The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

Broadway actress Janet Dacal visits MAST

MAST Academy’s Performing Arts Club welcomed original “In the Heights” cast member in preparation for spring musical
Amy Garcia
Broadway actress Janet Dacal waves to students as she enters Mr. Gomez’s room to speak to MAST Academy students.

Janet Dacal, an original member of the Broadway musical “In the Heights” visited MAST Academy’s Performing Arts Club on Dec. 1st.

Although born in Los Angles, Dacal graduated from Miami Coral Park Senior High School. In high school, she was a member of her school’s theater club where she made many connections.

In her early career, Dacal became friends with Lin-Manuel Miranda,  the writer of “In the Heights”. Years later, while working as a receptionist, she received a call from Miranda offering her an audition for in the musical.

She received the role of Carla for the first reading of the musical. In 2008, after 8 years of preforming, they opened in Broadway where Dacal played Carla and was an understudy for Nina and Vanessa.

Story continues below advertisement

After introducing herself, Dacal answered questions and gave advice to the Performing Arts Club members.

“I always feel I’m going to get sick before my show even when I know I’ve taken care of myself,” junior Samantha Megias, MAST Academy’s Carla, told Dacal. “Do you have any tips on how I can assure I don’t get sick or reassure myself everything is going to be alright?”

Dacal advised Megias to discover what makes her feel “under the weather” and to take care of herself before performances.

“Find out what is the main cause of you starting to feel under the weather is, ” Decal advised Megias. She discovered that her lack of rest was the cause of her feeling poor and made sure she was well rested before a performance.

Broadway actress Janet Dacal speaks to MAST Academy students on Dec. 1, 2023. (Amy Garcia)


Dacal gave tips to MAST Academy students with how to improve their stage presence, nervousness, and with how to get their lines and notes down.

“I am a very auditory learner so recording my lines, and my songs is how I memorize my line best,” Dacal told the club members, “I recommend sitting down and breaking down your lines and memorizing them by segments. Get whoever speaks before, during or after you to help your practice timing and tones.”

Before leaving, Dacal gathered the students around the piano to show them a fun vocal warm up as she is now a private vocal coach on her off time.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Beacon

Your donation will support the student journalists of MAST Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributor
Amy Garcia
Amy Garcia, Staff Writer
Amy Garcia is a freshman and student journalist at MAST Academy at Virginia Key. She came to MAST because she had heard of its reputation and believed it was a good school and would be an interesting location. This is her first year at MAST and on The Beacon. Garcia joined the school newspaper because she likes to know what is going on at her school and enjoys interviewing and talking to others. She is very social and likes to get to know people. She wants to cover MAST sports and tackle the controversial and sensitive topics that often need to be written. Garcia likes to know more about people and the reason behind their personalities and interests. She is interested in studying psychology and is reaching for schools like Stanford and Yale.
Donate to The Beacon

Comments (0)

All The Beacon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *