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BWW Blog: What We Did for Love

As artists we learn to fight.

BWW Blog: What We Did for Love

I decided I would do theatre when I was three years old. My mother had put on Chicago while she cleaned upstairs and I was playing downstairs. I remember coming up the stairs and placing myself in front of the TV just as cell block tango started. I was in awe. I had never seen something so passionate in my life, it was angry, and sad, and graceful, and strong. I made my mother play it for me a thousand times over until I had it memorized. From that moment on I knew that performing was all I wanted to do.

The first performance I did was when I was eight in a holiday themed talent show where my friend and I created our own short play about a kid and reindeer who fix Santa's sleigh and save Christmas. Although my first production with an actual director was at nine and I had one line, but that didn't matter, I was hooked. I tried out a couple other interests as I grew up, but they remained fun hobbies. I had fallen in love with theatre and was determined to make our relationship last forever.

As artists we learn to fight. Like many others I fought to be seen and heard as an artist, I dedicated all my time to theatre throughout middle school into high school, I made every role, and every moment count. I fell, slipped, cracked, and failed so many times, but I never stopped fighting because even though I didn't have the look, and I didn't always have the voice, or the technique, but there were moments when the world stood still and it felt like I had taken all the oxygen in the room and I held it in my hand and I felt like theatre had the capability of loving me back. We never stop fighting for that love.

When the pandemic hit I had one gig lined up with my local opera for one month, and one in the works for an online tv show. Those opportunities disappeared before I had a moment to celebrate their existence. Over the course of this time I have had gigs and performances cancelled or postponed again and again and again... Just like the many other artists around the world. Currently, I wake up in the morning to articles about how long it will take for live theatre to start again, and go to sleep to the red lights glowing from theatre windows.

Everyone keeps telling me it'll be back, that this is just a small moment, but it feels like I'm going through the worst breakup of my life. I have eaten the best chocolate ice cream money can buy, I have shaved my head, I bleached and then dyed my hair, I listen to music with rain sounds edited into the background and watched so many online performances. But, nothing compares to the love that theatre brought to my life. I have never grieved like this in my entire life. Theatre gave me a purpose, a reason to exist. Now that it's gone I've had people wonder if I wished I did something different, and that's so far from the truth. I don't think any artist regrets what we did for love.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Olive Elzinga