Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#ExpressYourself: I'm Infected with the Musical Theatre Bug!

I am so excited!!! I can't wait to write about today's topic.

Last week I was asked to write about a  musical or play I have viewed. I LOVE musicals! I was raised in a traditional Appalachian Irish family where music played a large part of our lives. Every grandchild was expected to play an instruments. Trouble was I didn't want to play an instrument. I wanted to sing and dance! I started singing onstage in little plays and in my church choir when I was around 5 or 6 years old. It never failed, every Christmas I would be chosen play a shepard or a wise man. I always wanted to be Mary. Anyways, my mother introduced me to the ballet when I was around 9 years old. I absolutely loved it. I will never forget the time we watched Firebird at the BalletMet Columbus.

Forget the orchestra! I wanted to be just like the ballerina who played her on stage and tell a story through movement. I wanted to perform on a big stage! Lucky for me the BalletMet had a kids club where I could learn ballet steps and meet the ballerina's before the show began. I couldn't get enough of the ballet until I learned about musicals.

A few years later, the Palace Theatre in my hometown of Marion, Ohio was looking for child actors for a musical. I tried out and got the part of playing Mickey Mouse. I was so excited to be performing on a big, live stage. I had made it! I had become just like the ballerina in Firebird! While I was there, everyone talked about the Phantom of the Opera. I had no clue what that was. Then the Phantom of the Opera appeared at one of our dress rehearsals with that famous music.

I fell in love with the music and had to know more. I never saw the play but loved the music. My grandparents has exposed me to the musicals on film such as Oklahoma, Dolly, West Side Story and Sound of Music but I never realized that they could be done on stage as well.

A few years later I fell in love with another musical. Our Girl Scout troop took a trip to the theatre in Columbus to see Cats! OMG! You mean there are more musicals than Phantom of the Opera? I realized I could mix my love for music, dance, and theatre together.

In 1998, I changed my major in college from history to theatre. It wasn't a shock to some of my friends. I had been involved with the theatre before I officially changed my major. The musical bug had hit me again with the production of Oklahoma. 

The following year while I was in a Mad Max version of Hamlet the stage next to us was practicing for Kiss Me Kate. Every night we would hear the chorus practicing. I decided if I could be in the play I would work backstage. I spoke to the director and was allowed to work backstage. 

I graduated in 1999 with a BA in Theatre Arts from Sul Ross State University. 


  1. I enjoyed this post so much! "Memory"...what can I say except I had to wipe away a tear or two.