You are enough.

The following story was submitted by Tessa S., from CYT Spokane, as part of the 2016 My CYT Story Contest. 

MyCYT-Story-logo

        My whole life I’ve never felt like I actually belonged to something. I spent year after year trying new activities, hoping to fit in someplace. I spent years trying to figure out where I belonged, where I could be myself. It wasn’t until my eighth grade year that I found it. A friend of mine convinced me to audition for The Little Mermaid Jr., and when I walked onstage for the first time I knew that I had found my place. However, it wasn’t until I was a part of Honk Jr., that I truly felt like I belonged.

          During those two years being a part of CYT [Spokane], I was depressed, insecure, and felt like an outsider. Then, I auditioned for Honk Jr. and the show quickly became my favorite. I was relating to a young duckling that was experiencing the same feelings I felt. This duckling had been bullied and trusted the wrong people, something that many of us experience. Ugly had felt left out and alone. With the heavy subject matter, how could someone not relate or love this show?

         After that show, my life changed. I slowly became more confident and realized that I didn’t have to be like everyone else to fit in. After that show, I realized that it was okay to be weird and different and to not have everyone like you. CYT had shown me that being a part of something didn’t mean I had to have a bunch of friends that I had pretended to like; it meant having one or two people that liked me for me. CYT had given me a family, a purpose, a way to live my life. After opening night of Honk, my best friend came up to me and said “I’m glad CYT did this show. It shows that being yourself is enough” I couldn’t agree more. I want everyone who reads this to know that my friend was right. Being yourself is enough! You are enough. You do not have to be something you are not because certain people don’t like you. CYT has shown me time and time again that being yourself is what matters. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get a lead, or even cast in the play at all, as long as you stay true to yourself and be who you were meant to be and who God wants you to be.  That is what matters and will get you much further in life than wishing to be someone else or pretending to be something that you are not. CYT taught me that being yourself is enough.

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

*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. 

Who’s that? It’s a CYT Alum starring in a National Broadway Tour!

Thanks to Allison Mayberry, the Marketing and Publicity Director at CYT Fredericksburg, for this joyful letter! We love it when CYT sneaks up on itself!

Hello AMAZING CYT family,
I wanted to share with you blessing that CYT Fredericksburg came upon. This weekend, 50+ CYT families headed to Richmond, VA to see (the Broadway national tour of Disney’s) NewsiesEveryone came away from the show inspired and refreshed.

CYT Fred at Newsies

Many of the kids headed to the stage door and got to meet many of the cast members and get autographs and photos. We even got to sing with three of the Newsies! You would think meeting the Newsies could not be topped, but God continued to bless us. While speaking to one of the leads (Morgan Keenewho plays Katherine Plumber in Newsies) we found out that she was from CYT Spokane!!! Can you imagine the faces of our CYT kids? A CYT alumni is touring the country in Newsies???? They were thrilled.

Read all about it! CYT kid in National Broadway tour of Newsies!

Morgan spent a pretty long time with our CYT kids, answering questions, giving them tips and was above and beyond kind, sweet, and loving. She is the perfect example of what CYT produces. She inspired so many that day.

So,  THANK YOU ALL!!!!!! Thank you all for your hard work, dedication, long hours and patience with us all. Sometimes we get bogged down with all the paperwork and day-to-day tasks that it takes a blessing dropped in front of us to remind us of why we do what we do in the busy times. I can not thank you all enough. And of course, Sheryl and Paul…God bless you for dreaming this program up and NEVER giving up! I cry tears of joy quite often not just for this organization, but for my children who have grown up in this family and I can’t imagine life without CYT! My oldest ages out after our Winter show and the anxiety has already began.

I hope you all have an amazing day!

Thanks for the great story, Allison! Keep up the great work & continue to Seize the Day at CYT Fred!

 
For more info, check out:
Morgan’s website here.
CYT Fredericksburg here.
CYT Spokane here.
Newsies FB here.

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…

CYT Mug

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.

Q&A with CYT Spokane’s Scott Worley

In continuing my obsession with interviewing CYTers around the nation, I recently spoke with CYT Spokane student Scott Worley. And in continuing my being so impressed with the caliber of people involved in CYT, Scott did not disappoint. Spokane is a lucky CYT Affiliate, indeed!

