Bullard Alumni Salisha Thomas

Malaak Ayesh

The students of Bullard today may never know of the people who previously walked the same halls, sat in the same classes and practically lived the same lives. I believe we should look to our alumni for inspiration as examples of successfully following our dreams.

Salisha Thomas, Broadway performer, blogger, podcast host, and so much more graduated from Bullard High in the class of 2010. She was extremely active on campus, participating in mock trials, leadership, drama club, cheer, band, and improv. Thomas recalls participating in leadership as the most memorable moment for her. “ We made a LOT of balloon arches and painted a LOT of signs,” she happily remarked.

She also remembers her fondness for theater.  She stated, ” I loved being a drama kid. I felt at home in the theater.” She even stayed in contact with Ken Strauss, who still builds the sets of the plays today, saying, “ He has always been so supportive and we have stayed friends throughout the years!” 

Adding onto her already successful high school career she became ASB President and decided to run for Miss Fresno County her senior year. Being awarded 1st runner she was granted scholarship opportunities and was introduced to many great people.

While on tour for Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, she knew she wanted to participate in another pageant. Looking for one that would work with her busy schedule she found the Miss California World Pageant and decided to run. After winning she got the opportunity to meet her fellow winners in other states at every stop of her tour.

Crediting part of her win to her time spent at Bullard she reports, “…looking back on it, Bullard helped my communication skills for when I was Miss California World.” Thomas explains how socializing with peers of all types of different backgrounds and races, prepared her for her current occupation. 

Having participated in practically every play and musical in high school she was bound to become a performer. Thomas explains why although Hollywood would seem like the obvious option for someone living in California, she opted for Broadway.

Relating to the majority of teenagers today Thomas recalls dealing with insecurities that made being on stage more appealing than on camera. “So in my high school brain, I thought being in a theater where the audience is much further away than a camera (like for TV or film),  would hide those things that I thought of as flaws,” she explains.

Her advice to aspiring performers is to, “KNOW that there will be more rejection than you’d probably like. But do NOT let it stop you. Keep showing up.”

She concludes by advising, “Instead of always trying to give them what you think they want, show shortest authentically. It will be more gratifying and the payoff is much greater when you get the YES.”