One thing that I thought I would never get to cross off of my bucket list was getting the chance to see a Broadway musical. But yesterday, that dream came true. Sometimes things that you never expect to happen, end up happening, and this is one of those experiences that I will forever be grateful for.

Here, on my some-what middle sized college campus in Springfield, Missouri, The Lion King was brought on campus and made the reality of seeing a Broadway musical come to life.

As a child, some of the best movies that I loved to watch as I grew up were Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. So in 2019 and being nearly twenty years old, it's so crazy watching all of these actually come to life.

When I first heard of The Lion King coming to campus, my plan was to do everything in my power to go. And then, a girl on my floor offered me a ticket because she was a season pass holder, and everything seemed to fall into place.

Even though the venue, Juanita K. Hammons Hall, that the musical was being performed at didn't have a dress code, my plan was to go all out as if I was going to a Broadway show in New York City. I had the time of my life with this and felt like a million bucks the whole time. The blisters on my feet and the fifteen-minute walk in the twenty-degree weather back to my dorm was all so worth it.

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The entire time while we waited for the lights to go down and for the curtain to rise, I was absolutely beaming just like a child. It is so crazy how much more incredible something seems to be when it's right there in front of your eyes.

The stage alone had tribal print on it, and it took me until more than halfway through the show that there was a sort of "track" on it to help carry certain props to certain places. The curtain was covered in a bunch of little animals, and had a different appearance to each audience, each night. My view of the stage was absolutely perfect, and each moment we got closer I grew more and more excited.

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Every single second of this musical amazed me, and there wasn't a single second that I grew bored or was ready to leave despite how late it got and all of the responsibilities that I had the next day.

I have always had high respect for theatre and every aspect of it, I had taken a lot of theatre classes in high school and while I was never involved in any of the plays or musicals I was always there to help.

I am also enrolled in an intro to theatre class, although I'm a business major because I have always been so fascinated with this stuff.

I also noticed a lot about the lighting and the mood that it set throughout the play. When it comes to movies that are shown in cinemas, music really has to be the driving factor to the mood that the audience needs to be feeling. And while this is a musical, I seemed to be very focused on the lighting.

I think part of that is to blame on my current theatre professor who is a lighting artist and has worked on many musicals in the past. He loves to talk about it and has given a lot of insight into it, which is what got me so amazed.

One of the parts from the musical that just absolutely blew me away was the 'scene' where Rafiki reminds Simba that his dad is always there, and behind him is this lighting scenery of a moving, talking mask of Mufasa. My mouth fell open. The way the lights were used in the most precious ways absolutely helped move the play just as much as the characters, the scenery, the props, and the costumes did.

Of course at Broadway plays picture taking of any kind is prohibited, and if it wasn't this article would be filled with pictures.

The chemistry that I felt between these actors like they were these actual characters that lived their everyday life like this, was impeccable.

The child actors that played young Simba and Nala no doubt have more talent in one bone in their body then I ever will in my entire body. I was so moved by every scene no matter what was happening at the time. The remainder of "Hakuna Matata" reminded me to sit back and enjoy the scenes of life that pass me every day. I have never left something feeling so inspired and if I could see this musical a thousand times again I would.

No matter what the play or musical is, and no matter where you see it if you get the chance to see Broadway then do it. I feel refreshed and inspired, I feel amazed and grateful, and my respect for the theatre grew even more than I ever knew it could.

Thank you to my friend Deb, thank you to Missouri State, and thank you The Lion King, for a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.