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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 9 Sprinter Chloe Abbott had been singing the national an- them at home track meets since the Michigan native arrived on campus two years ago. But Jan. 31, she got an opportunity on a bigger stage, performing in front of the soldout crowd for Purdue's men's basketball game vs. Maryland in Mackey Arena. And it was a hit. Recently, we caught up with the sophomore, a mem- ber of Purdue's All-America 4x400-meter relay team and a theater major, for her thoughts. Gold and Black: Fans inside Mackey were impressed by your rendention, many expressing so on social me- dia. What has been the reaction since? Abbott: "The basketball game kind of amped up the interviews, it amped up the followers on Twitter and Instagram. People were reaching out to me say- ing they wanted me to sing at their weddings. It was weird. I was, like, weddings? I don't know what I would even sing. I guess the media has amped up but not so much my performances. There aren't a lot of opportu- nities for me right now since track is 24/7. Since the basketball game, Matt (Staudt, the track SID) been a lot more ready to put me out there more. He's been emailing baseball teams and basketball teams, like the Pacers, the Detroit Tigers and teams like that for me to sing the national anthem there. I did sing the national anthem at Big Ten (indoor Championships Feb. 24), since the basketball game. ... I've just got to be pa- tient. I'm waiting." Gold and Black: There were more than 14,000 people in Mackey Arena. Had you sung in front of that many before? Abbott: "No, I've only sang in front of a couple hun- dred people, like 700 people, and I don't even think it was that many. I feel like it prepared me for other auditions that I plan on doing. It's all coming together slowly, and I take all of the things I'm doing as signs that something bigger is coming. Matt is helping me market myself and put myself in different situations and getting me these little singing opportunities. I really appreciate what he's doing." Gold and Black: What is your dream? Abbott: "My dream is to be a professional singer, to perform all over the country and create my own music. Kind of like be an icon for people who want to be big in the music industry. ... That's re- ally my end goal. But I have a lot of goals, like commercial act- ing. I want to be on TV as well. Track is getting me through college and giving me a ton of exposure. So it's a win-win." Gold and Black: Did you grow up singing? Abbott: "Yes. My dad was a singer in the church choir. My mom told me I sang before I could speak. It just came to me, music. I gravitated to being loud and obnoxious and all over the place. My mom put me in these theater camps to help me burn off energy. I ended up really enjoy- ing theater and music and studying the craft, and know- ing all of these amazing singers. Now, I practice songs every day: Mainstream songs, Broadway music, soul mu- sic, old R & B. "But I can't perform those because I don't have any- where to perform them, but I practice them all the time in my room. I never stop singing and recording myself and listening. The only thing that I can perform is the nation- al anthem. It's a hard song, as I started to realize, too, it's good that I can add that into my repertoire of music. I can sing the national anthem and do it justice. People take offense if you don't do it correctly. It's a serious song." Gold and Black: What's next? Abbott: "It made me want to do a lot more performing, made me want to do a whole bunch of music things. I got a taste of it, and I'm like, 'I need that in my life right now.' After that, I've been focusing a lot more on music. I've been practicing almost every day, looking at auditions lo- cally, and making me think, 'I can really do this.' I have the support system, I have people who want me to do well, I will be fine. As long as I am able to balance track and me doing stuff on my own outside of track, Ill be OK." — As told to Kyle Charters Boiler Index Photo by Charles Jischke / Purdue Athletics

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