A Farewell

May 18, 2012
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I have done my part in tucking away the props, re-hanging the costumes, and sweeping up the saw dust, nails, and pieces of wood from the stage of my high school. A stage that I have personally spent three years dancing, singing, acting, and essentially living on has absolutely no trace of me left on it. It is simply outrageous to think about investing so much of myself into one specific area, especially when I know that once the current freshmen leave no one will know who I was, what I gave up to be in that spot light, or what it took for me to get there. One thing does give me hope, that the feelings and passion that I have for the stage will live on not just in myself, but in the actors, actresses, and dancers alike who have the devotion to performing that I do. Being part of something that goes on beyond yourself is an amazing experience, it is like being connected in a network of people both before and after your moment has come and gone. Then you have the opportunity to come back and watch someone else feel exactly what you felt, for the first time.

Theatre is not a hobby but it is truly a lifestyle. I have spent more time in my high school auditorium than I have spent in my own home while in high school. I have become friends with them most incredible, smart, dynamic people I have ever come to know, and most importantly I found a home outside of my own. The cast of my last show had a cast and crew that stretched to nearly a hundred of the most brightest and gifted students, and I could tell you every single person’s name, some of the most personal things about them, and what made them an honorable person. Theatre brought me to the boyfriend I am head-over-heels for, my best friends who I will cry alongside at graduation, and the most inspirational teachers that have ever walked the face of this Earth.

Community is defined as a small collection of people that inhabit a common area, to incoming freshmen it means “an area where you can get those service hours for an honor society,” but to me it has become something I could have never even fathomed when I first walked through the main entrance doors. Forgetting that you are part of something bigger than just yourself or your immediate circle of friends is easy to do, and it happens to everyone. The stage is where I broke away from my comfort zone and own personal world, and entered a world where my problems where nothing compared to what others had to endure. Community is the stage, it’s the auditorium, it’s the people who come together to work towards a common vision, idea, and greater good. I learned that from three years of a face caked with make-up, hair stiff with product, heavy costumes, and snapping lines. By being a character, a different person, I learned more about myself than I ever thought was possible. This is something that will live on in the performers that come to this stage long after I do, and what I leave the stage knowing just as those before me.

Even if there is no physical trace of me left behind, I know I will live on in the moments of love and passion for the arts in those who are to rise after my class has gone. So I will step into the spot light one last time with a smile on my face and take my last bow, my last farewell not to the stage but to the girl I was in high school and the naïve notions I am leaving behind. Forget me if you will, but know that when you feel that rush of the applause coursing through your veins know that you are not the first or the last to feel such as thing, and prepare to change for the better.

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