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Confident, invested, and aware, I throw my shoulders back and walk to center stage. I breathe deeply and smile menacingly as I channel my character. This has happened before, over fifty times and within twenty-four different stories, I have done this. I walk on stage on this opening night, my last opening night, as Leading Player Number One in Pippin. I would spend the next few hours with Pippin, traveling with him as he tries to find his place in the world, his Corner of the Sky. Under the stress of opening night, I tend to thrive but on this particular opening night, the feeling that I was on top of the world was the strongest it had ever been.
As I walked off stage after a nearly flawless performance, filled with pure emotion as I hugged those that I love, it hit me: what was I doing? I was one month away from move in day at a college with a health studies major, but that had never been my passion. My heart knew that I belonged within the three physical and one imaginary walls that create a theatre. I knew that the day I arrived at the University of Rhode Island, I’d be changing my major from health studies to theatre with a concentration in acting and directing. At the time, I knew that I’d be taking a risk. In a sense, I was throwing caution to the wind and hoping that passion and internal drive would lead me in the direction that I needed to go. I got lucky, and my heart told me where I need to go within the first four weeks of college: Boston.
I grew up in the suburbs surrounding Boston and have always adored the area.The high energy in the city has enthralled me since I was a little girl, especially within the theatre district.This summer, I felt an emotional pull as I walked down those streets with several of my closest friends.Something in my heart felt empty by being there and I was unable to identify it. It was as if I was hearing the voices of the Players from Pippin, “Join us, leave your fields to flower,” but I couldn’t go to the sound.I know now that this was an internal disagreement. My brain attempted to reinforce the social push to pursue a STEM career, trying to block out the sound of the Players. My heart on the other hand supported me and pushed me into the field that I now know to be where I am meant to go. My heart tore me from societal expectations and thrusted me into the journey that I am now on to find myself and my niche in this community.
I cannot hope to simply stumble upon the resources I need to succeed in this industry. A person must be proactive and attack any opportunities that they are lucky enough to cross. I believe that I will be able to obtain resources, opportunities and connections in Boston better than anywhere else. The most important part of going to school in Boston however, is that I see myself there. I do not just mean I enjoy the idea of sitting quietly in a coffee shop with my laptop on Saturday mornings, but that I see my future-self there. I believe that the lessons I have to learn about who I am, being an actress, and bringing art to life all lie within three physical walls and one imaginary one in the city of Boston. After a long battle against himself, Pippin finally found his Corner of the Sky and I thank my stars that he led me to mine as well.
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