There is a very special reason that CCPM wanted to sit down and interview Sarah Uriarte Berry. As one of Disney’s most acclaimed Belle’s from Beauty and the Beast, Sarah has had the opportunity to spend two seasons on Broadway performing and singing the song, “A Change In Me.”

This song is particularly important in the context of the musical, as it demonstrated how Belle’s time in the Beast’s castle transformed both her identity and perspective. This allowed her to find inner peace and happiness with her life, in spite of her original longings for a different path. 

This theme cannot help but remind one of the situations thrust upon a parent of a medically fragile child. Through unexpected trauma of a child at birth, a parent’s dreams can be shattered. But, just like Belle, unexpected circumstances do not need to preclude a life filled with joy, beauty, and promise. 

Learn about Sarah Uriarte Berry’s journey in life and with the song, “A Change In Me”:

You graduated from UCLA in 1992. How did you get into acting/singing?

“I knew that I had to sing, since forever! I am told by my mother that I started to sing in perfect tune as of 18 months old.”

What was the biggest hurdle you faced in your life or career, and how did you overcome it?

“Having come from a broken home, filled with stress and financial pressure, I had to be creative in how I would go about getting what I wanted. I grew up in Fresno, CA. My mother was a special education teacher of severely handicapped children.

To train my ears, I started playing violin when I was 8 years old and did so for 10 years. In order to get into a safer and better school situation, I started working when I was 13 years old at a local dinner theatre called Good Company Players. I did this to raise money for the tuition to a local private school. I also started taking voice lessons at age 16. My ultimate dream was to sing and act on Broadway.

In order to achieve my dream, my mother told me to visualize it with laser like focus. So, I dreamed it! I then visualized it in great detail and was then very specific in writing down the steps it would require to achieve my dream. I broke it down into small measurable steps and then took those steps. 

My dream was to be acting and singing on Broadway by the age of 25. I got a scholarship to UCLA as a voice major. This provided a good location for accessing the entertainment business. I worked very hard. Susan Egan, another of Disney’s most famous Broadway Belle’s was my roommate. I auditioned and proactively set about to meet the right people who could help me achieve my dream. I also worked at Disneyland as Belle for some time. I absolutely loved that!

I was finally cast in the role of Eponine in Les Miserables on Broadway, just a few months after I turned 24. Working my plan diligently paid off and I succeeded in accomplishing my dream. I owe it to my mother for guiding me on the path of first defining my dream, and then working toward it systematically.”

Having starred as Belle in 1995, before the song existed, how did it feel for your character to inherit this song? Did it change your appreciation for your role?

“It was a cathartic experience. This song allowed Belle to open up and express her emotional life. This allowed the audience to see and experience more of Belle’s character. It balanced the focus of the play, I think, to really include Beast and Belle.”

How would you describe the significance of this song, in general? What does the song mean to you?

“By the time “A Change In Me” was written and inserted into the production, I had become a mom and had a 3 year-old daughter. I took my daughter to see the newest version of the production, before I was re-introduced as Belle. Having my daughter with me during that viewing really changed my perspective about the role and the opportunity. My daughter was so moved by the fact that Beast was destined to be left alone, after he released Belle to rescue her father. My daughter’s deep emotional reaction let me know just how important this story is to people. It opened my eyes and heart to embracing this new song. I was so thrilled to have the opportunity once again and was very excited to be cast with Donny Osmond playing Gaston.”

What compelled you to say “yes” to CCPM’s request to sing this song at our upcoming Dare to Dream Christmas Extravaganza?

“I grew up to believe that it is important to share your talents and gifts with people who need them. With that being said, I am thrilled to perform at your Dare to Dream Christmas Extravaganza.”

Author’s Note:

Being the parent of a child with a diagnosis like Cerebral Palsy is not a road anybody can anticipate traveling on. While this journey is difficult, confusing, and challenging, it also brings a rewarding transformation that only a few can understand…if they are willing to embrace it.

We are honored to welcome Sarah Uriarte Berry to perform “A Change in Me” at our upcoming Dare to Dream Christmas Extravaganza on November 24th at the Coto Valley Country Club. This lovely event is designed for the entire community. It will provide our community’s children living with Cerebral Palsy and their families with a heartwarming afternoon full of holiday cheer. Cerebral Palsy families are invited to attend free of charge. Able-bodied members of the community are encouraged to attend as well, for a nominal fee. 

Guests can register at:

https://ccpm-d2d.eventbrite.com