Breathe in, breathe out. Stay calm. You got this.
It was a Friday evening. I was backstage of the Palace of Fine Arts SF getting ready to go on stage and take my role as the host of my university’s talent show. The PoFA is pretty impressive. You might even use the word intimidating. It fits 900 people and we had sold over 500 seats. It was the biggest audience I had ever performed in front. The whole thing was pretty big…or at least felt like it.
When my school called for auditions for the talent show, I didn’t really consider it. I have always loved acting and being on stage but somehow, over all the marketing in the past months, I had pushed it back into the very back of my head. But then, a friend signed me up to audition for the role of the show’s hostess. I didn’t wanna go. However, due to a bit of pride, ambition and curiosity, I auditioned nonetheless. Plus, Judith (yes, my long-distance roommate) had given me a challenge book for SF as my parting gift and one of those challenges was “Go do some acting on a stage in the city!”
And what better stage than the biggest of them all, right?
I was picked as a host and the show took place last Friday. And it was absolutely amazing! I could notice how the stage transformed me, gave me security and strength and the feeling to belong. I wasn’t the weird gal that randomly started singing or beat-boxing in the hallway. I was the girl who was brave enough to invent weird dance moves in front of 500 people. Alongside my two co-hosts, I cracked jokes, made the audience laugh, clap, even give me standing ovations. And I finally remembered that theater makes me feel alive.
I am good at many things but there are very few things in life in which I both excell and find pleasure. Theater is that! Leaving my own self aside for a little bit and bringing a different character to life instead is amazing. Theater smell is the best smell in the world. Being passionate about something is awesome. And the best part comes at the end. When you get to mingle with the audience after the show and you can tell how people look at you a little different. You showed a glimpse of your happy place, you let that wild extrovert peek through that is otherwise so carefully hidden behind a studious mask. People tell you “Great job!” “Wow, you were so funny, I couldn’t believe that was you!” “Amazing, I could never do that!”. And knowing that it was you who gave all these people an enjoyable evening, it was due to you that 500 people cracked up and laughed tears and left the theater with a big grin in their face is the most amazing feeling I have yet experienced.
People grow up and exchange their childhood career dreams for more realistic life goals. In real life, I am so so excited to dive into the field of marketing and advertising. But, in my dream world, I am holding on to the idea of becoming an actress. Nothing makes me feel more alive. And nothing else gives me the feeling of actually having an impact on other people’s lives.
“I just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone some happiness
Left this world a little better just because…”