For centuries people have come together to practice and watch the performing arts. From broadway to the ballet to the orchestra, the arts have been envoking emotion for millions. It is for this reason that a theater means different things for different people. The dictionary definition of a theater is a place where a live performance where performers portray a real or imagined event. But what about the way it makes people feel? For some, it was a way to briefly escape the harsh realities of their daily lives. For others, it was a way to play tribute to the arts. With tales of princess and warriors, families and history, and so much more the theater is a magical place.

This weekend I went to see Wicked, a show I have wanted to see since it first opened in 2003. It was just as magical as when I first saw the Nutcracker, The Lion King, and pFor centuries people have come together to practice and watch the performing arts. From Broadway, to the ballet, to the orchestra, the arts have been invoking emotion for millions. It is for this reason that a theater means different things for different people. The dictionary definition of a theater is a place where a live performance, where performers portray a real or imagined event. But what about the way it makes people feel? For some, it was a way to briefly escape the harsh realities of their daily lives. For others, it was a way to play tribute to the arts. With tales of princess and warriors, families and history, and so much more the theater is a magical place.

The theater for me is a magical place where anything is possible. Through performing arts, I was taught discipline and to believe in myself. I learned the importance of having an imagination and never giving up on my dreams. This weekend I went to see Wicked, a show I have wanted to see since it first opened in 2003. It was just as magical as when I first saw the Nutcracker, The Lion King, and other performances I have seen over the years. I walked into the theater with my family, and we took our seats. I was as giddy as the first time I saw the Nutcracker, as giddy as the first time I stepped on stage to perform simple ballet variations. The lights dimmed and we waited for the curtains to lift. Then the magic began. Smoke came from the ground, the orchestra boomed, and the set came to life. The stage was filled with dancing characters, moving lights, a dynamic landscape, and slowly a large grin spread across my face.

Many people think of the amazing performances of stars as the core piece of a show, but forget what exactly makes a show so magical. Certain shows, for example, have the orchestra, the performers - the chorus and the main characters -, the set designers and hands, the lighting crew, the director, and the choreographer just to name a few. Usually, there are at least hundred people coming together to provide you with a story that you can consume in about two hours. It takes years of chasing opportunities and practice, months of planning, weeks of rehearsal, and days of tinkering with minor details until everything is just right. Those two hours that you sit through are the accumulation of all that hard work wrapped up with a neatly tied bow.

But that does not mean that is not without its faults and obstacles. Many shows do not even become public knowledge because they were rejected or cut. When budget cuts occur, we often see that the arts are one of the first to suffer. Plus, simply making it on or behind the stage requires a lot of hard work and perseverance.

The theater will always hold a special place in my heart, and I cannot imagine my childhood with the impact of the lessons practicing dance and the violin have taught me. The performing arts change the lives of people from age 2 to 92 and continues to do so every day. So the next time you go to a show think about all of the hard work that goes on behind the curtain.