|College: Rosalind in As You Like It, my favorite role ever!|
I was a fairly confident kid in elementary school. Never struggled to make friends. Always felt like I had a "place." Then junior high came. None of my friends were in my classes. They were also gymnasts and became cheerleaders. They didn't ignore me or anything, but it wasn't the same anymore. We weren't moving in similar circles. Suddenly I didn't know where I fit. I didn't know whom I could sit with for lunch, so I'd go eat alone in the library. I started cutting class. A lot.
|College: Katarina Cavalieri in Amadeus|
In ninth grade, I eventually resorted to hanging out with my neighbor and a group of her friends, who were all a year younger than me. It felt like a desperate attempt to fit in. It was. I won't go into details, but one day they ganged up and did something to me that was incredibly rude and embarrassing. I went home absolutely furious and hurt. And I realized just how stupid I'd been for the past three years. How I'd let my fears eat away at me and make me so worried about what people thought. I'd had enough. Everything clicked together, and I suddenly stopped caring about what people thought. It's not that I became inconsiderate or rebellious, but I just wasn't afraid to be myself, and I didn't become anxious over being accepted anymore. The next day I randomly walked up to a girl in the lunch room and asked if I could eat with her. This was a very brave move for me! In my school, you didn't just casually pop in at someone's table. I didn't know this girl well, but she always seemed nice. She acted pretty shocked when I sat down beside her, but in a minute none of that mattered. We had so much in common! She became my best friend throughout high school. We still keep in touch. I'll always consider her a best friend of mine.
|Maggie in The Man Who Came to Dinner|
Fast forward several years. I'd acted in college, England, and had many wonderful roles. Then I got married, had a child, and still found time to act now and then. Then I had another child, and another. I couldn't justify acting anymore, not with three young children. Being in a play requires about two-to-three months of rehearsals, six days a week, three hours every night. I didn't feel right about leaving my kids for that long. So about two years went by with no plays, no acting, and I started to feel this emptiness. It ate away at me for a long time. I became depressed again. And then I got the idea to write a novel. I never thought I'd love something as much as acting, but I do. I love writing even more. My favorite part of acting is the rehearsals, the digging into character and "creating." Writing a book is like a super long rehearsal and "discovery" of character. It can be frustrating and is long work, but then, like an acting rehearsal, you suddenly peak and all that struggle weaves together into something wonderful--what you were striving to achieve all along.
|Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, first lead in high school!|
I'm grateful for the creative paths I've taken in my life and for what they've given me. I'd love to hear about yours!