My CYT Story: A Different Kind of Theater

CYT is a different kind of theater company. Check out how Emma C. from CYT Sacramento discovered how CYT is unique!


I have always loved theater. However, I didn’t like how they were always making cuts, body-shaming, and not spreading the love of Christ. It makes me cry to think of a kid my age not being able to preform in a loving environment. That’s just not right. Then, I heard about CYT, a place where theater nerds like me can both spread the love of Christ, work with amazing directors, an preform all at the same time. We did the summer camp, and instantly fell in love with CYT. We did their classes, and eventually did our first show, Crazy For You. Since then, CYT has changed my life. From working with amazing directors in shows to making it look like I got a black eye in the summer camps, I absolutely love every single aspect of CYT.

My CYT Story: More than just Performing

The following story was submitted by Naomi H. from CYT Sacramento for our 2018 My CYT Story Contest.


CYT has been such an amazing place to grow! I have been in four shows, and loved every one of them! I knew I wanted to do do something artistic with my life, and CYT seemed like the next step for me. CYT was a place where I could use my dancing abilities AND learn new skills like singing and acting.

But none of that is really as important to me. Learning new skills and techniques is nice, but the values and life lessons and things I have discovered about myself and Jesus are much more important.

In my first show (Fiddler on the Roof) I learned so much about theater in general, and how many amazing, dedicated, hardworking people it took to make everything come together. I also noticed that the people here all still loved me even if I made a mistake or messed up.

In Crazy for You, I learned the importance of perseverance, and giving your all every time you perform, weather in practice, on stage, or in life. You have to constantly make a choice to do things the best way, not the easiest way, even when you’ve been at rehearsal for (no joke) 8 hours.

Into the Woods was the first show I had been cast as a lead (Cinderella) and was an altogether mind-boggling and amazing experience. I was confused by a lot of things, and basically learned everything by trial and error. But my AMAZING friends in the cast who had had bigger roles like this before really took me under their wing and showed me how to do all of these things I had never done before and help me run lines and stuff. And when I was onstage I always knew I could count on them. I learned that 1) you need friends that you can rely on, and that you can help eachother and lift one another up, and 2) that self-discipline and hard work are literally one of the most important things ever. As Mrs Hoover says, “Talent is common, hard work is rare.” If you don’t put in the work and memorize and practice, nothing is going to get any better.

And finally, Cinderella. This show was very close to my heart, and I was literally in awe of the general beauty of the show. I was not cast as a glamorous role. I was playing a man with a beard. But, the show was just so beautiful all together, and if this was a part of the show that needed to be played to make the show the best it could be, then I would play it, and do the best I could to make the entire show more beautiful. I was to be in any part of that amazing show. I can’t use any other word to describe that show but beautiful, onstage and off.

Seussical auditions are soon, and I am thrilled to see what God is going to teach me in this show!


Want to submit your story to the 2018 My CYT Story Competition? Deadline is April 1.

DISCLAIMER: Though all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2018 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.

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My CYT Story: Being Myself

The following story was submitted by Megan R. from CYT Sacramento for our 2018 My CYT Story Contest.


When I think of CYT, I think of kindness, compassion, love. At CYT we’re all family. We respect each other; we love each other; we go through tough times together; and still we make it through. At CYT we can be different. We don’t have to be the people others want us to be. We’re free to embrace ourselves. You don’t have to hide yourself away. You don’t have to be the light that gets covered. Let it shine to the whole house. Be yourself!

When I joined CYT, I was easily welcomed. No one was rude to me or thought of me as “just a person,” but as a friend. What I love about CYT is that you can be yourself. They welcome you. It is Christian Youth Theater; we don’t have to hide our beliefs. As a Christian, we can go deeper into the Word of God. We get closer to Christ. We develop a stronger relationship. They encourage us to do this. CYT is a theater company unlike any other. We are unique. We are dramatic. We are Christian! And that is what I love about CYT.

Personally, I enjoy my classes and love my teachers. And even though we live quite a distance away, my mom is willing to drive me.

