Taking it In

By: Vagabond63

Oct 11 2012

Category: Uncategorized

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Life definitely takes some sharp turns and it may be hard to catch up sometimes. Running out of time is something I am now used to. Hours of homework, balancing a social life, remembering to eat, and maybe catching some sleep is most definitely the typical life of a college student. Throw in memorizing scripts, music history quizzes from hell, scene and lyric analysis, new show material and working with kids every week and that is the life of a Young American. A life where you learn more than books can teach.

When I started last year as a new kid I was definitely afraid of what was going to happen. I didn’t know anybody, I had moved from my safe home in Idaho to sketchville California, and I was joining an intense program; essentially I was starting fresh. From day one I knew things would be okay. A year later I can still remember the first day in the apartments. I had met up with a few people that I knew from Nebraska camps and we started wondering the apartment complex looking for other new kids, when we got to the loudest apartment in the area we knew that was the place. There were over twenty people crammed in one tiny apartment, but the atmosphere was incredible; the air was just buzzing with excitement. That was the first day that I met my new family. The year from that moment forward was definitely hard. Tears, sweat, and long nights became routine and now I’m here. I am in the same apartment complex with new roommates and a new cast; there are new kids everywhere with a beautiful energy that just surrounds the warehouse buildings, and I wouldn’t ask to be anywhere else.

Resident company is such an incredible experience. We don’t get the advantage of working with kids pretty much everyday like those touring all around but we definitely have something that the tours do not have, I’m not sure if I know what that is yet but I can feel it. I wake up every morning and know that I have a long day of classes and lecture in front of me but like anything else I take it head on, and everyday I have a moment I say “Wow”. The cast I work with is so incredible. There are people that have been on one tour, to people that have been on seven tours, to people that have been on none; the diversity helps us all to grow. We as a cast got the opportunity to do two workshops in the area one at Los Alamitos and another at Valley Christian, even though they weren’tperfect there are only positive things to say about them. I haven’t gone on a full tour yet; I was involved with the Nebraska Camp over the summer but that was comfortable for me because that’s where I auditioned, so finally doing a three day workshop in a school that I have never been, with children I didn’t know was eye opening experience.

The first town, Los Alamitos, was really quite hectic, not bad just a little crazy. It was the first time we had worked together as a cast and we were all getting into the swing of things again or for the first time. For me personally I had my first moment as a teacher. On the morning of the second day was had old school classes which are singing, improv, and dance; I got the opportunity of working with the red group which is the middle school age. We started in singing class and tried to get all of the kids to stand up and sing a small solo, the girl next to me just wouldn’t do it. I would talk her into going and then she would back down, the same thing happened in dance class when I was trying to get her to just let go and dance; she was so shy. The improv class really opened her up, she started to smile and have a good time all it took was a little coaxing. For the rest of the workshop she was always my right hand woman; we ate dinner together and danced next to each other in every dance, we made jokes and when it was time for Lion King she asked me to teach her the dance. The change in this girl in two days changed my life.

In Valley Christian I had a completely different experience that taught me a lot and opened my eyes to a different way of life. We got the opportunity to work with an alumnus of the Young Americans that is the high school choir teacher and football coach for the high school. Otha “O” was our director for this workshop and it was such an incredible experience. Otha was on the tour that came to my town in 2006, I was in eighth grade and after that workshop my life was changed. I have a clear memory of Otha because he taught my town Lion King, he took the time to look me in the face and ask me “Who is He to you?” and then six years later to have the exact same question be asked was life changing, but not as life changing as the moment that happened to me after the question was asked again. Because of the memory of who I was the first time I met the Young Americans and then the realization of who I am now I definitely shed a few tears when we sang again. Not moments after the song finishes I lose it, tears start pouring down my face, I then feel a small hand slip into mine. I look over and see this beautiful little girl with huge brown eyes staring right back at me. In that moment I was the student. I hadn’t worked with this little girl directly, she didn’t know me but she knew that I was hurting and knew what I needed. She was so selfless and pure. She will never know the impact that she had on my life but the image of her is forever in my mind. Her lesson will be one that I will try to live everyday. She taught me to be selfless and do what is right, not what is easy.

Life isn’t easy. We all get caught up and tangled in the movement of it when sometimes we just need to stop and look around, maybe see if there is somebody that could use a kind word or even just a smile. Take in the beauty of the world because if you really look around there is so much to be living for. I have had so many beautiful moments this year that I can’t put them all into words. What I can put into words is that I am happy, I am where I need to be and I am proud to be living my life as a Young American.

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