2016 Wellington Idol Charlotte Ostrov Has Her Sights Set On Broadway
Story and Photos by Julie Unger
Until you’re standing next to her, it is easy to forget that 2016 Wellington Idol Charlotte Ostrov is just 14 years old. Her stage presence and personality are those of a seasoned performer.
As she finishes up eighth grade at the Bak Middle School of the Arts, her artistic adventures are only just beginning.
“I’ve been taking singing [lessons] for four years,” Ostrov said, noting that she has studied with Lynn Pernezny and Adriana Zabala.
Their teaching, along with Ostrov’s current training, have paid off. She wowed the judges when singing “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Misérables in the recent Wellington Idol finals and was told to get an agent.
Like many, she would often sing in the car and shower — “badly, I was never good,” she said. Then, her father, Robert, introduced her to musical theater.
“I just fell in love with it,” Ostrov said. “I’ve been doing it ever since, and it’s still my goal to be on Broadway.”
Though that may be a steep climb, Ostrov seems to have a better shot than most.
“I want to be famous, and I have since I was a baby,” she said. “I wanted to be a director in Hollywood, but that was not for me.”
But Ostrov didn’t let that discourage her; she took a step back and refocused.
“As I started training, I said, ‘I want to be on Broadway. How do I get there?’ I started taking singing, acting and dancing lessons. I wasn’t that bad at it, so I started to pursue it from there, when I realized it was something I enjoyed, something I can do and something that is appreciated,” Ostrov said. “I also love going to the theater. It’s a great experience. It can be educational, uplifting and inspiring. The theater is a magical place.”
While she can’t pick her favorite show, Ostrov was able to come up her top five: Les Misérables, The Lion King, Hamilton, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fiddler on the Roof.
Ostrov has had parts in many school productions, and also at the Wellington Children’s Theater. She has performed in Les Misérables, And The World Goes ’Round, Maids on Broadway, The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Annie.
When it came time to choose her song for the finals of Wellington Idol, a conversation with her mother, Kathleen, helped her pick.
“Les Mis was the first legit musical I saw, and that’s what made me fall in love with theater. However, most pieces in Les Mis are really, really overdone. It wasn’t really something that I practice a lot,” Ostrov said. “I don’t sing Les Mis a lot anymore, but my mother loves ‘I Dreamed A Dream,’ and she loves the way I sing it.”
And with that, her winning song earned her this year’s Wellington Idol grand prize.
“Winning this competition, I am not kidding, is a dream come true for this girl,” her mother said. “This is what she wants to do. She wants to sing, she wants to perform. She was made to be up there performing.”
Ostrov, who will be singing at many official Wellington events during the next year, has already sung at Wellington’s 20th anniversary celebration and is looking forward to singing the national anthem at Memorial Day and Fourth of July observances.
For a local girl — Ostrov moved to Wellington from New York when she was 4 years old, attending Temple Beth Torah and the Little Place for preschool, then Wellington Elementary School and Bak — the Wellington Idol victory is a recognition that means a lot.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunities that they’re giving me,” she said. “I like to be involved in the community.”
As she advances in her career, Ostrov would like to try more professional theater, and wants to sing publicly as much as possible. She focuses on musical theater, is a soprano, and her voice can be described as operatic.
Any ceremony or event that needs a singer, Kathleen said, her daughter would be happy to lend her talents.
“Book me!” Ostrov interjected, as only an excited teenager could.
Friends and family are in her corner, cheering her on every step of the way.
“My family is so supportive, and my grandparents are my biggest fans. My grandmother screamed when I told her I won,” she said, also thanking her sister Hannah and friend Jakob Littell.
Kathleen is thrilled for her daughter’s early success.
“I’m very proud of her, and I think that whether it turns out that she has a life on the stage or not, it doesn’t matter because she’s fulfilling her dream right now. She’s succeeding at it,” she said.
When Ostrov isn’t practicing, she enjoys listening to music, learning about history and reading plays. “I’m reading The Crucible right now,” she said.
This summer, she is working on securing an internship, focusing on local government and an off-Broadway program in New York City.
In the late summer, on Aug. 30, the Ostrov family will also find out whether her father, a lawyer, is elected as a circuit court judge for Palm Beach County.
Either way, Ostrov is dreaming big, ready to conquer the world and Broadway. In April, she secured the next step: a spot in the freshmen class at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.
“I’m going to keep singing, so you can expect to hear more from Charlotte Ostrov in the future if you live locally, and hopefully in other countries, you’ll hear about me, too,” she said.
To contact Charlotte Ostrov and inquire about bookings, visit www.twitter.com/charostrov or www.facebook.com/charlotte.ostrov.