They say good things take time. Great things happen in an instant. I remember the instant my mom handed me the community flyer from the local theater. She just came home from a long day of work. I was pretty tired too, having spent the entire day living out my imagination. I often spent my days as a firefighter without a truck, water-hose or fire, for that matter. Or I was a goalie making tremendous jaw-dropping saves on pucks that weren't being shot at me. Sometimes, I was a singer with no backup dancers, band or a stadium full of screaming fans. My audience was our aging red-haired Dachshund who stared at me with the most apathetic look, no matter what I was doing.
The flyer was fluorescent orange with thick black toner ink advertising auditions for the next musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." In that single defining instant, I began to grow into who I am and what continues to drive me today. I was learning responsibility, engaging with a community who shared a unified goal and I was able to share my creativity with others. I was finally doing all the things I had fun doing and they had purpose. And any performer will tell you, there is no feeling like hearing the applause of an audience after performing. It's gratifying and humbling at the same time.
I performed the rest of my years growing up. I loved it. I set goals for myself as an actor and started paving my way to becoming one. However, I am here to tell you, there is nothing more humbling or gratifying than teaching. When I began assistant teaching in my community, I felt more confident, I was learning more than I expected about myself and my acting. And I wish I could, but there is absolutely no way to describe the feeling of teaching when a child expresses that "ah-ha" moment of grasping a concept, or to see a young performer perfect a song they were previously terrified to do or hearing a group of students scream with elation as the opening night curtain has closed. It's extraordinary.
I am so lucky to have had theater and education touch my life, and it was because I was surrounded by places where opportunities for great instances happen all the time; community centers, camps and theater education. I can't imagine a better career than to share and experience this everyday. Who knows what may have happened if my mother didn't come home with that flyer. I might have become a Firefighter or Pop-singer!...Perhaps better left in my imagination!