Last Thursday was the final performance of my sophomore year. Given, it was just a small scene for finals performed in front of my director’s beginning drama class, but a performance nonetheless. It went great and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer audience.
But it was also such a meaningful and lovely way to close out this year. Performance wise, this year meant a lot to me. This year was the first year that I truly jumped back into my passions; performing, singing and writing.
While I sat with all of my castmates from this past year for the last time and enjoyed all that we had accomplished together, I took the time to look back at how far myself and my fellow castmates had come.
Since the beginning of my freshman year when I had my first taste of beginning drama, I had a need to be on stage again. I wanted to perform like I had a few years back, and at that point in time, I needed that creative outlet more than I ever had.
I didn’t realize how much I had missed the gratification of putting on a great show until I ran tech with Paige for We Will Rock You, the spring musical the department was putting on my freshman year. Sitting in the tech booth, learning my light cues for the last few weeks of their rehearsals, I felt so excited to be apart of another show.
I felt their rush to memorize their lines, their need to hit each note perfectly, and their struggle with insecurity on stage. Paige and I saw tears, smiles, and shared their laughs. We had been gifted the perfect opportunity to build relationships with our future castmates, a blessing that I hadn’t considered as crucial then as I now know it to be.
The electric buzz felt throughout the house when they performed was one I knew I needed for as long as I could get it. Right then and there, in that tiny little tech booth with Paige by my side, I decided that I needed to be up on that stage. I needed to join Advanced Drama.
For the rest of the year, I worked my hardest in Beginning Drama, keeping his offer for the class at the very front of my mind. Paige and I did scenes together and performed the rest of the year out, both checking the box for Advanced Drama when picking classes came about. It was quite possibly one of the best decisions we’d ever made.
As soon as we got back and I entered third period, my excitement for the coming year soared through the roof. I saw the stage and anticipated each word I’d say on it, each note I’d sing. So many characters waiting to be created and so many friendships to be made.
In November, after we finished the growth exercises to get us comfortable on stage, our cast put on the play “Clue: On Stage”. We ventured far with this one and did a lot of things as a team that we never had before.
We advertised crazily and rehearsed non-stop, a quick and warm welcome for the new meat. It was an overwhelming initiation, one that I am forever grateful for. I was so excited that I documented practically every second of it with cast pictures.
In no time. it was over and winter break was the next thing. After winter break came Urinetown, and since I was a lot busier then, I didn’t get as many pictures. That is truly my biggest regret. So many beautiful things happened with that show, but because I wasn’t behind the camera, no one was in front of it.
But the few pictures that I did take, I cherish and hold close to my heart. Because in them is Penny. In them is the beautiful character who gifted me so many challenges and blessings, brought me the best and the worst, all while making jokes that didn’t even get laughs up until the last night.
This past year I explored so many dreams and goals that I never knew I truly wanted to reach, and with that exploration, I set out a life goal. Find some way, any way, to follow this dream until it leads me back onstage, acting and singing, fulfilling what I feel like is what I’m meant to do.
The Little Theatre is my safe space, and every time I walk in I feel like I’m home. I feel myself, I feel free. But mostly, I feel relieved. Relieved that for at least the next hour and a half, I’m allowed to either be myself or not. In there, I have a choice. Whatever little thing I let bother me all day or any anxiety that happened to devour me, I can let go of it for a little bit, and be what I want to be.
The Little Theater is filled with wonders, and each of them is a member of my family. Hate them or love them, they are there, and each day I’m thankful to see their beautiful faces shining with smiles or their wet cheeks drenched with tears. I’m thankful that they’re there, filling the stage with their magic and gifting the house with joy.
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This weekend of posts I’ve decided to continue the theme of endings and reflection, so tomorrow’s will be about my sophomore year. Stick around and follow my social media listed down below to get more recent interviews.
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