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.)
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!
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.
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.
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*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.