audience when I gave Emily's final monologue. One of my favorite parts about acting is making people feel something, so I loved playing Emily because I had so many people come up to me to tell me that I made them feel something that stretched beyond a patron seeing a show. Ursula was enjoyable for the opposite reason as I could make her a loud, over the top character that put a smile on everyone's faces, one of those real cartoon-y villain types.

Q: What do you think you’ll miss the most about being a part of the MCHS choir and drama departments?

A: I'm going to miss all my friends, as cheesy as that sounds. I made a lot of really great friendships, and I'll especially miss seeing how my underclassman friends continue to grow and develop their talents. Q: I know you plan on pursuing a degree in creative writing, what sparked your interest in that specifically?

A: I've always been a storyteller, but never the most succinct. I loved telling anyone who would listen about my adventures throughout the day or even something utterly mundane. It help a lot that my mom was always there to listen to every story, poem, and anecdote I had to rattle off. She encouraged me a lot as a kid and really helped me to cultivate my passion.

Q: Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

A: It's hard to say as I've always taken inspiration from everything around me, and my inspirations are ever changing from project to project. My mom is obviously a huge inspiration for me as she's so strong to make it through all the hardships life has thrown her way, but my friends inspire me a lot too since they're all so talented and multi-faceted. My theater family at Hardin County Playhouse inspired me as they all come from such diverse backgrounds and they have such open hearts and open minds.

Q: Is there a theme or subject you like to bring into your writing more than others?

A: I like to tell the stories of people that aren't typically heard. I love talking to people from backgrounds other than my own to get their perspective on life and the world around them. My perspective only reaches so far, but I think there's so many stories that need to be told that just haven't so far.

Q: If you could only pursue one form of art for the rest of your life what would you pick?

A: Personally, I believe this to be an unfair question. So many art forms have been integral to my development and journey in life that it feels impossible to imagine dropping my pursuit of any of them. That being said, I suppose I should say writing as that's what I'm going to school for, but I don't think I could ever give up my dreams of being on stage.

Q: What would you like to see happen in the arts scene of meade county?

A: I'd love to see it grow. One thing I always wished we had when I was younger was a community theater. I would love to see Meade County have their very own community theater for the kids like me who wanted to really delve into their passion for the arts early on in life.

Q:Is there anyone you’d like to thank for their support through your artistic career so far?

A:So many people. Of course I need to thank my Mom and Dad for getting the ball rolling for all my artistic endeavors, and I'd like to thank my brother for coming to all my shows even when he didn't want to. My family as a whole have been very supportive in coming to my shows and encouraging me to follow my dreams. I have a whole slew of friends to thank that have stuck it out with me since high school at the latest, but some have been there for me since early childhood.

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