Elon Alumni Association

Lisa Goldstein ’03 makes the most of “One Tree Hill”

By Bethany Swanson ’09

If you are a fan of the television show “One Tree Hill,” then you’ve seen Lisa Goldstein ’03. She plays Millicent Huxtable, the quirky assistant to Brooke (Sophia Bush) whose on-air relationship with Mouth McFadden (Lee Norris) has led to a regular role on the hit TV show.

Goldstein couldn’t be happier. The theater veteran is having a ball learning the workings of a television set. Growing up, Goldstein didn’t dream of becoming an actress. Acting is something she grew to love.

“I never really decided I wanted to be an actress,” she says. “It just kind of seemed like the only thing I was truly interested in. I became more serious about acting when I started attending Walnut Hill Summer Theatre School (Naticky, Mass.) from when I was 12 to 15.”

When Goldstein came to Elon, her passion for acting grew even stronger. She studied music theatre and performed in “Music Man,” “Comedy of Errors,” “Songs for a New World,” “12 Angry Jurors,” “Closer than Ever,” “Marvin’s Room” and “You Can’t Take it With You,” in which she played Penny, still one of her favorite roles.

“I miss the closeness of the performing arts department and always being in an acting class,” Goldstein says.

After graduating, Goldstein launched her career by performing in regional theater, including the Naples Dinner Theatre, the Heritage Repertory Theatre and the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, eventually landing a role in the original cast of “Finding Nemo: The Musical in Disney World.”

“I auditioned at an open call in New York,” she says. “It was an original musical, so it was really exciting to work on a project that no one had ever tackled before. I started as a swing, learning multiple roles, and I ended up playing Nemo.”

In August 2007, she got the phone call of a lifetime. The creators of “One Tree Hill” loved the audition tape she sent in and hired her to play Millicent.

“I had to have one of my best friends listen to the voice mail because I didn’t believe it was real,” Goldstein recalls.

Goldstein’s talents have led to a regular role on the CW network show, which is filmed in Wilmington, N.C.

 “I had never been on a TV or film set before, so I have really learned the ins and outs of a set,” she says. “I’ve learned so much. I have become more comfortable with breaking down scenes and making good choices for scenes quickly.”

Goldstein credits the fundamentals she learned at Elon with helping her succeed.
“It gave me the very important foundations that a career in the arts needs,” she says. “Whenever I am questioning something or am unsure of what I should be doing with a scene, I always go back to my Elon ‘toolbox’ and find what I need.”

Last fall, Goldstein returned to campus to be recognized as an outstanding young alum during Alumni Leadership Weekend. She joined Hannah Campbell ’02 and Christian Brescia ’03 for a special ceremony. She also shared her expertise with students.

“The professors really opened my eyes to what a challenge acting is and how rewarding it is,” she says. “I fell in love with the campus as soon as I saw it. I would tell students to use Elon’s resources now while they can because they’ll miss Elon as soon as they’ve gone.”