My Dad Likes Fishing…
My dad had his 15 second of fame which involved a fishing tournament about seven years ago. When the reporter broadcasting the tournament asked him why he braves the the negative degree temperatures, the possibility of falling through, and the most dreadful of all… not catching any fish. He said, “Everybody has their passion." Now, I remember sitting in their bed at 10 o'clock at night watching his big screen debut come and go. And those words stuck with me.
My passion did not come until about 8th grade when I had to chose between softball or trying out for my first play. The play was Charlotte's Web. I was cast as Martha the mother. Since that time I have completed around 15 plays. And from the first line I spoke on stage “Out to the Hog house! Some pigs were born last night!” to the last “I love Helen, forever and ever." I have grown to love every second of it.
The other day I was watching a video and it caught my attention when the man started to talk about reward. People do not want to put in the work to get the reward, they expect it to fall into their lap. The way I see it, if you truly are passionate about something whether it's a sport, an art, music, or anything, you will be willing to go through the process to be good at it. And if you remain loving and appreciating every minute of it then you are truly passionate about it.
I considered myself beyond lucky when I decided to pursue my passion as a career as well. This decision would not have been possible without each and every amazing mentor along the way. Shawn Hitchcock quotes: “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained.” My alma mater, Hermantown High School, had many mentors. From the moment I started my first rehearsal, the theatre directors guided me through my strengths and weaknesses. They have pushed me farther than I would have ever thought I could go. When I would fall, they would catch me.
The best thing about these kind-hearted people was that they blessed me with opportunity. Opportunity to strive to be the person I have always wanted to be. And I wanted to be an actress. Although my graduating class never got to perform on the new auditorium stage. What happened on the little lecture hall with the broken seats and one curtain is something you can't buy. The stage was home to hundreds of students who braved their fears. These young actresses and actors performed in front of unfamiliar faces with confidence. That is what theatre is all about to me.
Theatre gives people confidence. It does not take much time at all for someone to develop a sense of security in this specific environment. During rehearsal, no judgement is to be made. We all know the importance of teamwork. Each and every role in a play is crucial for the overall performance. The backstage crew is just as important as the lead roles. As everyone makes mistakes in life, one of the best feelings is if anything ever is to go wrong during a play, the actors have no difficulty in changing a word or two to get back on track. Most of the time the audience is unaware of the minor mistake, but to oneself, it is quite obvious. The loving support around the stage shows the selflessness in all of us.
After our final bow, we look up at all of the people staring down laughing, in awe, in tears, every emotion has been expressed by the audience. That’s when my heart feels the fullest. the change I can see in each stranger’s face as they applause with no hesitation. But the applause is not for us, one of my mentors told me. The applause if for them. Each one of these people chose to spend their time enjoying a performance.
In 8th grade, I made one of the most important decisions of my life. I chose theatre over softball. Back then, it didn’t feel like a big deal, but now, I could not be more thankful with my decision. When I get asked about my past, I am honored to say that I was an actress in 10 plays at the old Hermantown High School auditorium. And, when I get questioned about my future, I am proud to announce that I am attending UMD and majoring in musical theatre. I have the opportunity to change even more lives, even if it is just for a few seconds. That is why I chose this path. It allows me to do something I love and also give back to the people that have worked so hard to get me where I am, and strangers who watch not only me, but the family in front and behind the curtain. Words cannot describe how pleased I am to have my passion double as my career. I will now end on a quote from Charlotte's web.
“You have been my friend," replied Charlotte, "That in itself is a tremendous thing.” Thank you.