I’ve discovered in the past several years, that performing has given me a unique kind of joy that I have never felt from anything else. I took a Theatre Arts class in Grade 11, and even now, it is still the best class I have ever taken. I learned about the technical elements of the theatre, and the language, but my favourite part was learning how to be a good performer. We learned how to write a monologue, and how to write partner scripts, and most importantly, how to act on stage. The first couple of performances were terrifying and awkward, but when I look back, I could feel the start of something incredible even in those first shaky steps as a performer.
It didn’t take long before I started to learn the craft of performing, what made a good monologue, how to throw away my serious and shy personality and act the part of a dumb blonde or, my personal favourite, the rich, mean snot. There was a high that came after stepping off stage, too, that I quickly learned to love. It was an excitement that came from knowing I had done a good job at entertaining the audience.
I did well in the class, which made me feel great, but the most important thing that I took away from the whole experience, was that I could be the person that I had always envied. I was so used to being the quiet girl that sat in the corner with a book and missed out on experiencing life with the rest of the kids. Now, though, after seeing the confidence that I displayed on the stage, I could take some of that and put it into my real life and become the person that I wanted to be. It comes back to the expression:
At first, I did have to fake it, because I didn’t know how to bring that courageous actor out in me when I didn’t have a character to act as, or an audience to draw energy from. I made up my own character and pretended that I was acting a part in a TV show. Eventually, I realized, I was just being myself. I had learned how to use that confidence from acting, and let it help my interact with my everyday life.
My Theatre Arts class gave me the confidence to be a better version of myself, and even though I have no chance to act on stage, I’ll act in my everyday life as a jokester or a a clown. I enjoy bringing other people joy by simply acting the part of a “happy-go-lucky” kid. Finding the joy of performing was the best thing that could have happened for me, and I’m grateful for the experience.
Are there any fellow performers that would like to share there thoughts? Are there any life-changing classes or experiences that you’d like to share?