When I joined CYT San Antonio in August 2015, I was in no way what you call an “actor” or “thespian.” I was sixteen years old and had never participated in any formal drama, musical, or artistic expression of any kind. My very first night I was excited, but nervous. I joined a group I would stick to for my first three show sessions: CYT Players.
The very first night of rehearsal set the tone of the journey I began with CYT: crazy and fun. Everyone in the cast was so friendly and encouraging in my first show, “Trouble at the CYT Talent Show”, (an interactive murder mystery musical dinner theatre), which I humorously refer to as “The Evil Better Cousin of High School Musical.” The process of preparation and the show itself was absolutely thrilling and a blast to be a part of, except that it was part musical and I had to sing a song (thankfully with a partner) because I wasn’t fully confident in my singing ability yet. I was no Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables or the dude who played Alexander Hamilton in “Hamilton.” It was fun though and I made new friends and found my love of drama, so I signed up for another class.
However, during the second show, I was a part of, “Peter-Wendy”, I felt a sort of disconnection from the cast. I felt like I was the odd man out, everyone knew each other except me. I understand this better now, however, since I’m an introvert and have a disorder that makes me struggle with social interaction (unless I know the person(s) very well). I finally shared my insecurities with the cast/my friends and they understood. They let me know I was loved by them and loved for who I am as a person. It took me some time to realize, but all my friends/CYT family love me just the way I am, just like God does.
After this, I participated in a condensed version of the play “30 Reasons Not To Be In a Play” and that show was hilarious and fun to be a part of. Later in July 2016, I did something I thought I would never do: I signed up for a CYT summer musical camp, for the show, “Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.”. Everyone in the past was always asking if I would ever join in a musical, and when I finally did, everyone was so happy that I finally jumped in.
Being in a musical wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. It was cool and fun just like making a play with the Players, just with singing and dancing. Granted, the process was just over a week, so I only developed a rough understanding of what the makings of a musical was, but it stretched me to a new place. It was after this and talking with my parents that I decided to try out for the Fall show, “Godspell.” This would be my first mainstage show with CYT. I auditioned, went to callbacks, and was cast in a role. It was after I started rehearsing with the cast and crew that I felt I truly understood what being in a musical was really like. I feel that Godspell is one of my favorite shows, not just because it was my first full mainstage musical and it was a fun process to do (which IT WAS!), but I grew in my acting, singing, and dancing skills and built better relationships with my cast mates/friends.
After months of long rehearsals and my very first Tech week, “Godspell” was finally upon everyone. However, during opening night, my throat was hurting, which I fought through. By the second day of shows, though, I felt awful, was running a fever, had partially lost my voice, and had to stay in bed during that night’s performance. Thankfully, by the next day I was feeling much better and participated in all the rest of the shows with everyone. Something that makes me very grateful and happy is that when I showed back up after being sick all the cast and crew asked how was I feeling and were visibly happy to see me back and ready to rock and roll in the show(s).
CYT has been such a blessing since I became a part of the group as I developed my gifts and skills and relationships. My instructor who has and still does make the biggest impact on my life while at CYT is Mr. Josh Scott. He has become like a second father to me and he is a person who knows me and loves me in a Christ-like manner. Mr. Scott has been an amazing influence in my life (Thank you, Mr. Josh). Then, there’s my amazing CYT family. I have so many brothers and sisters I have gained from CYT and am so grateful for all of them and love them all. I see the love of Christ in many of their eyes and thank them for all their encouraging words they’ve exchanged with me and positive influence in my life too (Thank you CYT family of CYT San Antonio-New Braunfels). Finally, I would like to thank CYT for providing the opportunity for young people to use their gifts and glorify God in the arts.
*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.