Stars in her eyes from a young age
Entertainer Aimee Gray has been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember.
Now she gets to play a character whose experiences mirror that of her own in the Auckland Theatre Company's production of Mamma Mia.
The 22-year-old will sing several of ABBA's hits while portraying young bride-to-be Sophie.
That includes the lyrics "mother says I was a dancer before I could walk, she says I began to sing long before I could talk" from song Thank You for the Music.
Miss Gray says her earliest memory of theatre is going to see the Wizard of Oz as a child.
"Mum says I sat on the edge of my seat for the show and wished I was up on stage."
Since then she has performed a series of roles including Mary in The Secret Garden, Brigitta in The Sound of Music and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
But she's about to step into her biggest role yet and says she is feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves.
The former Macleans College student says there are similarities between her and Sophie.
"What you see is what you get with Sophie and that's how I like to perform - very honestly. Sophie has cheeky spunk and is a determined young lady with a tad of her mother's rebellious streak."
The Eastern Beach resident says Mamma Mia is a light, fluffy musical with an amazing cast and director.
"We've been rehearsing for five months now and will spend three weeks performing so it's very, very exciting.
Miss Gray says she has realised her future horizons have broadened and doesn't know where it will lead her.
"My personality works well moving from short-term goal to short-term goal.
"I'm fortunate because I have diversity and can both sing and dance and play the piano."
Tickets are now on sale at ticketmaster.co.nz for the three week season of Mamma Mia which begins on March 4 at the Civic Theatre.