It’s all too easy to drop your passion for performance (whatever that performing might look like!) because you feel the pressure to only do the things that make you money.
Sometimes it is really hard to get back into performing. I experienced this firsthand when I went to college.
This blog post is a little narrative and a little personal. Read it if you’re up for a story 🙂
My journey back to performing . . .
Even though it was my dream since sixth grade to go to school for musical theatre (and be on Broadway), I ended up following my ex-boyfriend to Texas A&M University ( 😑 ).
A&M does not offer a musical theatre degree, so I chose the thing that everyone else said I would enjoy: engineering.
Once I got to college, I caved and decided that I didn’t have time to juggle my relationship, time for schoolwork, and time to audition for the local theatre company (even though I sat alone in my room for hours every evening).
So, I decided against auditioning for the first show of the season, Beauty and the Beast, even though I was really looking forward to it.
And man was I miserable. (‘Miserable’ is the understatement of the year. I went through many bouts of anxiety and depression during my freshman year of college as so many do.)
Fast forward to my second semester, I decided I’d had enough of engineering and applied to transfer to another college with a musical theatre program (nothing against engineers, by the way, math and I just don’t get along).
I was accepted to the one I wanted to go to, but it was just going to be too expensive. Like tens of thousands of dollars too expensive. Unfortunately, the college just didn’t have many scholarships for transfer students.
So, I was back at A&M. (This time, I chose to be an English major with a Performance Studies minor. It wasn’t exactly what I was planning on going to college for, but I ended up LOVING this degree).
Little did I know, I would not be returning to my boring A&M college existence. Soon after deciding to stay at A&M, I was recruited to sing for the Aggieland Orchestra 🎷 (a jazz big band at A&M).
This decision changed my life in two huge ways:
1. I met and fell in love with my husband, Caleb💜.
2. I fell in love with performing again😊!
Suddenly, I was no longer a victim of my high school self’s decision to go to a college that did not offer the degree I had always dreamed of pursuing.
After beginning to perform with the Aggieland Orchestra, my mindset shifted. I didn’t have to grind every night of the week to earn an A on a calculus exam. Instead, I learned as much as I could and then focused on what really mattered to me: my jazz band performances.
Most excitingly, I realized that I could perform in musicals again.
So that’s what I decided to do. I mustered up the courage, auditioned at The Theatre Company in Bryan / College Station, and was cast in my first musical in 2 years🎇! That community theatre gave me the perfect reintroduction into acting. Not only did I learn a lot but also the people I met there were incredible.
Their positivity, drive, and fun-loving care for one another made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. (Something I had in high school band & theatre, but not in college until Aggieland Orchestra and The Theatre Company). I’m not sure if they know it, but getting to go to rehearsal with them every night brought me out of a real funk.
After my first rehearsal there, I knew that I could never stop performing again.
So that is my story of returning to the world of performing.
And maybe you’re in a position where you would like to get back to it and aren’t sure where to start.
Or maybe you’ve never performed in your life and you’re trying to learn what happens at a musical theatre audition and oh my gosh why did everyone just chant “thank you, five” after that person in black clothes said “five minutes to notes”? (I can explain all of these things!)
Or maybe you are simply searching for a blog written for people who love theatre, music, and the performing arts.
My goal for Sing With Grace is to create a place where performers (in whatever stage of their journey) can share their experiences with one another and grow as people and performers in doing so. I want to share what happened in my trials by fire (getting to where I am today) and what I learned from those trials (so your journey is simpler than mine!)
On my deathbed, I want to look back at my life and be able to say: I’m so happy to have loved all of the people I did. I still hope God welcomes me into Heaven as His good and faithful servant. I’m so glad that I never stopped performing.
Don’t stop performing if that is a talent you have been given. I hope this blog helps you achieve your performance goals. I want to help singers you as much as I can!