As I walked into the large front doors of the church my small piece of carefully built confidence suddenly shattered. The action of the crowded audition room overwhelmed me. Everywhere I looked I saw girls my age who seemed to know exactly how to impress the panel of judges and nearly two hundred people who filled the rows of chairs. I wanted to turn around and go home. The pressures was on as I sat down and waited for my turn, but when it came it was hardly a relief. My mom told me “Don’t worry about anything else, just do your best.” As a small, skinny, 10-year-old girl climbed the steps all eyes we upon her. The music began and I froze. Before I knew what happened I was being grabbed by someone as I ran down the hallway. When I turned around I saw two teenage girls. They sat me down for a roughly one minute conversation that changed the course of my life. Without these encouraging words theater would not have been a part of my life because I was heeded for the parking lot with no intention of turning back. Instead I made up my mind to go back in and give my very poor rendition of Do-Re-Mi. Little did I know that in five years I would be one of the other girls in the story. And this is that story.
Much to my surprise I was cast in that very show. I had a blast and decided to go on a summer trip with my new friends. On a early July morning in the summer of 2013 I boarded the plane to Texas with three girls and four boys. This trip was another turning point in my life. It opened my eyes to another side of life. Days into the trip I was left alone with one other girl in our hotel room. As we sat adjacent to each other on our hotel beds and began to talk. Though I had never really had a conversation with her I definitely noticed her. She was beautiful ,kind, and a very talented performer. I looked up to her a lot ,and wanted to follow in her footsteps. As we talked I was interrupted by her she, Oliva said one sentence that I will never forget. Although small and seemingly meaningless these word impacted me beyond belief . They were “ You know Megan I always thought you were such a shy kid.”It was at this moment that I looked back on the year I had spent in CYT and realized how far I’d come and just how far I could go. I replay these words almost daily in my mind they remind me of my role model and mentor and the transformation that I have gone through in my life this far.
As the years moved on I continued in theatre. As I grew older I watched and learned from these same girls and leaders around me. However, life keeps moving forward and soon I was the age to take leadership. This amazing fact was also devastating as my mentors and close friends were aging out. I spent many nights wondering and murmuring “How am I ever going to give them all they deserve .” I had big shoes to fill as every young girl wanted to be just like Olivia. They come running from across the parking lot so that they can get the first hug of the day. They cry when she gets sick and misses a day of rehearsal. They just want her attention and want to be her. However, I can’t just say that about the eight year olds because I also want to run up to her and jump her her arms ; when I was 10 that would have been fine but here I am a 15-year-old. But, when I do see her, I yell “Hi mama” and she replies “Hi baby angel”. I look forward to these simple things and they are exactly what I will miss when my mama goes on to college. One day when we were watching a scene of our break I realized just how precious the time was. We were sitting next to each other my head was on her lap I suddenly began to cry she immediately asked me what was wrong and I managed to squeeze out the words “I’m not ready for you to go. How can I ever give the girls enough?“
She whispered in my ear, “You are ready baby angel.” I was almost angry. But how? Why is this my responsibility? I can’t be the one who makes them feel like they aren’t worthy of all the attention. How will I know what to do and how to make them feel like the daughters and sons of the creator. I’m just a kid myself. I realized that I had all of the responsibility to change a sway all of these young kids life in the right direction. But also the power to make them feel worthless and like just another kid.
From that moment on I made it my mission to give all I could possibly give to my theater family. Soon I realized that it wasn’t that easy or fun. Trying to be selfless is not a rewarding as it may appear. You don’t look like a saint or a flawless person. In fact often a little mistake makes others glare as if saying you know they are all watching you. Do you want them to do that? This new time in my life gave me even more appreciation for Olivia. She put aside her desires to meet those of others. I just want to relax, be on my phone, take ten minutes for myself, I just worked for four hours. I want to wear that, and say that. I want to be a teenager. Why did I think I could do it or that is was even a good idea? I spent years wanting to lead but it’s not all that I hoped it would be. It really sucks to know that I have all this responsibility. It doesn’t even seem worth it sometimes. However, I believe it is my calling. Because it was worth it to me when I was young. Seeing one girl who was always engaging, helpful, and selfless really changed me. There are definitely moments of much needed encouragement. I live for the yells of the kids as I enter the courtyard. “Megan! Megan! Kami she’s here, look!” They know just how to make me forget all my problems and sacrifices.
Looking back the polar opposite child climbing those steps I truly don’t know what I have done to be so blessed. My gratitude for those two girls and the one minute conversation that changed it all is immeasurable. I often wonder what would have happened if those girls were having a “I just want five minutes to myself” moment. Where would I be? So as I say goodbye to those girls I am filled with the hope that this is the same story that so many will get to share. I hope that I can stop just one from turning their backs on their potential and there waiting family.
*NOTE: DEADLINE for the 2017 My CYT Story Competition has passed. All submissions received after this point will be held for the 2018 My CYT Story Competition.
DISCLAIMER: Though, all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2017 My CYT Story Competition, not all stories will be published on this blog. Likewise, having your story published on the blog does not guarantee that your story has been selected as a Regional Winner.