It's always hard to put into exact words how much theatre has impacted my life but here goes: because it's worth it.
For as long as I remember, I have known nothing stronger and more certain that my passion for love and the theatre. Mama must've seen it in me, bright as a shining light because the performing arts has been a part of my life since the age of 3—and I never once stopped.
There aren't enough words in any vernacular to properly justify the immense impact that theatre has had on my life as a person and artist. The best thing that I can do for the theatre is to keep pursuing it and sharing it with the world wholeheartedly. In the meantime, here's what I will say:
Theatre has given me an outlet in which to spread love.
A very important thing that I've realized about myself over the past couple of years is that I was put on this Earth to spread love. I already knew my passion for theatre so well before this realization, but it all made sense when I put two and two together. Theatre, for as long as it's been in my life, has given me space where I can sprinkle love into a wide variety of people all within a couple of hours. It allows me to present the human experience and to lead with my heart, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Theatre has given me a place to spread world peace.
I've seen so many instances wherein, after a performance, people would be so deeply touched in varying ways. People have realized things in their own lives, things that hit home. People walk out of the theatre knowing that they are not alone in their experience and that tomorrow is always a new day to try again. To live fully. To love better.
Theatre has given me permission to dissipate ignorance.
A beautifully, wonderful thing about theatre that I've come to know as I've grown into a more mature artist is that theatre can literally have the power to make a shift in our world paradigm. Every piece of theatre that I've ever known, seen, or been in holds a theme or concept that is relevant to many crucial sociopolitical & psychological topics found in our world today. Theatre is timeless. It holds up a mirror to our faces, to the rest of the world, and makes us see who we really are as a society. It has the strength to present the world as it is today, and then show us what it could be if we all just loved a little harder. That is the power of the theatre.
Theatre has given me the opportunity to allow people the chance to be vulnerable.
In the theatre is where it is acceptable for human strangers to sit close to each other in an audience and sob very intensely. The theatre is where vulnerability is seen as a strength. There is no shame for being affected. There is no shame for crying. There is no shame for laughing. There is no shame for feeling. The theatre is a place where everyone is welcome to be who they really are, and come out knowing that it's okay to feel and demonstrate pure emotion.
Theatre has given me a place to belong.
Alright, this is the one that made me start to get emotional. For the majority of my life, I have been an ambivert. A social butterfly some days, and an introvert for the ones in between. Along with that, I have always just yearned for pure love. I've wanted so desperately for people to be kind and accepting of one another, and it's always hard to see those things not happen in the world. Theatre has saved me of that pain. Theatre has given me a place, a home, where all I can do is live through love. It gives me a place where I am able to have many relationships that are cultivated out of genuine connection. It gives me a place where I can live through everything that sets my soul on fire.
Theatre has given me an outlet to positively infuse my anxieties.
On another personal note, theatre has blessed me with the one place where I can be void of all of my anxieties. This took me a while to fully realize, but it's bizarre how much sense it makes. For my whole life, the stage has always been my safe place. When I was little, I used to joke about how I would live on the stage if I could. Every time I get up there, I am filled with pure action for the better good-- and everything else just falls away. It's just me, in that moment. And I'm alive.
Theatre has given me personal growth beyond measure.
I know I am still so young, but my journey with theatre already feels like it has been full of so many treasures and breakthroughs. I have learned so much about myself through every show, character, performance, rehearsal, cast, and person that I've met within this craft. I have learned about myself and the world. I have learned so much already about love, pain, joy, worldly issues, peace, activism, and humanity. Theatre has gifted me with these golden truths and I can't wait to see what else is next.
Theatre has given me many invitations into so many hearts.
One of the things that gives me so much joy is when people feel comfortable opening their hearts to me. Through so many of my performances in the theatre, I have had the privilege to experience this with many, many people. Tears are shed, stories are shared, "thank you's" are given, and there are hugs galore. I get to be a part of the beautiful storytelling. I get to be a part of the human story, and I am so thankful for that.
All in all, theatre has given me the purpose to make the world a better place.
I know I've just written so many words, but that still doesn't do this thing that we call theatre the recognition that it deserves. I could not imagine my life without theatre. Even larger, I couldn't imagine the world without theatre. It brightens so many lives. It saves relationships. It makes hearts bigger. Thank you, to the theatre. I owe it all to you.