If anyone wanted to know why Drew Ignatowski has received three Arizoni scholarships, all they had to hear was his “thank-you” speech at Monday’s Arizoni Awards. Why? The ASU senior sang his entire three-minute appreciation, paraphrasing lyrics from great show tunes. The talented 21-year-old’s impromptu performance brought down the house Monday evening at the Tempe Center for the Arts.
“I rapped my last acceptance speech, so I thought I would do something completely different this year,” Ignatowski said while holding a $2,000 scholarship check given him by the Arizoni Awards’ board of directors.
This is the third time the Arizoni’s scholarship committee has deemed Ignatowski worthy of investing in his higher education. No other young person in the awards’ 20-year history has been so honored.
The unique recognition doesn’t surprise Karen Rolston, artistic director of East Valley Children’s Theatre. She took special note of Ignatowski when he was 10 and appearing in his first play, “The Little Princess.”
“Drew sang well and moved well as the servant boy. But he had something more. He had a sparkle about him that lit up the stage everything he walked on,” Rolston said. “He still does.”
While pursuing his degree in theater at ASU, Ignatowski has appeared in student dramas as well as Childsplay productions. After graduating from ASU in December, he plans to make the proverbial move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
A 2006 graduate from Gilbert High School, Ignatowski says his early success in show business has bemused his parents.
“They’re very supportive of what I’m doing,” he said. “But I come from a family of all these engineers and doctors. Sometimes I think they must wonder where I came from.”