It makes me happy that we can laugh; we can go thought things easily together; we can be a family. I feel that CYT is all about family. We are strong together. We are brothers and sisters of Christ. Family like this has a strong bond. When we raise money, we don’t just do it for ourselves. We use it to help others. We are loving and caring. And our family keeps growing and growing and growing! CYT is my family. It is a place I feel safe. To anyone who is at CYT or is going to join, this will be a great big family because we are “awkwardly closer than family.” We are one big, fun, loving, dramatic, happy family.


Want to submit your story to the 2018 My CYT Story Competition? Deadline is April 1.

DISCLAIMER: Though all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2018 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.

Tuesday Crew Day – Meet your 2018 EXPO Crew!

For the next few weeks, every other Tuesday is now dubbed “Tuesday Crew Day“. Why? Because those days we’ll be introducing you to your 2018 CYT EXPO Crew!

2017 Crew

Since 2014, the EXPO Crew began as one person helping out here and there. Last year, there were 5 Crew members from various affiliates. Now, we have 12 members representing 8 different CYT affiliates from across the nation!

This totally rad group of people are helping make EXPO happen. They’re the ones giving you a tour of the hotel, cleaning up after meals, setting up CYT Ninja Warrior, greeting you at the ballroom doors every morning, and getting you pumped to be at EXPO! It takes a certain kind of person to be on the CYT EXPO Crew, and these people are top-notch.

Now. For your 2018 CYT EXPO Crew!! Here’s a quick introduction, but we’ll get to know them better over the next few weeks.

Crew Bosses – Danny LaPointe, Jensen Kirkendall, Kristina Sims, Donavon Potter, Scott Worley, and Tyler Tafolla!

These guys are pros. If you were at EXPO last year, you totally saw them hanging around being awesome. We’ll have some fun questions and pictures to share later so you can get to know them again!

Crew Interns – Alex Redd , Gabe Bates, Hannah Taraschke, Kalla Mort, Ryan Ramsower, and Tim Chapman!

These interns are the bomb. They haven’t been on the Crew before, but they are no strangers to CYT or EXPO! Be on the lookout for our upcoming posts so you can meet them! Maybe they’re from your CYT!!


Well, that’s all we have for now. Check back every other Tuesday for our latest Tuesday Crew Day post! Seriously you guys, these people are the best. We can’t wait for EXPO!! If you’re not registered yet, Register Now! Prices go up Thursday, March 1!

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My CYT Story: Soaking up CYT

The following story was submitted by Ashley K. from CYT Tri-Valley for our 2018 My CYT Story Contest.


I had just finished my first CYT show with my first CYT session. I had found my family. You can imagine how bad my post-show depression was. But next thing I know, I’m in a friend from CYT’s kitchen hearing about this incredible thing called Expo. And what do I want? I want to go. So I head to the church summer camp I had already signed up for, thinking, “Next year.” It was pretty obvious I was completely late to go on this very expensive trip.

That Thursday, I receive a sort of telegram from my mom during cabin discussion time and it reads “Not an emergency.” Of course, when my leader handed it to me, the only word she noticed was emergency and she freaked out a little. (That was kind of a funny moment.) But I have no other information besides the three words! So of course I’m completely confused. After lunch, I head to the post office and exchange some cash for quarters and find the payphone. I insert the coins and dial, eyes wandering as the phone rings, wondering what it could possibly be. Finally my mom picks up the phone. We said our hellos and I explained the funny telegram story then demanded the news. I was going to Expo. After my affiliate’s HYPE members and staff put in a lot of hard work and generosity, I was going! (Again, thank you!) And of course, cue the laughter from surprise.

The rest of the day I was smiling and excited. And then there I was, soaking up the CYT experience at Expo. Complaining about the humidity, playing the floor is lava, laughing and cheering like crazy during improv, staying up late singing to the Newsies, singing praises to our amazing God who is the reason we have CYT, annoying the engineers, you know, the Expo experience. And it obviously hasn’t ended there. I’ve joined HYPE and I’m so excited to be on the HYPE track this Expo. I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me with CYT. Thank you all for this incredible community and amazing opportunities!


