Photography by Erica McKimmey Photography
Meet Chansey. She is Beauty Revived.
Meet Chansey, a Senior at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Missouri. She is an honor student, who is constantly striving to juggle a full course load of advanced classes with her extracurricular activities. Chansey gets her unique name, according to her mother, because, “Chansey was a surprise, and before she was born I didn’t know if she would be a boy or a girl. Then when she was born there were some complications, and she was my Chansey May baby”.
One activity Chansey is very involved in, is the performing arts department. She has been in every production since her freshmen year. According to her debate teacher, Mrs. Talty, “Chansey is an inspiring performer, who is always pushing herself to be the best in every show. She is always the first student to have her lines memorized, and always delivers a flawless performance. More than that, she drives the people around her to work just as hard, and is always willing to help out other students. Her work ethic on any performance is beyond compare”.
Chansey recalls since she was little she had always dreamed about being an actress. When she got into high school, she decided that it was finally her chance to take theater seriously and audition for a show. She had been in one show in middle school, and even though she was only an extra, she loved it. The show was “Frankenstein”. When she auditioned for the show, she wasn’t expecting to get a part. Nonetheless, Chansey was cast as a lead. She remembers being so excited! Chansey worked extremely hard to memorize all her lines and portray her part to the best of her ability. Through that show, Chansey discovered a love for preforming.
When asked about what her dream role would be, Chansey replied, “There are so many roles that I would love to play, but I think of all I would love to play Zoe Murphy from Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen is an extremely raw and real musical. It’s about suicide, love, and social anxiety. I absolutely adore the songs that she sings, and the amount of emotion that she puts into them. I would to be able to play her and portray her. Dramatic is definitely my cup of tea, and I would be able to showcase that through her character”.
In addition to drama, Chansey competes in debate. She recalls that Mrs. Talty convinced her to go to a debate tournament. Chancy thought she was honestly really bad at debate her freshman year, but still loved the experience. She also enjoyed the people involved in the program. Through this hard work and experience, Chansey qualified to go to the national tournament and placed in the top 60 in the nation this year.
Some of Chancey’s favorite memories of her time debating include: “In debate, I do a lot of dramatic performances. It’s the best of both worlds, I get to be an actress and I get to debate about the problems in the status quo. I would love to say that my most memorable moments in debate were winning first place trophies, or making it nationals. However, that is not the case. My most memorable moments have to be the ones spent with my debate family. There was a tournament last year that our team attended, and I remember just before our second round of debates, the lights went out. The tournament ended up being cancelled because of the power outage. It may seem like that should’ve been a downfall, but our team made the best of it. We ended up having a series of riff offs, hanging out at the hotel, and going antiquing. It was quite memorable”.
All of Chansey’s hard work has paid off, even though the journey was not always easy. One of her favorite versus from the bible has given her direction: “Oh give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain.” -Psalm 108:12. Chansey explained, “I like this verse because it shows me that with every problem or hindrance that I encounter in life, God is always my answer. He is the one who can help me through my struggles and who can guide me to happiness.”
About the Photographer
Erica McKimmey is a senior portrait artist serving Southwest Missouri since 2010. Erica shares, “My husband and son often tag along with me on my photography adventures. My husband teaches fifth grade, when he is not carrying my gear around. I am also a first grade teacher and I have had the pleasure of having former students come back to me as senior clients. It is a huge honor!”