The Performance Changed the Performer

Tell about an experience that changed you.

Two flamboyant characters sat in the center of the first row; I saw their hands dancing wildly in the air while I tiptoed quietly into the theatre so as not to pop their bubble of eccentricity. However, the heavy door’s loud click as it closed behind me gave me away, causing one director to spiral upwards out of his chair and introduce himself. I managed a smile and whispered my name; in turn, he pointed toward the stage where the veteran thespians were already forming small conclaves of talent. The pianist’s thin fingers played a quick melody, causing everyone to gather around her. She played a song much bigger than she, and we were given the daunting task of trying to sing along.

Fast-forward eight months: we had worked together to master a million dance steps and weathered one bout of bronchitis, numerous hand cramps, and one fundraising Christmas pageant. There I was, on the same stage, yet completely different. Our acting brigade had turned us into small-town celebrities. Unlike the usual performances, ours was handwritten to spotlight a heavy epidemic among adolescents. The issue of bullying is not new to our generation, but it is now of a different type. Our show, titled “Normal,” showcased the different types of bullying...

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