A senior at Thomson High School, Meghan Alexis Sutton is not only a talented actress, but a singer, too.
The multi-talented 17-year-old from Dearing has performed in several musicals since her freshman year and now has aspirations of someday performing on Broadway in New York. Meghan, the daughter of Ray and Tammy Sutton, admitted during a recent interview that she isn't just dreaming about it.
"I'm really going to work hard to make that come true," said Meghan. "I'd like to be in Phantom of the Opera."
Her mother strongly believes that her daughter has the talent and the drive to accomplish such a dream.
"Meghan has the drive to be very successful someday," said Mrs. Sutton. "Success is about doing what you love to do and Meghan loves what she does on a stage."
Meghan, the reigning Miss Dearing Mayfest, said, "I just want to be all-out my senior year."
After graduation, Meghan plans to attend either the University of Georgia or Augusta State University where she will double-major in vocal performance and music education. She also plans to minor in Spanish or music theatre.
"There's no feeling in the world like being under the lights and the microphone," said Meghan. "You get to be a different person. I love playing a cat."
Since she was 8, Meghan has been performing in front of crowds. It all began when she sang her first song in public. While a third grader at Dearing Elementary School, Meghan performed "Old Beautiful" at the school.
"I can remember being really nervous singing in front of everybody," recalled Meghan. But because she sang so well, she was invited to perform for members of the McDuffie County Board of Education at the Central Office in Thomson.
"She sang beautifully for them," said a proud Mrs. Sutton, noting that Jim McGaw, a retired music teacher at the school, is the person who recognized her talent and requested that she sing the song. Since then, she has learned from Thomson High's Pam McCorkle, Kelly Flanders and Janet Bailey.
Meghan is regarded as "an outstanding music student," said Mrs. Sutton.
Meghan, who has a brother, Ray Sutton, III, and a sister, Emily, 5, loves singing.
"I just love singing, because it's a gift from God," she said. "I want to use that gift."
Her mother said for all the things she's proud of her older daughter for in life that her walk with God is the biggest.
The Sutton family is members of Fort Creek Baptist Church near Dearing.
"I'm proud of her in every way, especially in her walk with God," said Mrs. Sutton, who sings, too. Mrs. Sutton frequently sings at church, weddings, funerals and other events. She and Meghan have sang together to benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life team in Dearing during the last couple of years. Meghan also has performed for the Honors Chorus at First Baptist Church of Augusta.
"I guess you could say that singing runs in the genes," said Mrs. Sutton.
Meghan, who also enjoys writing poetry and photography, contends that she has grown to simply love performing on stage.
"I guess you could say that I'm addicted to the stage," said Meghan. "I love performing in front of people. I'm just glad that the Lord has put me in certain places where I can share my talent."