Ladies & gents, meet Scott Worley

Ladies & gents, meet Scott Worley

Let’s do a little get-to-know-you. Tell me your name, age, current location, and an interesting tidbit or two that we’d be surprised to learn.

My name is Scott Worley, I’m 19 years old, and I live in Spokane, Washington (I’ve lived here my entire life). Interesting tidbits…I have grown a beard, shaved my head, and been painted green for several CYT shows. And for Christmas the past four or five years, I’ve asked for a pair of red converse high tops. They usually last me a little over a year and so I get the perfect time span out of them and I wear them with everything no matter what I’m wearing.

An example of Scott being green...

An example of Scott being green…

I love it! Tell me your experience as a student at CYT Spokane. How long were you involved, and what were some highlights?

I’ve been involved with CYT Spokane sense the age of 11. I was in the cast of 10 shows and on crew for four shows. Some of the highlights have been meeting amazing people who I truly believe will be my friends for life. There also isn’t a whole lot that can compare to the feeling of singing your heart out to a sold out theater of 750 people at the breathtaking Bing Crosby Theater.

Friends

Any favorite roles or shows?

Some roles I’ve had the honor to play were the Beast and Shrek. But my all-time favorite roll was Jud Fry in Oklahoma!. The stretch as an actor I was able to experience was amazing! My favorite show, however, would probably be A Christmas Carol. We had a bit of a smaller cast for that one so everyone was playing several roles and we just had a blast doing such a exciting and fun show.

Not looking so scary as the Beast...

Not looking so scary as the Beast…

What was your go-to audition song?

“I’d Rather Be Sailing” from A New Brain. I was fortunate enough to be able to perform it for the I.E. Thespian Festival and qualify nationally for Solo’s.

I’m told you recently interned for a production of Peter Pan. How was that? What were some of your responsibilities?

That was an absolute blast! Some of what I did was block scenes, as well as fight choreography and assisted with character work and development.

What was the main part of that experience that you didn’t see coming? 

I really didn’t realize how big of an undertaking the whole process really is. As a director you are responsible for everything from the the casting of the show to the set design. I learned you need a solid vision as a director because while you do have a team of dedicated and amazing parent volunteers, they are all going off your vision for the show.

And the second thing that really caught me off guard was the thing you are constantly told when in CYT but never fully grasp until you see the full picture –  how much the parent volunteers really do for a show and for us all. A show would crumble if it was not for the parents giving their time, energy, resources, and GAS for these productions. So to all CYT parents everywhere, thank you for everything you do. You are really changing lives with the work and time you are putting into your CYT.

You attended the 2014 CYT EXPO. Best three days of your life?

I did attend this year, as well as the one before and they were both awesome! Not only did I get an original CYT tie out of it from the good Dr. LaForge herself but met a lot of amazing CYTers and had a blast! It seems like another one of those sayings you always seem to hear but it is oh so true – a CYT’er is a CYT’er no matter where they are from.

Modeling the CYT tie!

Modeling the CYT tie!

What are you currently up to and what is your future looking like?

Right now I am in my first year of college and am involved with community theater around Spokane, as well as teaching Drama 101 this winter semester at CYT. Down the road I am working towards getting a degree in Secondary Education to become a high school Social Studies teacher and will hopefully direct a CYT show of my own some day!

So awesome! Thanks for humoring me and all my questions. Best of luck Scott!

HYPE students are taking action this fall!

There are a million reasons to love HYPE. They’re CYT teens from around the country who are dedicated to pursuing excellence by taking on leadership roles and getting involved in the community around them. And now, their HYPE passion is about to explode all over the country this fall! Which give us all the more reason to love them to bits.

HYPE students from CYT Spokane

HYPE students from CYT Spokane

Following the 2014 CYT EXPO, the HYPE students have been proactive by following up with the ideas that they discussed in July. Students have been creating collaborative groups on Facebook for their different jobs, and have been sharing ideas with one another about what they are doing in their HYPE groups. They have been sharing pictures of their retreats and fall kick-offs, and have shown an overall enthusiasm for leading and growing in their specific areas.

CYT Santa Cruz

CYT Santa Cruz

A huge shout-out to Sean Grossnickle’s awesome idea of casts writing letters to one another – either to a cast in another area who’s doing the same show or a cast performing the same weekend. Although he encouraged HYPE groups to spearhead the letter writing, it’s open for any and every CYT area that wants to participate. 

