When I was growing up I was extremely shy. I couldn’t look authority figures in the eye, and just the thought of any kind of confrontation would make me cry. My mother decided to plug me into the theatre scene. I was terrified. “Talking and singing in front of real actual breathing people, are you crazy?!” Well she insisted, and let’s just say, I’m glad she did.
I was six years old when I performed in my first play, “How to Eat like a Child.” I remember my best friend Emily sitting in the audience and how she kept making me laugh. Staying in character was near to impossible. But I got better. And now here we are, twelve years later and theatre continues to be a part of my daily life.
In my years of children’s theatre something within me came alive. I became a social, charismatic kid who couldn’t wait to perform. I still got nervous but I always listened to my mother when she told me, “It’s good to be a little nervous; it means you care.” And she was right. I deeply care about the arts, not only for its role in my continuous and creative development, but for the role in can serve in helping youth gain critical life skills.
My involvement in the arts turned me into a life long artist: writer, actor, director, but it also gave me the skills to get up in front of a group of people and give a presentation without running out of the room in fear. It gave me the courage to go up to new people and say “Hi, what’s your name?” It helped turn me into a leader.
This week is National Arts in Education week. Here at TAP we are dedicated to our mission of using the creative arts to foster social change in communities and individuals. I think that many understand the value of the arts but often times in schools there lacks an instructional imperative. Why is this? Is it just budget cuts? This week gives individuals all across America the opportunity to look and see how the arts have affected them and hopefully inspires individuals to become advocates for the Arts in Education.
Community Relations Asst. VISTA