The crowd stood and cheered, I gazed around at the smiling panting faces. We did it. The curtain closed and everyone hustled off stage, but I stayed. I always stay.
I got my first taste of the stage when my eighth grade English teacher, who was also the theater director, begged me to be in her spring musical. I liked her so I agreed. Performing Joseph and the Amazing Tecnicolor Dreamcoat was an experience that brought the performance arts to my life. I enjoyed every aspect of it: the singing of songs that people would walk out of the show humming and whistling, the acting and hamming it up on stage to give sense to a scene, and the dancing I managed. But the part I enjoyed the most was the crowd’s reaction, and it drove my performance. I craved the attention, clapping and laughing of the audience gave the actor and I created their laughter and applause. I now love the people.
In high school, I went through the motions. I played sports, I made friends. I prospered. I had heard about the school’s Broadway Company, but was turned off by the rumors of crazy people. But when I learned the Broadway Company consisted of friends I had made at church and even old members of the football team, I reconsidered and I auditioned at the end of my sophomore year. My audition song was my solo from Joseph in eighth grade.
I made it. I was part of a company of people who shared the same love–performance arts.
I changed my mind about trying out because I felt like something was missing in my life. Performing on the football field was nothing like performing on the stage. I learned that if something doesn’t feel right, stop doing it. Theater feels right. Being part of a theater group defines me as a person. There are countless characteristics you need to have to enjoy theater. But the most important one is passion. I have a passion to perform, tell things how they are, and be heard.
A hush fell over the crowd as the piano started playing, then the lights were upon us, and we began the show.