It began a while ago, when I was but a wee babe. My parents decided that the best way to get me to be quiet was to put me somewhere else. They signed me up for acting class over the summer, and I was cast in my first production. Boy, was I proud to be a real, onstage actor! I was hooked. They didn't know it at the time, but my parents had started a dangerous addiction.
Middle school reignited my passions as friends convinced me to audition for the school play. For the next three years, I spent hours after school, learning not just my lines, but how to act and behave in a theatrical setting. Slowly, my friend introduced me to the technical side of theater, and I began to see two sides to theater.
High school saw the switch from acting to tech, and I quickly learned the basics of lighting. Sophomore year, and I became lighting chief. I climbed the ranks and learned more than I could ever believe. By senior year, I had an epiphany: I was going to major in theater in college.
College found me acting again, but I never gave up my dreams of technical mastery. By day, I worked on my lines and blocking. At night, I worked with the light techs for hours, hanging lights and learning how to design. My classes pushed me to learn, grow, and discover, and I found I never tired of it.
Over the summer, I pushed myself by working for a theater on my own as a stage manager. Every day, I was exhausted and worn out. And I found that no matter what happened, or how I felt, I never hated it. In fact, I was constantly at peace and relieved to know that I was where I needed to be.
Theater isn't conventional. It leaves you drained. It keeps you up at all hours and forces you to push yourself beyond the point of fatigue. It makes you angry. It makes you sad. It's the air under your wings and it's the weights at your feet.
At the end of the day, theater is something beyond what you see on stage; the performance is only a fraction of the experience. For better or worse, I have a dangerous love affair with theater that has ruined and continually ruins my life.
And I wouldn't trade it for the whole world.