I saw my first musical–Richfield High School’s rendition of OKLAHOMA–when I was in 3rd grade, and I KNEW at that moment that I needed to be on stage. Once I was old enough, I began singing in church and around the community. In high school, I auditioned for all of the school musicals. Each year I was selected as a towns person and as part of the chorus/ensemble, until my senior year when I was surprised to see my name at the top of the cast list as the lead role–Millie Pontipee in “7 Brides for 7 Brothers.” It was one of the most magical experiences of my life!
I’m not sure if it was because the director of the show told the cast during one of our last rehearsals that the reason I got the part was because I was “responsible,” or if it was because my voice cracked during one of the big songs, or if it was because I messed up one of my favorite lines, but as soon as the show was over–even though it was amazing, even though we had sold out crowds (which had never happened before in the history of RHS)–I took that dream, wrapped it up in a box, and locked it away. I rarely even thought about it again until a few years ago when someone tried to push me out of my comfort zone and asked me to perform a monologue on stage. It was terrifying! paralyzing! I cried big, fat, ugly tears, and I was really angry that someone had the audacity to ask me to open my secret box… But I did it. And it felt amazing! I felt alive! and I knew that somehow I was going to make sure I continued to feel that way.
I decided to take a voice lesson. At first it was a secret. Any recital that I participated in was always in secret. I didn’t invite anyone to come. But last January, my voice teacher (the incredible Brodie Perry of Stage Door in St. George, Utah) asked me to be a part of his concert rendition of “Miss Saigon.” “Concert rendition” meant NO ACTING, and I didn’t have any solos, so I thought this would be a perfect baby step toward maybe exploring that dream again.
Until suddenly plans changed, and we all became actors. I was supposed to act like a PROSTITUTE on stage! In front of people! I couldn’t do it. At first I froze and then I started to cry. I went outside to get composure, and I ended up running away. I texted Brodie to tell him I was quitting the show. I thought I would feel better, but I felt worse. I was devastated. I am NOT a quitter! I knew this was a step backward–I was letting Brodie down, the cast down, myself down…
Luckily for me, Brodie was not going to have any quitting. He “demanded” (in a very loving way) that I come back, so I did. And I DID IT! It was so much fun! I don’t t know if acting is what I’m going to do in my life. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but I know that I DID IT. I had faced another fear. I’m addicted to the way it feels “on the other side” of fear, and I’ll keep seeking that feeling for the rest of my life.