The Jeanne B. McCoy Center for the Performing Arts

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

Fingers at the ready. Arms at the ready. Feet at the ready. Stomach at the ready. Eyes at the ready. Keys, bow, steps, song, speech – all at the ready to create another person, another emotion, another world. This genesis, this nebula that hatches the brightest stars, is where I belong. Home away from home. I trace the cracks in your wooden floor; I take a deep breath; curtains open. The stage. My stage. The Jeanne B. McCoy Center for the Performing Arts.

On a Monday night, my feet take root in the risers and the stream of my voice joins the cascade of the choir, pouring into the ears of the audience. Maybe on a Tuesday or Sunday, as I draw my own bow across the cello, the warmth of the vibrating strings surrounding me wraps me in a blanket of sound. Any other day, I am burying myself in the skin of an intricate fictional character, bringing her to life from the inside out, while my friends bring theirs to life around me. These nights of grit and wonder are the reason this place exists – to become something bigger than yourself for the benefit of the faceless hundreds out in the dark. This is my sanctuary.

I am, and always have been, a performer. There is no greater rush than the thunderous applause that greets that astonishing...

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