My CYT Story: A Musical of Friends, Anxiety, and Grandeur!

The following story was submitted by Margaret Ann O. from CYT San Antonio for our 2016 My CYT Story Contest.

Me, My Artistic Director Josh Scott and Breckin Murphy (2016)

Me, My Artistic Director Josh Scott, and Breckin M. (2016)

If my life were a musical, it would be grandeur! Tap numbers, shimmering costumes! Sad duets in fake rain with a redeeming full cast number that included a beautiful stage kiss before the waterfall fell upon a standing ovation. A musical full of over the top ideas and bad choices, but then redemption from those choices by the Grace of god.

My name is Margaret Ann*, I’m 15 years old and have a multitude of issues. Autistic disorder, depression, anxiety and over the years, I made some bad decisions. Its taken my friends, family and CYT to help me realize what God needs me to do.

My story begins in 2012 when I first joined CYT as a young, awkward fifth grader with an autistic disorder who knew basically nobody. I had done a few shows with another company before but I felt like a random face in the ensemble. I was friendly enough, I played, danced, sung and even landed a few lines and a solo in Annie Jr. as a Hoover-ite. My first show flew by so fast and before I knew it, I had apparently made such an impression, the director cast me in Little Mermaid Jr. as the Captain of the ship. (For those of you who don’t know, the Captain opens the show.)

Me and my friend Heather during Jungle Book (2009)

Me and my friend Heather during Jungle Book (2009)

At that same time, I was going through the personality switch that comes with exiting elementary school and entering middle school, and with my disorder, that made the change even worse. I have SPD, a sensory disorder that heightens my senses to the point where uncomfortable noises, textures and tastes could send me into a fit or anxiety attack. As an elementary student, I was bullied constantly. I don’t know why, but my big goofy blonde hair or pudgy build just made me the target of some of the worst bullies I’ve ever met. I was TERRIFIED middle school would be the same way. Sixth grade was fine until I got into an argument with a friend who decided to bad mouth me to the entire grade which triggered the WORST two years of my life. I made “friends” with people who only wanted me so i could “make them happy.” These people were not good friends. They dabbled in things that could have damaged my spiritual connection with god. When i tried to leave, my life became exponentially worse. Abandonment, verbal abuse, depression, anxiety, and thoughts that screwed up my world view. I truly felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I thought I had no friends. I was starting to give up but that’s when I realized something. CYT was where my friends were!

Me doing what I love most; cosplaying (2015)

Me doing what I love most; cosplaying (2015)

By this time, I had been in around 5 shows but I had been pulling away from the people. I had been in shows where overtime someone tried to make friends with me, I ignored or rejected them, but after my realization I threw myself back into CYT. My mom became board chair and I became active in a way I had never (been) before. I joined the improv team and met Alex, Cullen, Hunter, Mikey and Abby. Alex became my best friend, and by 2015 I had starred in 7 shows and attended CYT expo 2014 and 2015. My roles at CYT included mostly ensemble roles, but those were some of the most fun roles I’ve ever had.

Me and my best friend Alex Nunez (2015)

Me and my best friend, Alex (2015)

Now we open on New Braunfels once more and we see me, Maggie*, playing the main antagonist role in Bye Bye Birdie, attending one of the Top 10 art schools in the country and surrounded by amazing friends as well as attaining a stronger connection with God. My depression, SPD, and anxiety still rear their ugly heads, but with my friends and faith I can battle them easily in the years to come. In the next 3 years I’ll be with CYT I plan to only grow stronger in my abilities to act, sing, and dance. I plan to get into college and get my degree in photography and most of all, I plan to use the talents God gave to bring glory to Him and to my parents, who have never given up on me.

I love my CYT family, and if you had told me I would be surrounded with friends and family who loved me and supported me like CYT does, I would have not believed you. I could never have predicted CYT would become such a big part of my life. Boy, am I glad it did.

*Last name removed for online publication, to protect privacy of minor.

Do you have a CYT story to share? Submit it here!

*NOTE: DEADLINE for the 2016 My CYT Story Competition has passed. All submissions received after this point will be held for the 2017 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 2016 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. 