CYT Houston

CYT Houston

It’s so cool that the students are being innovative and sparking movements among the CYT groups. This is exactly the vision that was set for them at the Expo, and it’s so encouraging to see it take form!

Find out more about HYPE and how you can get involved HERE

CYT Spokane presents a different kind of Senior Follies

What do you get when you take 11 high school seniors, 10 weeks of CYT classes, and a tribute to their CYT Spokane experience? An amazing hour and a half long showcase written, directed, and performed by some very talented and creative young people! 

senior9When there is a group of 10 or more seniors graduating, CYT Spokane offers a Senior Follies class. It’s a wonderful way for the very special group to showcase all their experiences and honor their contributions to CYT. And this year, they certainly did just that.

The students began brainstorming their showcase on the first day of class and decided to pay homage to the shows they enjoyed during their CYT careers. They worked incredibly hard both inside and outside of class to accomplish this theatrical feat. A mentor/advisor helped them coordinate it all and track down music. They couldn’t represent all 26 shows among them in song and dance, but they did manage to pack a lot into their presentation.

The evening began with a walk down memory lane in a skit about their first auditions. From “Happy Birthday” to “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, they sang songs that brought the audience back to those early, simpler days of auditioning for a show. A crowd favorite was their rendition of “When I Grow Up” from Matilda, where each senior had a “mini-me” (a younger CYT student) to represent them. The younger children opened the song, then the seniors came out singing while riding on scooters to create a beautiful  celebration of their youth, which brought every mother to tears.

senior4

The next hour was spent performing a variety of solos, duets, and group numbers from the various shows they had been in. Whether a soloist was singing “Neverland” or the whole group was kicking up their heels to “One More Angel in Heaven”, this group kept the audience engaged and delighted throughout. 

senior5

The CYT Decathlon Award was presented to three of the students and they also presented their own honor, the Papst Award,  to recognize adults who have impacted their lives.  The evening ended with the sweet sentiments of “The Looking Glass Girl” from CYT’s own version of Alice to signify the boundless hopes and dreams of the seniors on the stage.  

senior3

This meaningful tribute will not soon be forgotten for those who got to be a part of it. Kudos to the special group of seniors for knocking it out of the park.

If you’d like more information on this endeavor, feel free to reach out to Cindy at CYT Spokane:

cdibble@cytspokane.com
(509) 869-2979

A recap of the 2014 CYT EXPO

It has been a couple weeks since the 2014 CYT EXPO. And it has taken us that long to come down from the high and wrap our brains around what a fantastic weekend it was. We are going to go out on a limb and say that this year’s EXPO was the best yet! With over 300 in attendance, students and leaders reconnected with their fellow CYT friends from across the nation and experienced what it truly means to be a part of one big CYT family.

CYT Expo

This year’s theme, “Through the Looking Glass”, really hit home when it was revealed that whether it’s through joy or tragedy, triumphs or defeat, happiness or sadness…when you look in the mirror, you can see everyone from your CYT family standing by you in the reflection. We are all in this together and there is no place we’d rather be than CYT!

My CYT Story Winners

My CYT Story Winners

There were so many incredible highlights from the weekend – guest artist Jon Lorenz, the closing night showcase with exceptional solos, harmonies, featured dancers, and the worlds greatest teenagers (can I get an “eye-five”), worship in the morning, HYPE breakouts, Improv rounds, workshops throughout the day, special evening events, late night rehearsals, and dance parties. It didn’t matter if you were in HYPE, Improv, or neither, we all came together for a common goal and it was such a huge success.

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Speaking of Improv…the Improvathon was AMAZING. Congrats to the Improvathon team “Stay Glassy San Diego” from CYT San Diego for taking home the trophy! 

Improv Finals!

Improv Finals!

Perhaps one of the most special times of all was when all the CYT leaders from around the country gathered together. One point that was made in the meeting by the CYT Spokane Artistic Director is that “we are all called”… it doesn’t matter who we are, or what job we perform, we are all called to be a part of this organization.  

The incomparable CYT leaders

The incomparable CYT leaders

Thank you to everyone that was a part of the jam-packed, fast-paced, memorable weekend…it was one none of us will soon forget.

P.S. Stay tuned for the our EXPO Through Instagram blog post. Hilarious.