The Stage

Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

I’ve been a lot of different people in my seventeen years of life. I’ve been a tap dancing mouse chased by shrieking female cats, a 1950s teenager with greased-back hair, a sailor on 24-hour shore-leave in New York City seeking love and a good time, and a Polish street gang member lurking around dark alleys and knocking out rival gang members with my impressive right hook.

The stage is what allowed me to become so many people.

My love of performing can be traced as far back as first grade. Sure, at the time I still thought I was going to be the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees, but even at my baseball games I used to practice my dance moves in the dugout, performing single, double, and triple time steps in my rubber cleats. As part of an all-boys dance class, I even schlepped an hour both ways on the subway to the Alvin Ailey School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I studied dancing, exploring styles everywhere from the elegant curves and lines of ballet to the rapid, athletic movements of West African.

But my first experience with the stage really began with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a group I was a part of for seven years. Always in awe of the beauty and history of the venues we performed at, such as...

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