Let Us Introduce You: Natalie Bram

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There are many words to describe sophomore nursing student Natalie Bram, but two that immediately come to mind are ‘‘humble” and “talented.” Born and raised in St. Louis, Natalie got her first taste of the performing arts at age seven.

Minghao Gao/Senior Staff Photographer

Her brothers participated in the “Summer at The Muny” program at The Muny Theater in Forest Park. With encouragement from their mother, she auditioned for the program’s children’s chorus.

“I have just loved it ever since,” said Bram. “This year will be my 14th year with the company.”

She recalled playing sports growing up but has always had a passion for the arts. Bram has clearly demonstrated this success, as a triple-threat excelling singing and dancing in addition to acting.

Most recently, Bram has gained admirers for her appearance on national television, specifically, her audition on the popular show, American Idol.

“We didn’t decide to go until 8:00 a.m. that morning, and there were thousands of people already in line,” she said. She managed not only a primary audition, but made it through to sing in front of the larger-than-life judges.

Bram sang “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson.

“I just thought, I can’t just go out there on national television and freak out! So I took a few deep breaths and went for it,” Bram said.

Randy Jackson told Bram that she sounded too “musical theater.” But with Steven Tyler complimenting her smile and guts after dancing for them on a whim, and Jennifer Lopez, whom Bram says is even more beautiful in person, telling her she had terrific potential, Bram was accepted on to American Idol.

“When I got my golden ticket,” Bram said, “my mom was on crutches. She’d broken her leg the night before, [and she was] waving her crutches in the air, hopping around, cheering for me.”

The producers highlighted Natalie, featuring a hometown visit, and she was featured dancing in between other acts in different audition cities.

Natalie attended Hollywood Week over winter break. She said it was a strange experience being constantly followed by cameras. Although the contestants were nice, she recalled they were also pretty intense.

“Other contestants live for this. For many of them this was their fourth or fifth time auditioning.”

For Natalie, the experience was once-in-a-lifetime. She said being eliminated from the show was probably a good thing and that she’s glad to be back in school.

Natalie hopes to continue spending her summers at The Muny but says fame is not for her.

“I just want to have a family, a normal life and do local theater all my life,” she said.

Still, Natalie is incredibly modest for someone who has appeared in commercials and participated in shows at The Fox Theatre.

“I just want to be a nurse and help people.”

By now, Natalie’s time on American Idol has aired. Friends began posting her online interview onto her Facebook, where the word has spread making her somewhat of a “SLUebrity.”

She laughs, “I was at Pickleman’s, and this kid pointed and said ‘Hey! Look, she was on American Idol!’ I was covering his mouth, I didn’t even know the kid, but I was pleading, ‘Please stop! You’re embarrassing me! I just want a pizza!’”