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Student Blog: Take That Opportunity

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This is the story of how I almost let opportunity pass one too many times.

Student Blog: Take That Opportunity
My first show as stage crew.

I know everyone has things in their life, the things they are good at, and the things they aren't so good at, and everyone seems to know the difference between the two. I have friends who excel at mathematics and are not the best at science, I have friends who are fantastic singers and can't throw a ball. I never really felt that way. It sounds depressing, but I always felt mediocre at things, especially growing up. I was never a great singer, I had good grades in school, but nothing fantastic, I played all types of sports, but I was far from the best player, I was never a fantastic child either. I always had this mindset too, of "you aren't the best, but just don't be the worst," which is not a good mindset to have, but it was what worked for me. The thing that threw me through the ringer hard was going into theatre in college.

I always liked theatre, I did one show in 5th grade, but it was nothing serious and everyone got in. I wanted to do it in middle school, but the auditions scared me too much and I never did it. I started listening to showtunes midway through high school, when Hamilton came out. I don't think I ever looked back from there, I was hesitant to get into new shows, but I always found another I loved. The last show held my senior year of high school, I got pulled into doing stage crew by some friends, and I loved it. I never thought I would do theatre at college until my longtime friend dragged me to the first meeting. I knew I wanted to join, but I was too afraid of the audition process, and I didn't try out for the musical. My friend asked me what I was so afraid of. He asked if it was rejection or stage fright, I said both, but the thing that scared me the most was being the laughing stock of the group, the outsider, the newbie, the beginner. I didn't want to be the worst at something being the new kid in a group of people who had done theatre for years, and it's what almost scared me away from doing theatre in general. I was so scared of what people would think of me. Eventually, I did audition for the next show, and no, unlike some stories, I didn't make it. I did try something new on the tech side though.Afraid of messing everything up still, I did it, and in my mind that's what mattered most. Since that position, I haven't stopped doing theatre. A lot of family members made fun of me at first, and some still do. I would have let that stop me, but it didn't. I knew I belonged here, and I wasn't going to let anybody stop me. This was my last chance to do theatre, and I was not going to let someone take it from me.

Student Blog: Take That Opportunity
My first on-stage performance.

Another thing that always stuck with me, was at the first performance ever where I was an actress, my friend was playing a role alongside me, and I was having an anxiety attack backstage about performing it, even though it was only a tech rehearsal. I had never done this before, and I was afraid I wouldn't be good enough and everyone would laugh at me. She pulled me aside, and I should mention that she has been doing theatre for years, she's fantastic, and asked why I was freaking out, and I told her that this isn't what I should be doing. She grabbed me by my shoulders and told me to breathe, and said the following "you deserve to be out there, and you deserve to be seen," I don't know if she knows, but I still remember that night and before I go out on stage for anything, I say that to myself. I knew I was new, and I never realized that it was okay, I had things to learn, and I still have things to learn, but now I can be that person for other people. I can be the one telling people that it is alright. It's okay. It's okay to stumble and fall, it's okay to not know what to do and learn from mistakes. It's okay to ask questions. It's okay to not be the best.

I still to this day wrestle with myself, telling myself I have to be better than the next person, or at the very least, just don't be last. I realize that the mindset only drags me down, when you compare yourself to other people you'll never win, you'll never see yourself in a place that's alright, where it's okay to not be good at everything and to just learn, to go along for the ride and learn. Do I still think I'm good at theatre? No. Are there some things that I know I'm good at? Yes. Things I know I've learned? Yes. Do I realize I've become a leader and a role model for people who are trying to learn or people who were once in my position? Yes. That's the aspect that keeps me going, is knowing what I can be for other people. A little glimmer of light that knows the struggle of being the new kid, that it is okay to step into something you've never done before. That it is okay and it is absolutely alright to just try. To just try something.


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