At age three, I remember standing in front of my preschool class, so excited. I thought I was a ballerina, and as I twirled and bounced in front of my peers, I hadn’t seen the snickers or heard the snide remarks. When I had finished my dance, I was shocked when I looked across the small group of my classmates and saw that they were all laughing at me. “That was gross looking,” said one of the girls. I was crushed, I remember sitting alone at lunch and listening to all of the other girls talk about me. I felt like I was useless.
Age 9, I recall standing in front of my third grade music class, clutching onto the bottom of my top. My hands were shaking as I sang for the first time in front of a crowd. My teacher smiled and asked if I had fun. I nodded, it was the truth. I was terrified, but something about singing for people who had wanted to listen. She said that I just needed to practice.. And as I looked back into the class, my mind flashed back to preschool when I saw the same laughing faces. Tears formed in my eyes as I took my seat in the back of the class.
Age 13, I remember listening to Guys and Dolls on repeat, and clutching my poor script to my chest. Preparing for my audition for weeks in advance. Hoping and praying for my one big shot. I remember answering the phone, with shaking hands. I was told I received the lead role. Tears formed in my eyes, and I hung up the phone and smiled bigger than I had ever before.
Age 14, I found out that I had won my first National Theatre Award.
Age 16, now. I am president of my high school drama club, and I stand onstage in front of the same people that laughed at me seven years before. They’re still laughing, however, instead of laughing at me, they're laughing at my comedic timing.