Tuesday, March 7, 2017


I have the awesome privilege to work on an amazing team of inspiring, glorious women. We create musicals for children's theater together. With 6 practices left we are in full swing of excitement...oh and the stress!!

Before life gets itself into a terrific swirl of busyness I wanted to take a trip down memory lane and share lessons I have learned from being involved in musical theater as a wee teenager. 

-I am the black haired, brown skined gal:)

My journey with musical theater started so long ago but no one has enough time or is even interested in that so I'll just turn back the clock 16 years...

As a 16 year old I was jubilant with excitement and trill as I had just been cast as Carmen in the musical FAME. If you are not familiar with this musical it's about high school students at a performing arts school; there are various love stories interwoven in the story, success, major teenage drama, failure, drugs, sex, death and sadness. Although, at the end of the show somehow everything seems to be OK and everyone is dancing on top of a car jumping into toe touches with shaking jazz hands. 

There were two of us cast as Carmen; Nikita and myself; we spilt up the nights. I was a better dancer and she was a better singer.  I was a performer with potential but my voice was inconsistent and under developed and absolutely was not capable of belting the songs my character sang. Instead of recognizing this I continued forward staining my voice and hoping for a miracle.
(ps this is not the way to get a miracle)

Please understand that I was an uber naive (still am in some ways) 16 year old. Get ready to giggle because it's incredibly ironic that me; the christian, Mormon girl playing the wild, talented performer who basically sells her soul for fame in LA and then gets addicted to drugs plus other things and ends up dying. In our rendition a train killed her.  I screamed really, REALLY loud! Anyway somehow being a girl who only wanted to shine on stage a lot of details flew right over my head and never fully pierced into my perception. 

When I realized there was a song the boys sung that was basically talking about them trying to control an erection I was horrified!!!!! Seriously! what the heck???!! I felt so uncomfortable but after having a conversation with my director asking her to do something about it I just ignored it and hoped somehow things would magically sort themselves out and that song would not make the final cut.

 It didn't work.
(again this is not the way to create change)

FYI, the me back then and the me now still agree songs about such private matters are never appropriate... ever.

Anyway, getting back to the lesson learned idea; a massive lesson I learned came when my family came to watch the show. Of course my dad was horrified because all the innuendos, crude humor and sexual movement did not go over his head. I remember him telling me how watching our musical made him feel and if I had not have been in the show he would have left. He didn't comment on our talent or the choreography or anything because the way it made him feel didn't allow him to enjoy those parts. 

I realized that day that I never wanted to jeopardize who I am and the standards I uphold even if I am just pretending on stage. I wanted to only be involved in performances that made people feel good, that filled then with light and truth and encouraged them to be better. 

A lesson I learned later was it's OK to turn down a part if you know in your heart that you are not capable of singing the songs and that someone can do a better job. At the time it felt so good to be the lead. Being 16 and the lead in the school musical was a pretty magical place to be and it blinded me. I remember being so overwhelmed and nervous about certain songs because I knew I butchering them and that my double was better. That constant comparison haunted me then and for a long time after. 

Life is full of opportunities. Whether they are positive or negative it's the lessons we glean from life and it's opportunities that are most important. 

Look out for part 2 learn about the lesson I learned while performing in college. 

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