By Vince Gerasole

(CBS) — A St. Ignatius graduate now in the spotlight admits it took surviving some bumps along the way.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole introduces us to the actress making a name for herself in the title role of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

In the early 1970s, Carol King’s music spoke to a generation. Bringing her story to life now falls on the shoulders of Chicago area actress Sarah Bockel.

“Two, three years ago, I was working like three day jobs trying to make it, ends meet,” she recalls.

The 29-year-old Bockel stopped by her alma mater, St Ignatius, with an important message for theater students there.

“I ended up telling them, ‘Don’t worry, you can fail classes, not get into your second or first choice college, and you can still succeed,’” she says.

Bockel recalls being cast as an understudy and keeping her waitress job in The Loop to make ends meet.

“I had to be on call every night, but I couldn’t afford to not still work, so I’d wait on tables,” she says. In some cases, she was waiting on theater-goers for shows she was involved with.

Bockel has big shoes to fill. Evanston native Jesse Mueller won a Tony playing King on Broadway, and her sister, Abby Mueller, played the role earlier on tour. Bockel credits both in helping her hit the right notes in her performance as King.

Her parents are very proud, Bockel says.

“Are you kidding? They have seen the show 20 times. I’ve got 24 people from where my parents live, in Princeton, Illinois, coming next week.”

“Beautiful” is playing at The Cadillac Palace theater through Jan. 28.

Vince Gerasole