My first involvement with the FAC was in 2000 when I made my FAC debut as “The Yellow Brick Road” in The Wiz. I’ve been told that this production was part of the road that led to the Youth Rep. Theater. My next venture at the FAC was in 2004 when I performed in Sweet Charity. Many years past after that and I was ecstatic to return to my home theater this past year but not as a performer but as a choreographer!
My experiences at the FAC both as a performer and part of production staff have been outstanding learning opportunities. When I was younger and performing at the FAC, the theater was not only my home but also my own personal playground. I gained the knowledge of working in a professional atmosphere and the discipline that is needed when working with other artists. The FAC was my gateway into the world of theater that I now call home.
I believe the best and most amazing change I’ve seen the arts make in others was within my cast for Hairspray. When we started rehearsals I had a mix of levels as far as dancing ability. I had some that hadn’t danced before at all. With that said you can imagine some faces when we started “You Can’t Stop the Beat” that first day of dance rehearsals. I think it was a combination of hard work, determination, and high expectations that gave the cast the confidence they needed to not only pull off the movement but smash it!
I believe they would agree that it made the countless hours of meticulous rehearsal and their many moments of frustration worth it.
I would say that having the arts in my life has been more than life changing. The arts are not a simple choice as some may think; it is a calling. With that said I couldn’t imagine my life without it. The theater/dance gives me the space and sanctuary that I need to fully express myself. It is my emotional ventilation system. So much so that when I am having a tough day, I go in the studio and just dance out my worry and my pain and whatever else has affected me that day. By the time I walk back into the “real world” I feel prepared to take on anything that comes my way.