By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — All it took was a special letter from a senior at Perpich Center for Arts Education. A year later, the Golden Valley student found himself face-to-face with legendary performer Julie Andrews.

On Thursday, stage manager Ben Schultz was a little stressed, racing against the clock.

“We have to get everything ready for rehearsal in like an hour-and-a-half,” Schultz said.

The Perpich Center senior made a request about a year ago that was fulfilled on Thursday.

“I am proud and honored to introduce, on the Perpich stage, one and only Dame Julie Andrews,” said Schultz, as he introduced Andrews to the audience.

A longtime fan of the legendary performer, Schultz thought what better place for her to inspire than at his school, which focuses on art education.

“Just the fact she came here is just such a great honor for me and my school,” Schultz said.

“The best part was just being able to see her that close and hear her talk to us, not from a script, but just as a real person,” said Perpich student Lily Reed.

For a half hour she took student questions and offered advice.

“I think, if you’re passionate about what you do, opportunities will float by when you least expect it,” said the actress, singer and author.

Andrews even addressed politics and funding arts education.

“I think that when you are all 18, you should go out and vote,” she said.

The entire time, Schultz had the best seat in the house.

“It’s still setting in. I can’t say anything right now, because it’s still all slowly absorbing,” Schultz said.

As he re-focuses his attention on the upcoming curtain call, their spring musical “Into The Woods,” he’s well aware the show that brought down the house, already happened.

Andrews is also in town on a book tour. She’ll be signing copies of her latest children’s book Friday at the Har Mar Mall in Roseville.

Comments (7)
  1. Sue P. says:

    Note: doesn’t say she charged $45K for it
    Bravo Ms Andrews!

    1. lyns says:

      actually my mom works there, she visited for free, there is no way that the school could afford something like that. it was merely the perseverance of schultz that she visited at all. it was a great kindness on her part. she is truly a wonderful human being.

  2. Melany says:

    Thanks for coming to Minnesota, Dame Julie Andrews. We love you.

  3. cls says:

    I regret not sending my son to that school. I was too afraid to let him live in a dorm by himself as a senior. Now he may never use the incredible talents he has been blessed with.

  4. Say what? says:

    What a great day for these student!

  5. Makenzie N Boes says:

    It was so cool!!! Benjamin is an amazing person who will accomplish great things 🙂 having Julie Andrews as a guest artist at Arts High was the perfect end of a senior year. She is just so wonderful. a genuinly sweet woman.

    btw, if anyone has questions about student life at PCAE i’d be happy to answer them (this is in response to the comment above)

  6. Erin S. says:

    I am a student at Perpich, it was so incredible having her here today. This is truly an amazing school.

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