Acting dreams turn into long life-journey

SaSchel Moore, Reporter

Ever since she was a child, Dr. Cara Cerrone had a dream. Coming from an abusive home where talking could get her into trouble to becoming a chiropractor and getting her doctorate degree is a journey that Cerrone endured with an open mind and a flare of determination. However the harsher vices of life changed Cerrone’s initial aspirations of becoming the next Madonna. Instead, she turned to some less-than-glamourous work like waitressing. She finally found her calling by owning her own chiropractic office and finally becoming a health science technology teacher at school.

Growing up in a setting of bright lights and sandy storms of Las Vegas, Nevada, it is assumed that Cerrone was no stranger to the fast-paced casinos and cunning high rollers that have been depicted in many film productions in this city.

“[Growing up in Vegas] was actually really boring.” Cerrone said. “There wasn’t much to do save driving up and down the strip if you weren’t 21.”

She spent her life as a natural-born introvert, preferring not to go to parties. It wasn’t until she was in high school that she met a director that changed her life.

“The theatre director was the first teacher to actually take an interest in me and made me feel like I had talent,” Cerrone said. “[From that point on] I actually enjoyed school.”

After playing Wendy in “Peter Pan” and the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz,” Cerrone was completely serious about becoming an actress so at the tender age of 18, she headed off to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, California.

“It was a really liberating experience,” Cerrone said. “I got to spend years in education where I met teachers that really inspired me.”

For acting school, Cerrone moved out to Los Angeles where she had to develop a rigorous routine of riding her bicycle to get from home, to work and to auditions all in a confining time frame of 24 hours.  Nevertheless, Cerrone was never afraid to take risks – a feat that included her sneaking into the film location of “Honeymoon in Vegas,” starring Nicholas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“It was really cool because I got an up-close shot of myself screaming for Elvis,” Cerrone said. “I was really proud. I took a chance and it worked out.”

However something stopped Cerrone from pursuing an acting career. Taking on the responsibility of becoming the caretaker of her two younger brothers, Cerrone took a waitressing job at a restaurant in Las Vegas in order to pay the bills. Eventually, Cerrone and her family made it to Texas where she took on a job as a massage therapist at a chiropractic office.

“I really enjoyed it,” Cerrone said. “[The work environment] was really relaxing, and I got to help people.”

The work environment was calm and peaceful, but Cerrone’s boss had no problems using Cerrone’s education in acting and customer service to its full capacity. Cerrone served as the acting secretary, massage therapist, insurance broker and receptionist. It was because of these responsibilities that Cerrone realized she wanted to further her education. She enrolled at Parker University where she learned the full trade of being a chiropractor and took on her own practice in Dallas.

“I enjoyed the patients, but I preferred the positivity of helping the patients to the business owning aspect,” Cerrone said.

That was the point where Cerrone was swayed toward education. Convinced by a friend that worked in the district, Cerrone applied for a job in GISD. Cerrone now works with students to achieve their own goals.

“I personally didn’t value education until a teacher took interest in me; it changed my life,” Cerreon said. “Now I have five degrees and work at an institution that requires me to be an extrovert. I just want [to teach] my kids to be open to any opportunity that becomes available and to be bold enough to pursue anything that interests them.”