Valentine's Teya Duncan was studying politics in Canberra when she realised where she actually wanted to be was performing on stage.
Fast forward three years and the 22-year-old is living under New York's bright lights making her off-Broadway debut.
The Merewether High School alumnus moved to the Big Apple in August to chase her dream of performing in musical theatre.
Already, the singer and actor has landed the part of Mad Hatter in a musical production of Alice in Wonderland in Greenwich Village.
The season runs until mid-November.
"It was very serendipitous. I had my audition for the role on my first day in New York. My flight was delayed and I thought I was going to miss it. I got there just in time," Ms Duncan said.
The role comes after studying at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Los Angeles. She was accepted into the conservatory program while rethinking her career direction.
"I was in Canberra doing a degree in politics and sociology, I loved it but it never felt right. It felt like what I had to do," she said.
"Stella Adler did an international audition tour that stopped in Sydney and I auditioned for their summer program thinking it would be good preparation for auditioning for NIDA [National Institute of Dramatic Arts].
"But I got in and I loved it so much I stayed on."
Ms Duncan moved to Brooklyn after completing the program to find more opportunities in her preferred genre of theatre.
"Ultimately I would love to be on Broadway and have consistent work in musical theatre," she said.
"I have one year left on my visa so I'll just go wherever the work is."
Ms Duncan said her love for the stage began at primary school.
"They had a thing called Showcase where every student got to be part of a performance at the Civic Theatre," she said.
And throughout high school she studied at Helen O'Grady Drama Academy at The Junction under the tutelage of Shane Skerly, who Ms Duncan described as an "incredible" teacher.
Ms Duncan hopes to one day play Elphaba in Wicked, and Zoe in Dear Evan Hansen. For now, however, she is enjoying being Alice in her own wonderland.
"A lot of the time I have to pinch myself," Ms Duncan said.