next to normal, my future, and God.
I don’t know what I want to do with my life. It scares me so much.
My whole life I knew. Third grade I wanted to be a ballerina who joined the military. Fourth I was gonna be a teacher. Fifth I was gonna be a horse jockey. Sixth, I wanted to be a musician. A singer.
Between sixth and seventh grade I was in my first real production, Annie. From the moment I had my first audition I was determined to be on Broadway. Goodness, did I know I was going to make it there. I had the drive, even if my talent was incomparable to some. I just knew.
I was in other shows from then on…constantly:
- Once On This Island
- Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree
- Into the Woods
- Miracle Worker
Freshman year, it became more of a reality. High school was here and I fell even more madly in love with performing. Theatre and choir.
- 1,001 Arabian Nights
- Chess the Musical
- Puss In Boots
- The Wiz
- Rock, Paper, Win or Die Hard
- As You Like It
- The Bald Soprano
- Merrily We Roll Along
- Prom ‘86
The Bald Soprano was the best show I had ever been in thus far. Though As You Like It was my first main role at Stone Bridge (I had been leads in community theatre productions) I had performed the role of Hymen through sign language and song. Bald Soprano was competition and it left me with a love so deep and so bold for theatre.
I hated Merrily. A lot of people ask why and I’ve never given an answer.
I’m a horrible actress when I’m depressed. For whatever reason, the concrete that was in my head would keep me from emoting, from connecting with others. That’s why my audition for that show was horrible and I didn’t get a good role. I could have been better, but I wasn’t. I hated theatre at this point.
The summer after my junior year I spent rededicating my life to Christ. I knew Him so well that He was my every thought. I woke up in the morning speaking to Him and fell asleep the same way. I woke up at 6:00 and sat on the dock and told Him everything. He was my best friend and I knew He had a plan for me. I thought He was telling me that with everything I’ve been through, with my gift of empathy, that He wanted me to become a youth pastor. So I decided that would be my pursuit.
I applied to Liberty University with all intents to be a youth ministry major. That fall I did Lord of the Flies as our Cappies piece. I was Simon. This role, is the love of my life. I adore Simon. Heck, I was Simon. All the characters I ever played were insane or scared to death and at this point, Simon was both. Insanity, apparently, I can do well :)
After Simon, I was given the role of Alex in The Case of Alex Hansen. This show taught me to incorporate my depression into acting. In this show I was a suicidal teenager, not unlike myself the year prior. Now, however, I could actually act the part, because I had lived it.
I went to CFAW at Liberty University and was freed of my depression on April 1st.
After that, I was in Godspell. I sang On the Willows. Nothing else could have pleased me more because I worshiped Jesus as I sang, as I cried during the crucifixion, and cheered as we prepared the way for the Lord. I thought that theatre and worship for once in my life had combined, and it was only because of Godspell.
Little did I know that God had more plans for me. When I went to Acting Uncut I thought it was just my last shot as seeing theatre and my first at experiencing Liberty first hand. Little did I know that God would break me in a way irreplaceable and perfect.
We were performing Light the morning of when we were opening for the Cabaret and he was like…what was that? Guys, you need to use this as a worship experience. That’s what this is about.
Never in my entire life had it clicked before. Like now, today, it clicked.
Today I saw Next to Normal at the Kennedy Center. I’ve been dying to see this show since it was at Arena Stage here in D.C. three/four years ago. I had been obsessed with Alice Ripley since I experienced her ferocity and heard about her acting. 2009 I watched the Tony’s and fell in love with her acting. I’ve posted about how I got to go, so here’s the update:
The woman that, so kindly, gave me the ticket left me a note saying that “worship and theatre are not mutually exclusive.” The second I read it, I was left in tears. Maybe because I was already in a vulnerable state thanks to Alice’s riveting performance today as my dream role Diana, but I think it was because it’s true.
It meant the world to me to hear the theatre majors at Liberty say they want me to be one as well.
So here goes. After my first semester at Liberty I’m switching to being a theatre major. I’m done planning my life. My life is in God’s hands now. I’m letting go. He will protect me, He will provide. It’s His now. It’s still so scary because I don’t know what I want to do. All I know, is I wanna do what God wants. So here’s to the future!
Just thought I’d share with you all. Thank you so much!