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BWW Blog: Life with Wiggy- An Introduction

BWW Blog: Life with Wiggy- An Introduction

Hello, my name is Josh Wiggins. For the next four weeks, I'll be taking you along for a ride of what my life is like, as well as the lessons I've learned along the way. Before we begin our four-week journey together, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I'm currently a junior in college (Gasp! "He doesn't look like he's in college," Is what I'm imagining you saying to yourself right now). I attend Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ (Go Profs!). I'm a Theatre Arts major, but I'm on the Acting/Directing track. I grew up performing, but recently I've discovered how much I love directing. I believe there is such a beauty in the art of directing, which I'm planning on talking about in a future article.

A big thing which I would love to discuss in an article in the near future is scoliosis. I personally have scoliosis. I've had it since I've been about twelve years old. I find that though scoliosis is a common condition, not too many people are aware of what scoliosis really is. I'll try to briefly explain it, but like I said, I'll get more in depth with it in a future article. Scoliosis is a curvature that affects the spine. The spine can make an "S" or a "C" curve. The curvatures can range from 11 degrees to as much as 80 degrees (those are extremely rare cases). As it has been explained to me, I have two curves in the upper part of my spine (43 and 42 degrees). As an actor, having scoliosis has proven to be a challenge. The curve has made my body look a little weird, and I've never been the full height I'm supposed to be (with scoliosis, I stand at 5'4 feet tall). The curvature also made some dance moves hard for me because my body wasn't able to bend like everyone else's. But the worst thing the curvature has done, was made me think I was less of myself. I used to think there wouldn't really be a place for me in the theatre world because who wants a 5'4 guy? But I started to look up short actors and that gave me so much hope for my future! Short guys like Andrew Keenen-Bolger and Daniel Radcliff have given me a hope that there is a place for me in the theatre world.

Why Theatre? I grew up in a small sports-loving family. Both my parents were basketball coaches. In fact, my older brother is studying to be a coach at his university. I pretty much grew up in a gym, but that never had the same homey feeling as a stage did to me. I don't know if I can really explain what drew me to theatre. The only theory I can come up with is that God gave me the gift of being a storyteller, so I drew to a profession that allowed me to do just that. Theatre, to me, is storytelling. I believe the best piece of theatre happens when an audience gets sucked into a story and without ever realizing it, they have learned life lessons. A good story will slip past our consciousness and impact us a way that a sermon or school lesson never could. It's why I believe theatre has such power in society, it can teach us about ourselves and the human nature in a way no lecture ever could. Let me give you an example I use all the time to explain the power of theatre:

West Side Story is one of my favorite musicals of all time. I've honestly learned more about racism from West Side Story than I ever have from a lecture. Why? Because with lectures, so many words get lost as my brain is trying to shift between words that help get the point of the lecturer across and filler words. When I watched West Side Story, my brain shut down and I enjoyed the beautiful and bold story that was being told in front of me. But when the movie was over, I found myself having deep analytical thoughts about racism.

I believe theatre has the power to help people grow. I believe theatre has the power to challenge what we believe as people. I believe that theatre is the one profession where humanity wouldn't be the same without it. I believe that theatre helps us learn lessons we may never fully realize if we didn't have it. I believe theatre is so fundamentally important to society, that if it were taken away, it would leave an easily influenced, uncultured society.

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