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Niwot alum discusses dreams and New York performance career


February 19, 2020

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"Why wouldn't I choose the thing that brings me so much love and life?" asked Mowrey, who is actively expanding his performance career to focus more on making an EP (an extended play record).

"We seem to forget that if everyone wanted to be like Einstein, everyone would look at scientists the way they look at artists," said Cody Mowrey, a Niwot High School alum who's chasing his dreams of being on stage.

Since Mowrey was a child, he has been singing and dancing, putting on performances for whomever would watch. Eventually, he found musical theater which combined his three passions, so when it came to choosing a major in college, it seemed to be the natural choice. In 2014, he chose the University of Northern Colorado's highly competitive musical theatre program.

He took the opportunity to participate in a New York showcase his senior year, which resulted in agency appointments and eventually a contract. "Ten days after I graduated college, I moved from Longmont to New York...It's such a big culture shock," Mowrey said. "It's just crazy that in such a small area, there's millions of different lives, and you walk outside your door and people's energy slaps in your face."

Since coming to New York, he has appeared in a few theater shows and recently had his Off-Broadway debut in the original show Cleopatra last October. The show combines music, dance, fashion, and theater in an interactive, historical drama focused on the final night of the queen's reign.

Shortly after that closed, Mowrey was presented the opportunity to work with Celebrity Cruises Entertainment, during which he was able to travel the world and perform. Recently, Mowrey has shifted his focus from theatrical performance to singing and songwriting.

"What started it all was music and the way that hearing sound can affect your mental state and you can feel it in your soul. I want to dive into that dream, my first dream was to become a musical artist, I wanted to give that dream the time it deserves to come to fruition."

While he's excited to pursue his musical path, he admitted that it's also scary. Given that all of his training and experience is in musical theater, it made sense for him to pursue that practically, even if that isn't the most stable career path. He describes performance careers as unstable, and stressed the importance of putting in the effort to make it happen, saying that imposter syndrome is a real thing for artists. Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern where someone doubts their own accomplishments. "As a performer, you take what you do so personally, because you identify with it and the fear of not being 'good enough' to have a stable living is real."

As for following your dreams, "We only get to live one time and because we, as a country, are so driven off of fear, I think that's where people get it confused," he said. "Instead of running away from the fear, you need to run towards it, because unexpected and beautiful change happens... If nothing comes from it (my career as a musician), but I still feel fulfilled, it will still be worth it, because I know that I tried and I was able to feed the part of my soul that's been craving to shine."

Some of the inspiration behind his focus shift comes from a book a friend gave him called "Turning Pro" by Steven Pressfield. Pressfield explores the idea of "shadow careers," or jobs where people settle for a shadow of their original dream. It may or may not still be satisfying, but not in the same way that a so-called pipe-dream career might be fulfilling.

"You always hear about it (pipe-dreams), and I found the definition on Google. It says it's an 'unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme,' and that does not sit right with me. It makes it seem like anything considered a pipe-dream is just that: that you can't attain it or that it's foolish to strive for."

He said that he knows that he's here on earth for a reason: to perform and to make people feel something. For him, a "pipe-dream" would mean that he would quit performing, that would be his unattainable scheme because for him, performance brings him life and purpose.

The future for Mowrey looks bright--whether it's through theatre performance or musically, he's excited to share his talents with the world. He's excited to show aspiring performers that it is possible to achieve their dreams, even if they seem "unrealistic."

"There are just as many (paths) for performers, you just don't see it as much... Once you step out of the way for yourself, you're able to soar."

To keep up to date with Mowrey, you can see his career progress on Instagram at @cmmowrey.


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