When I a little girl I was very shy. I didn’t like talking to other people. I loathed the moments when adults would coo at me in grocery stores so much so that I resorted to growling back in response. I declined playdates and hated pre-school and did not like speaking loudly. And then I took an acting class.
I must have been 3 or 4 the first time I was onstage, but I remember that I didn’t feel nervous. I spoke confidently and loudly and I was funny. I felt so brave.
My love for theatre continued, shockingly, as I began going out to audition for shows and taking on roles I never thought I could do. I learned techniques and I practiced and most importantly I learned to say “fuck it” and try and try and try. Growing up in theatre taught me how to be resilient and tough, but also so kind. It taught me how to be professional and how to be fearless.
When I told my parents that I was going to study acting, they didn’t bat an eye. This art was the best thing that could have happened to me.
As most BFA programs are, you have to dig deep before you can build up. My program was, and continues to be hard emotionally and mentally. I became anxious and worried that I would mess something up. I stopped taking risks. I would be lying if I said there weren’t days when I almost quit altogether.
There are so many moments when I doubt myself and my talent. There are so many moments of wondering if this is worth it and if I’m good enough. There are so many moments of feeling less-than because someone else acts like they love this more than I do. There are so many moments of anxiety and dread and fear. But underneath all of that, there are moments when I remember why I love this art and why I work so hard and why I cannot imagine my life deprived of theatre.
A little over a year from now, I’ll be done earning my BFA in acting. I have no idea what I want to do with it or what I hope to accomplish. And I don’t think I have to know. My only goal is that by the time I step onstage to receive my diploma, I carry with me less of my fear, all of my fire, and a million times more of the bravery I used to have to just say “fuck it” and jump.