Make ’em Laugh! My CYT Story 2015 Finalist: Breckin Murphy, CYT San Antonio

Ever wanted to make people laugh, but you just couldn’t find the right joke? Or the right audience?

I’m Breckin Murphy, from CYT San Antonio, and I’m about to tell you My CYT Story. 

Breckin M.

Funny guy, Breckin M.

    My CYT story has given me a sense of humor in my life, and it has gotten me closer to God. I love CYT so much. I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s. Asperger’s is a type of Autism that makes you think and react differently. For instance, in the past, I got nervous when I was on a stage. I had trouble making friends and making jokes. I wanted to make people laugh so much.

     I was 12 when I first joined CYT. I was kind of nervous, because I didn’t know if the kids would be mean, or if all of the other kids would be too little for me to find friends. I was wrong. There were kids older than me, younger than me, and some about my age. The kids were nice to me as soon as I walked in, and they had good senses of humor. We all prayed together and helped each other. I found a place for me.

     First, I took a monologues class there, and I was kind of nervous and worried with that as well, but it turned out being great! I started my first play as a pirate named Mean Murphy in Peter Pan, Jr. When I first stepped on that stage, it felt like I was part of second family! It felt amazing, and I wanted to do more with CYT. I met lots of friends. Before long, I went to school one day feeling so confident with myself! I stepped in my school with memories of people in CYT that were funny and nice to me. I went through the halls of my school so happy.

     Soon, another show came; Seussical the Musical! I played a Shakespearean Who in the play, and I met up with the kids once again. This time, I took an improv class. That’s where my sense of humor came in. I tried to be funny. I got out of my shell, and I became an actor! Some of my jokes would not be funny, and some kind of make me blue, but I tried hard to make people laugh until their stomachs ached. Everyone was kind to me and we all were working on being funny. I felt so different!

     The last show I did was Aladdin. I played a guard. I got to sing solo lines and even improv some of my lines! I took an improv class again and met new people and learned even more. I look forward to coming to CYT every chance there is. I learn and laugh and get closer to God when I am at CYT.

     I love my CYT family so much. My sense of humor came from here and my confidence came from here. I want it to keep coming!

Act, Sing, Dance, & Live!

It’s 2015! Can you believe it? One of my fave CYT mantras is “Act, Sing, Dance, Live!” I’m gonna try to do more of all of those things in 2015 and not just in the theatre! Maybe I’ll even get myself a little mug with that slogan on there as a reminder…


Should this be your 2015 resolution, too? Grab a mug for yourself here.


What a thrill to begin a new year full of possibility and so many opportunities to Act, Sing, Dance, & Live. One of the new opportunities I’ve been presented with, is communicating with you all here on this blog. My name is Summer Moshy, and I will be just one of the voices you will be hearing from this year on the CYT Blog (I’m also the Curriculum Developer at CYT, Inc.). Another contributing voice will be Renee Kauffman (our Creative Director at Inc.), as well as a host of other magically exciting individuals (because, honestly, Renee & I can only be captivating like once a month, at most, and since this is a weekly blog, well, you can do the math). Krista, our previous blog editor, did an amazing job in this capacity and we hope to continue spreading the light & joy as she did while at the helm of our blog.

Act, Sing, Dance, & Live! Phew, that’s a lot to do all at once. (Quiet down all of you triple-threats out there…sheesh.)

Maybe I’ll start with just the Act part, first…

Act, literally means, “to do something” (in fact, the word “drama” comes from the Ancient Greek word, “dran” meaning, “to do”).  One of the best things we can do, is let others know that we see them and what they are doing, and that what they are doing matters to us. Lonliness and invisibility hurts so deeply. So, let’s work together to let each other know, “Hey! I see you over there! And I like it!” If you feel so called, check out these CYT affiliates Facebook pages (linked below) and let them know you see them by “liking” their pages, or better, yet, go see one of their shows & like them in person!

