My Stage

How have you learned from extracurriculars?

This was it, the moment of truth. All that was going through my head was, “Please don’t forget your lines, please don’t sing a wrong note, please don’t mess up; so many people are watching you.” I felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest. I took a deep breath, smiled broadly, stepped onto the stage and had one of the best experiences of my life.

Ever since I was little, performing was a huge part of my life. I learned to play piano at age five. I would sing and dance all around my house but the first time I ever sang in front of an audience, other than my family, was that heart pounding moment in 5th grade. I had a solo in the choir performance and I was terrified. That first note, under the bright lights, cured me of my shyness and propelled me to pursue music. I joined every group that would have me: concert choir, show choir, and jazz choir. I couldn’t sing enough.

During freshman year I decided to audition for the musical theater program. I didn’t have much acting experience so I auditioned for a small ensemble role. Suddenly, there I was, cast in the opening number of A Chorus Line. I delivered my one line, “Touring company,” perfectly and instantly fell in love with every aspect of participating in a musical. As a sophomore, I landed the lead role in Babes in Arms. I was overjoyed, but at the same time, I was incredibly nervous. While singing and music seem to come easily to me, my ability to deliver my spoken lines well plagued my confidence. I became dizzy when I realized I had 1000 lines of dialogue, 18 songs and dances, and numerous costume changes. Overwhelmed, I never missed any of the rehearsals which were seven hours long after school and on weekends. I carried my script everywhere I went, sneaking a peak whenever time permitted. I practiced my lines with my friends, in the shower, and in my dreams. I sang my songs until my voice could not go on. I was fully committed and ready to grow exponentially as a performer and as a dedicated, driven student.

When my cue arrived on opening night, I had the same feeling I had had in 5th grade. Surely, my heart would pop out of my chest this time. Although I was filled with nerves and excitement, a sense of calmness also washed over me. I was ready to give my very best performance. I thought about my commitment, hard work, and discipline and decided I was was extremely well prepared. Suddenly, I wasn’t scared anymore.

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