Want to submit your story to the 2018 My CYT Story Competition? Deadline is April 1.

DISCLAIMER: Though all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2018 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.

My CYT Story: Full of Life and CYT

The following story was submitted by Samantha O. from CYT Sacramento for our 2018 My CYT Story Contest.


I spent the summer after my 8th grade year in a lot of prayer and self-thought. I came out of a rough couple of years, and was desperate for a new community. My summer was fun, but there was always a part of me that was sad, depressed. I had been signed up for CYT summer camp as a birthday gift, and I was pumped to do it. One of my best friends had been going there since it started, and I was excited to be there. This was my fresh start. I was very nervous on my first day, came up to the front steps of Valley Springs Church to find out that the two girls I knew there were on two separate teams. My mom drove off and I was left wondering what I was going to do. But being there, seeing all of these happy faces and people who were passionate about theatre, gave me courage to walk up to two people I saw were on my team and just say “Hi, I don’t know what I am doing.” Man, am I glad that God gave me the ability to overcome my social anxiety and talk to them. Those two are now very close to me. They led me inside, and told me the run-down, how it all went about. I met my team, and had the time of my life. I made bunches of friends, and was even chosen to be captain of the team. Now, I am very close with so many of these people. Through the power of God I went from depressed out of middle school to happy and full of life and God’s love entering high school. It is all because of the CYT family. Thanks.


Want to submit your story to the 2018 My CYT Story Competition? Deadline is April 1.

DISCLAIMER: Though all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2018 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.

Throwback Thursday – 5 Favorite EXPO 2017 Moments

What a whirlwind. Somehow it’s already January 2018, kids are back in school, and CYT winter sessions are well underway. But today we’re throwing it back to June 2017 when the sun was hot, school was out, and we spent the best four days of the entire summer at the 2017 CYT EXPO!

Last year about 200 students, 120 leaders, and 110 spectators from all across the nation came together in sunny San Diego to “Seize the Day”. Throughout all leadership training sessions, theatre Master Classes, meal times, and activities, here’s a brief look back at 5 of our favorite EXPO 2017 moments.


1 – PHOTO BOOTH 

The photo booth is always a hit and let me tell you, theater kids sure know how to take entertaining pictures. Popular themes include (but are not limited to): pictures with food; spelling CYT with arms; funny faces; dramatic scenes. Don’t worry, the photo booth will be back for 2018!

Find your pictures from the photo booth here! 

 

2 – KEYNOTE SPEAKER: JON JORGENSON

Speaker, author, and CYT Chicago alum Jon Jorgenson performed several spoken word pieces and shared how performing can be used to influence people and change lives. He also led a workshop and spent time just hanging out with the students and leadership!

Want to see what Jon’s working on next? Follow his facebook page and subscribe to his YouTube channel!

 

3 – IMPROVATHON

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? The Improvathon teams train every year for several sessions before coming to EXPO, and their hard work definitely shows! Congrats again to the 2017 Improvathon Finalists – CYT San Diego‘s “Yoda King of New York” and “Newsboyz II Men” – and the 2017 Improvathon Champions, CYT Kansas City‘s “Black and White and Rad All Over”!

 

4 – PARTY LIKE IT’S 1899

Dressing like a newsboy, watching the Broadway recording of Newsies, and dancing the night away with 200 of friends? That is definitely an example of seizing the day! What kind of radical opening night party will we have this year??

 

5 – WORSHIP

Each morning we had some awesome worship led by CYT alum, students, and friends, but one morning was a little different from the rest. Due to another event taking place next door, we moved our worship outside and had an acoustic set to start off the day! It was definitely a hit. Maybe we’ll have an acoustic set again?


CYT EXPO 2017 was a blast! I know, this post probably made you miss it. But don’t worry, your chance to “be radical” at the 2018 CYT EXPO is coming up fast! Registration opens on February 1!! Get stoked!

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