This I believe… I believe that acting and the theatre can make the world a better place
I believe that young people should study the theatre and acting. The theatre teaches history, life lessons, and helps us feel how others experience life.
From theatre students at the University of Utah, I learned about courage, and ancient Greece by watching them perform Helen of Troy. I learned that Helen was a strong brave woman, who stood up to men and Greek traditional beliefs to do what was right for herself and her country.
I learned an important life lessons from Wicked, the musical. Elpheba, the “ugly” witch, truly had the heart of gold, and Glinda the “beautiful” witch, was only pretty on the outside. From this show I learned that judging a book by its cover is almost always a mistake. Looking “good” does not always equal being “good.”
I played a pick pocket in the musical Oliver, and learned that when you are hungry, what is “right” and “wrong” changes significantly. From the character Cosette in Les Mis, I also learned that simple acts of kindness can change someone’s life.
By playing the part of a Who in Suessical, I learned that if a community joins their voices together, they can be heard, even by an elephant.
And, by watching Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I learned there is no place like home.
Having been in several different casts, I learned a basic life skill from my experiences – how to get along with others who are different than you. Actors come from every religion, race, and sexual orientation, I have learned that “talent” comes in every shape and every size, and I can learn from every actor I have ever worked with. I also have learned that everyone has days when they can hit all those high notes, and days when they just need a friend in the cast, to give them a hug and remind them that there is another show tomorrow.
This past summer, I was lucky enough to travel to a small town in Kenya and attend school there for a day. I had little in common with the students in the school, but when my family asked the children to sing a song, I heard some of the most wonderful music I’ve heard in my life. This moment, and the many shows I have seen and participated in, have made me believe that joining voices in song, or sharing our stories through the theatre is one of the easiest ways to bring people together in a way that is peaceful and joyful.
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