There's that saying that all of life is a stage, which I kinda agree with, and that got me thinking about my time on an actual stage. I mean, I know that's not what that saying is supposed to make you think about, but that's where my mind went this evening.
See, I've always love the stage more than anything else, but I've always done other things instead. I'm not really sure why, but in all honesty, I found that I excelled in other areas before I figured out that I excelled at the stage. But that's neither here nor there.
So I started thinking about all the stage time I've had over the past few years and I realized, I've had some really great moments. When I was performing in All-University Sing, I had some really great times singing and dancing in front of more people than I ever thought I would. Really, before that, I didn't have any confidence in my vocal prowess at all. I mean, I knew I could sing, I did know that, but it wasn't until the fall of 2006 when I stepped out on that staged dressed as Mario from Super Mario Brothers and belted out "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet, that I figured out that I had something in me that I'd needed to get out for a long time. I can still remember the looks on my parents' faces when I saw them afterward and how ecstatic they were. That's what made it all worth it. I wanted to prove to them that their daughter wasn't the only one in the family that could sing. I wanted to prove that I could too and I felt like I did that. For them and for me.
I had the incredible opportunity to go backstage at the Broadway production of Hairspray because my friends up there knew the doorman. That was pretty cool, but mostly because my Ruth and I sat dead center on the front row and had about the most fun I can ever remember having in any situation. Ever. I've had very few perfect nights, but that was one of them.
Most recently, the stage time I've had was with ensembles, performing during the After Dark show at Baylor. We auditioned, thought we might have had a chance, and ended up making it two years in a row. I think that's when I realized that I loved it up there.
So much of this sounds like tooting my own horn, I know that. But I can't phrase it any differently. I wouldn't be who I am today had it not been for these situations. The confidence that I've gained from knowing that I am good at something (and better than others) is something that money can't buy. I've earned one degree and will have another by year's end, but the most important thing I've learned so far is that I have reason to be confident in myself. Don't be fooled, I have rancid self-esteem issues, anxiety-based depression that seeps into the crevices of my psyche, and at times, a complete lack of self-censorship in the things I say. But as much of a mess as I am, (and don't lie, you are too) I have so many reasons to smile that I can't let it weigh me down. I just keep pushing to become the better version of me, trying to love my friends as hard as I can, and staying true to who I know I really am. Life's a stage after all, and in the musical that is my life, it's still more comedy than tragedy.