By now, I’m sure you all have realized that I am a raging theater fanatic. In high school, I was never able to perform because the closest community theater was and hour and a half away round-trip and my school had no theater program. When I moved, I was opened up to a whole new world. No longer was “the theater” a foreign thing that took hours to get to. I merely had to walk a couple of blocks to the Civic. That’s why when I got to college I made the decision that brought me to where I am today.
I saw that I was living in a theater-driven community where there were hundreds of performers and well over a dozen community companies to perform with. I went to see shows during the first part of my freshman year (Oklahoma! and The Snow Queen), which made me say, “Yes, I can do this, too.”
So when the time came for auditions for the season’s biggest draw (and grand finale), 9 to 5, I was the first in line to audition. And by first I mean really first. As in, I got to the theater 45 minutes before even the director did and I sat out in the parking lot questioning whether or not I should have even been there. The company has been together for an entire season, I told myself, You don’t stand a chance against someone that has been there the whole season.
Nevertheless, on shaky legs, I made my way into the theater, and I was greeted by the sweetest, friendliest group of people in the world. Even though we were all there arguably to duke it out over the same three or four roles, these people were all so nice to me, the newcomer, and were willing to laugh it off with me when I made horrendous mistakes and teach me when the opportunity came about. After just the audition, I felt like I had grown leaps and bounds as a performer.
It was standing on that stage, with that group of people that I realized that everyone needs to do something that they love. That’s what we were all there for. None of these people were being paid to perform or lead. Every single person was there because they loved to sing, dance, and act. It was as simple as that. During the day, these actors (who are phenomenal, for the record, and could literally go be on Broadway right now if they wanted to) were accountants, cashiers, and teachers, but at night, they donned their dancing shoes and came to rehearsal to wow us all.
It seems almost unreal that some people go through life looking forward to the weekend. I realized about halfway through my last semester of college that I had become one of those people. I had become the thing I feared the most. That is certainly not the life I wanted for myself, which is why I decided to pick back up with theater. It makes me feel alive and happy and being around 20 other peopl who all feel the same way – I tell you, it’s the best feeling in the world.
So go out there, folks, and find something that you love. It might theater, a book club, or even underwater basketweaving. Find something that you love and cling to that something like there is no tomorrow and if you do, I swear you will no longer be looking forward to the weekend.