CYT Atlanta

CYT Baton Rouge

CYT Denver

CYT Fredericksburg

CYT Houston

CYT Indianapolis

CYT Kansas City

CYT Lafayette

CYT Nashville

CYT New York City

CYT North Idaho

CYT Phoenix

CYT Portland

CYT Riverside

CYT Sacramento

CYT San Antonio

CYT San Diego

CYT Santa Cruz

CYT Spokane

CYT Tri-Valley

CYT Tucson

CYT Upstate

CYT Waco

CYT Wichita

If you’re curious about what CYT is and why we Act, Sing, Dance, & Live all the year through, check out our website or like us on Facebook.

We promise, we like you, too.

The journey from CYT student to CYT director (sorta)

You guys. You’re about to meet an extraordinary gem. Caleb Craig is a former CYT San Antonio student, and current intern director for CYT San Diego‘s production of The Addams Family. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with him about CYT life, college life, and future life. Lucky me!

Here's Caleb, ladies & gentlemen.

Here’s Caleb, ladies & gentlemen.

Not so long ago you were a CYT San Antonio student. What were some highlights from your days on the CYT stage? 
I was part of CYT San Antonio’s ambassador group, the Encore! tour group. That has by far been my favorite part of CYT. We had the privilege of working directly with Sandi and Scott Mitchell producing and performing medleys and arrangements of songs from various genres and shows. That group of people have become my closest friends. They’re like family to me.

The Encoure! group with their Artistic Director Sandi Mitchell

The Encore! group with their Artistic Director Sandi Mitchell

Any favorite CYT roles or shows stand out to you?
I was Peter Pan in Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. and it was a dream come true for me. That was my first lead role in any show I’d done. One of my favorite shows that CYT San Antonio put on was definitely The Wizard of Oz. It was filled with so many incredible moments, including a 12-minute quick change from Ms. Gulch to the Wicked Witch of the West. Watching the make-up and costume crew backstage move super fast to completely change the actress’s appearance was something to behold.



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Update: CYT San Antonio gets recognition for being awesome

We previously reported a tear-jerking story about how CYT San Antonio made 5-year-old Hallee’s dream come true at her birthday party. And now that story is getting recognition from San Antonio radio station KNBT.


In a segment called “Tell Me Something Good Tuesdays,” the DJ discusses how students from CYT San Antonio went above and beyond to honor the life of Hallee’s big brother Jaxon.

Have a listen below.

CYT San Antonio helps make a birthday wish come true

WARNING: the following may make you cry (possibly uncontrollably) and/or want to move to San Antonio immediately to join their CYT. Proceed.

Peter Pan was her late brother Jaxon’s favorite Disney character, so when Hallee was about to turn five years old, she had one birthday wish: for Peter Pan to attend her “Dollie & Me” birthday party. Her mom looked into it, and while there were plenty of places where you could hire a princess for a children’s party, Peter Pan was not one of their for-hire characters.

Soon after Hallee’s request, the family went to see CYT San Antonio‘s production of Peter Pan. Her mom wrote a note to Peter Pan telling him about Jaxon, and about Hallee’s wish for Peter Pan to come to her birthday party. Hallee believed the note was simply an invitation to her party and she proudly handed it to Peter Pan after the performance.

They had no clue if anything would ever come of it.

Alas, on the day of the birthday party, Peter Pan and Wendy (CYT students Caleb Craig and Lauren Tysdale) not only showed up in full costume, but brought Hallee a present from Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys: a little girl version of the Peter Pan costume, complete with a tutu.

Peter Pan

Hallee’s mom wrote, “My daughter can’t stop talking about her special party, and she is going to bed tonight with the biggest smile I’ve seen in a long time! Wish Jaxon could have been here but his presence in our hearts was definitely apparent today!”


Special thanks to the CYT San Antonio costumer that whipped up the miniature Peter Pan costume in one hour, CYT students Caleb & Lauren for being the types of teenagers that make us proud of teenagers, and Hallee’s parents who continue to crusade through parenthood and life with relentless faith and a smile on their face.

Learn more about how they’re honoring the life of their son through Jaxon’s FROG Foundation, whose mission is to “serve as the hands and feet of Jesus to bring smiles to children battling cancer, support ongoing research to find a cure for our young heroes, and be a light in the darkness to encourage the impacted families to Fully Rely On God.”