The VIP Lounge with Quiana Holmes, one of the Supremes in ‘Motown the Musical’

Quiana Holmes graduated from Berklee College of Music in May 2017 and within a few months landed the role of Mary Wilson (one of the Supremes) in the national tour of “Motown the Musical,” coming to the Boston Opera House June 12-17. “I’m so excited to be performing in Boston,” said Holmes, 23, in a phone call from Toronto, where the show was beginning a two-week run. The Rome, N.Y., native, who lives in Dorchester (when she’s not on tour) with her boyfriend, actor-singer Jaison Hunter, made her professional debut as Dorothy in Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s 2015 production of “The Wiz.” Holmes said that playing Wilson is “amazing,” and she particularly likes all of the dancing. “This is the first show where I’ve really had to dance,” she said. “So I’ve learned a lot.” We caught up with Holmes to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? It would definitely have to be Universal Studios or Disney World in Florida. I went a while back when I was younger for a show choir competition and I fell in love. I am a big Disney and Pixar fan, and I love virtual reality and simulation rides. I am not a fan of big roller coasters anymore, but I love when rides are able to trick me into thinking I am moving when I’m actually not. I also really love being able to see a performance with my favorite characters. The shows are the best part.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Vacationing or not, my favorite food and drink combo of all time is French toast and an Oreo milkshake. I can have French toast for any meal. I am a huge sugar fan and this combination always does great things for the happiness of my soul. I really can’t look away when those items are on a menu.


Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I want to travel to Spain and I am determined to make it happen. I have always wanted to live there to learn the culture and learn the language. It’s been hard to make plans to travel there because I went to Berklee College of Music right after high school and then, right after graduating, I was blessed with an opportunity to travel nationally with “Motown the Musical.” So, I would give it a few more years of me working in the music and theater industry before I decide to take a break and travel.

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One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? This question is so funny to me because I just realized that I cannot travel without my king-size, fluffy blanket. This is something that is new to me as well, because it was never a thought. I’ve noticed that I feel safer and more at home when I have a big, fluffy blanket with me. Sometimes space is restrictive, but I will always find a way to travel with my blanket.

Aisle or window? I would choose the window seat any day. First, I love looking out the window during takeoff on a flight; I am always fascinated about the beautiful patterns our planet has to offer. I just really love getting lost in the scenery below me when flying. Second, but most importantly, I love being able to prop my blanket up on the window to take nice, comfy naps. I am definitely one to get a lot of sleep when traveling, and window seats help me fall asleep quicker.

Favorite childhood travel memory? Back in my early high school career, I was chosen to travel outside the country for the first time with my high school’s select choir. We were chosen to travel to Europe — for free! We had a homestay in Italy and got to see Austria, Germany, and France as well. On top of that, we traveled Europe with pop artist Jordin Sparks. We had cameras following us throughout our entire journey. We had to write in our journals and document our experiences. We tried so many new foods and got to experience so many new cultures. We also had the chance to sing with an Austrian choir. I will never forget that time in my life . . . it changed me forever.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? Everyone who knows me knows I love traveling with my “Sims.” I have been obsessed with this computer game for over 10 years now and I don’t travel without it. If I have down time and I am not taking a nap, you can find me building and decorating houses or making families on that game.


Best travel tip? The best travel tip I have is to not only manage your time, but always make sure you leave time and space for if things go wrong. I have found that I have saved myself time and money because I always have a “plan B.” Trust me, something will go wrong, but that is OK. When you’re traveling, you have to rely on a lot of other factors, but if you have multiple traveling options, you can save yourself heartache and stress if something doesn’t go as originally planned. Don’t let something out of your control ruin your vacation — always have a backup plan.