This I Believe

Katherine - Colma, California
Entered on December 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

Purpose

We all set goals in our lives whether it’s doing well in school or even setting up a healthier diet. But what is it that helps us push to do better? For the most part, the goals we have for ourselves have nothing to do with other people, it’s about us and what help us better ourselves. So, what is it inside that keeps us striving to reach our goals? What’s that one thing that we were all born to have but for some reason, we think it’s either lost or non-existent?

A few months ago, our Musical/Play director came to my choir class to ask us to audition for the upcoming musical because he was in need of singers to play most of the roles. I was so excited to hear about it because I’ve always wanted to be in a play but I had never been in any productions before because I was too shy to perform in large crowds. I wanted to give it a try. For weeks I practiced until try-outs came. They lasted about a week and after that we found out who got what roles. I was never aiming for a big role; I just wanted to be a part of what I later found out was the best experience of my high school life. But when I saw my name as one of the leads, my heart went straight down my stomach. It was a great feeling, being inexperienced with one of the lead roles, but at the same time, fear took over me because I knew I got a lot of work ahead of me and I didn’t know if I could do it. “He sees potential in you.” That’s what the others kept telling me. But did I see something in myself?

Five weeks passed and everyone had all their lines memorized, most of the staging, too, but I found myself getting more and more frustrated because I could do almost everything, except act out my role. For the next few weeks, I was heavily criticized. I received so much that one day, I was just so fed up all I could do was break down and ask myself, “What did I get myself into?” I talked to my friends about it a lot to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything but the musical. I was terrified knowing that I was running out of time. Mistakes were not acceptable at that point because Opening Night was exactly a week away…

And there I was, Opening Night, sitting in my dressing room looking at myself in the mirror. In my costume, my hair and make up beautifully done… yet there was one more thing on my mind. Was I mentally and emotionally ready? MY heart was beating so fast, I knew deep down I couldn’t just bail out on all the work I had done, all the work the rest of the cast had done. I heard the curtains opening and I knew that that was it. I looked in the mirror one last time, took a deep breath and headed out the door.

I sure didn’t realize I had so much faith in myself until seconds before I got on stage. Sure, I knew what I got myself into but I didn’t know that acting wasn’t the only thing I was going to learn throughout this whole experience. I’ve learned a lot of other things but learning to have faith in myself was something I’ll never forget. I learned to believe in myself and that if I put my heart and dedication into anything, I can do almost whatever I set my mind to. Oh, and by the way, from what the cast has heard, including myself, the show was a success!