Chloe Voreis was 3 years old when she figured out what she wanted to do with her life.
"I saw a production of Yankee Doodle Dandies [at the Creative Arts Theater & School in Arlington] and I just loved it," she says. "During the performance, right then, I turned to my mom and told her, 'That's what I want to do.'"
Two years later, Voreis made her musical theater debut, on that very stage, in a production of Jack and the Giant.
Performing has been in her blood ever since.
The 18-year-old Mansfield High graduate, a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, clearly has the talent to go far. In fact, she already has.
As a winner of the 2012 Betty Buckley High School Musical Theater Awards, she and fellow Mansfield High student Myles Phillips, another honoree, earned a trip to New York in June for the National High School Musical Theater Awards.
They were among the 60 teenagers chosen from a nationwide casting call of more than 50,000 students to participate in an intensive week of "theatrical boot camp" with top industry professionals.
The week ended with them putting on a show at Broadway's 2,500-seat Minskoff Theatre, current home of The Lion King.
It's all chronicled in the three-part PBS series Broadway or Bust, premiering at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Voreis says it was a week she will never forget.
"It was a huge honor in the first place to win the Buckley, so New York was just icing on the cake," she says. "We got to do a lot of cool things. We went to see Nice Work If You Can Get It and had a talk with the cast after.
"But the best part was really just surrounding ourselves with industry professionals all week. I got to work most closely with Michael McElroy, who played Tom Collins in Rent on Broadway. It was an amazing learning experience."
It was also an eye-opening experience.
After all, for pretty much all her life, at every performance level, Voreis has been the star. "In high school," she says, "I was known for being 'the singer.'"
So it was humbling to arrive in New York, where everyone was just as talented and had the same career goals that only a handful, ultimately, will achieve.
Some fellow students, Voreis says, couldn't handle the pressure.
"It definitely gave us a great insight on how New York professional theater works," she says. "We were treated like professionals the whole time. We weren't babied in any way. We were treated like we were actual Equity Broadway professionals.
"For some people, it was really tough. Not everyone can do it. There were a lot of tears and stuff. I personally took it well. I didn't cry. I'm kind of the no-nonsense type. You have to have a tough shell to take criticism and channel into your work and make the work better because of it."
Yet Voreis isn't entirely sure what the future holds for her.
It's why, ever the pragmatist, she's not a theater major at Oklahoma.
"I want to get a degree in something that offers a steady income, just in case," she says. "Besides, I know I'm not going to lose the talent just because I'm not going to major in it."
It also has occurred to her that the notion of Broadway or Bust is somewhat flawed thinking.
Why only those two options?
"I want to continue to do this forever," Voreis says. "But who says it necessarily has to mean all the way to New York and Broadway? I've done a lot of Bass Hall and Casa Mañana shows and they're wonderful, nothing to look down your nose at.
"I think I would be totally fulfilled to do Bass/Casa/Lyric Stage shows forever. We'll see."