Retired–Like Jordan.

Last year I gave up something very dear to my heart.  I got on stage for the last time in September 2010.  I know that I’ve talked a lot about how much I loved theatre before, but I think my abandonment needs an explanation.

Acting is in my blood.  My mother taught high school theatre for 25 some odd years, and I thought I was destined to follow in her footsteps.  From a very early age, I knew that I loved being on stage.  I started dance lessons at three, and I started singing as soon as I could talk.  That hobby evolved into a full blown passion by the time I entered high school.

I knew from the first day of eighth grade that I wanted to be in shows.  My very first high school show was Footloose.  I played Irene, a bar singer.  I never felt more alive than when I belted out the lyrics to my song, and I got to take my bow, not with other cast members, but by myself.

Shows preoccupied my entire high school career.  I tried out for the cheerleading team because I saw cheering as another way to perform. I continued dance lessons (tap, ballet, and jazz), and I was an avid member of the chorus.  I wanted to be a triple threat.  I loved everything about being in front of people and stealing the spotlight.  I played every part imaginable from Crow #3 in The Wizard of Oz, to Lady Macbeth in Macbeth.  I immersed myself in the study of technique, and I tried in every way possible to make myself a better actress.

My Junior year of high school, I applied for admission to a competitive summer program for the arts called The Governor’s School.  I was accepted for theatre arts, and I spent the entire summer before my senior year learning how to perfect my craft.  I had a teacher who challenged me to become better, and I made some of the best friends of my entire life.  I even fell in love. (more on both of those later).  Governor’s School changed the way I looked at acting.  It made me want to be a better conveyor of truth and a better representative through my art.

I got to college, and it turns out that I’m not as great of an actress as I thought I was.  Rejection weighs too heavily on my soul for me to be a part of the theatre world anymore.  Something inside of me broke when I got to college.  Without theatre, I really didn’t know who I was.  It may sound silly to define oneself solely based on “what you do” but that’s how important theatre was to me.  It was everything, and I loved it.  I love it to this day, but as a spectator rather than a star.  I still cry when I hear Kristin Chenoweth trill in Promises, Promises, and when I hear the opening note of Hairspray.  That language speaks to me in a way that nothing else can.  You can’t change your passion.  Not a day goes by that I don’t kick myself for giving up so easily.  I can’t go back, because I’ve found something else to be passionate about: something that speaks to me in a different way.  I will never again have the opportunity to make performing my life, and that makes me horribly sad.

Thanks for the memories.



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