Victoria Price has been in love with singing, acting and dancing for as long as she can remember.
“I don’t think I realized there was a career for that until I was older,” says Price, who grew up in Chicago. “I was like, ‘Wow, I actually can do that and it can be my job!’ and that is a really great thing.”
For Price, theater is a perfect way to bring joy to others, and she gets to do just that as “Zuma” in Paw Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue, which comes to the Comerica Theatre on September 16 and September 17. The tour is based on the Nick Jr. animated series featuring 10-year-old boy Ryder and his team of dogs, each of whom specialize in different fields of rescue to ensure the safety of their community, Adventure Bay.
“Zuma is a 5-year-old chocolate lab and he’s actually a boy pup,” she says. “He is kind of the sea pup, so he really loves to be in the water and his catchphrase is ‘Let’s dive in!’ I love to say that a lot during the show.”
In the production, Ryder, Zuma and the rest of the pups run a race for injured Mayor Goodway after he is challenged by a fellow official, Mayor Humdinger.
“Of course, as we’re running the race, lots of things go wrong,” Price says. “Each pup has to save the day in a different way and help find clues along the race. The clue that I find is dropped in Adventure Bay, so I have to go underwater and retrieve the clue with Ryder.”
The show goes beyond the stage to the audience, who is encouraged to participate. Mayor Goodway asks questions and talks with attendees.
“The kids seem to have a really fun time with it,” Price says. “They all love to get up and dance, and there’s a couple times that they get to howl along with us. It’s just a really fun party.
Price is a natural on stage. In school, she studied music and stuck with those childhood passions.
“I really just felt like there was nothing else that I could do and be as happy as I am while I’m performing,” she says. “It’s definitely a challenging job, but it’s very rewarding and it’s very fulfilling for me.”
Although it can be difficult, Price is at peace on stage.
“My favorite part is being able to look out into the audience and seeing all the kids having the time of their lives,” she says. “It can get kind of repetitive for us, as actors, to do the same show several times a week. It’s new for each audience, though.
“Just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces is probably the most rewarding and the thing that really keeps me going, personally, when I’m really tired during the show. I look out and they’re having so much fun. I know that I have to give it 110 percent so that they can keep having fun.”
Paw Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue, Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 800.745.3000, 602.379.2800, pawpatrollive.com, 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, September 16, and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, September 17, $17.50-$41.