At 30 years old, Navy veteran, student, and aspiring actress Angelica ‘Geli’ Holmes took a chance to pursue a new career and discovered the secret to her happiness.
When Holmes graduated from Fieldale Collinsville High School, she didn’t have the money for college so she took up a job at a call center. If she had be given the opportunity, she probably would have pursued a degree in acting. Even though her life took a different course, she never let go of her memories of high school theater and her dreams of Holly Wood.
In 2008, she followed her father’s footsteps and joined the U.S. Navy. Even on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, right off the shores of combat zones, she still dreamed of acting.
After leaving the Navy in 2015, Holmes received her Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to drive tractor-trailers. As the long miles rolled away under her 18 wheels, she still found herself pining for the stage.
“I spent so long doing so much that was not my dream. I discovered that you are not going to be happy or satisfied until you make your dreams come true,” says Holmes.
She appreciates the time she spent in the Navy and in trucking, but those occupations were not her dream.
With no acting experience besides high school theater, but with a passion for the arts that she could not ignore, Holmes enrolled in Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) with a concentration in performing arts.
Holmes quickly got involved in performances at PHCC. In 2016, she played Kala in “Tarzan: The Musical” and the owner of the talking shop in “Mary Poppins.” At the beginning of 2017, Holmes landed another lead role in the Patriot Player’s upcoming production “Dreamgirls,” which opens on February 24.
In addition to performing, Holmes is a full-time student and works as a theater instructor for MHC After 3, an after school program for area high school and middle school students.
“I’m thirty and started my journey to my dream career just over a year ago, but it’s never too late.”
She says at PHCC she feels like she is on track to becoming an actress and finally realizing her dream. Holmes is also finding that the pursuit of her dream is rewarding in itself.
“At PHCC, especially in theater, you can find a family that appreciates you. You’re known here. All the professors and people you’re around are positive and encouraging. This theater is my second family. Every show, I meet unforgettable people who help me reach my goals,” says Holmes. “This theater is a stepping stone. Every show molds me more into the person I want to become for the future I want to have.”
The show Holmes is in now, “Dreamgirls,” is molding her in new ways. She says this show is giving her the opportunity to feel more glamorous than she has ever felt. With the Patriot Player’s first costumer designing her wardrobe for the show, she feels she is getting a taste of what she has always wanted to do.
“I am so excited for this show. It’s going to be unforgettable, for me and for the audience.”
To see Holmes perform in “Dreamgirls” purchase tickets online at phccpatriotplayers.com, in the Visitor Center on Fayette St, or on the PHCC campus at the switchboard in West Hall. Tickets are $10 in advanced and will be $15 at the door.
Show times are:
February 24-25 and March 2-4 at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 & Mar. 5 at 2 p.m.