When I first joined the Christus Homines Drama Troupe I was a little eleven-year-old who had barely ever left the house. But they had announced that they were performing Little Women, one of my favorite stories, so of course I had to join! I remember that first year well. I didn't know anyone, and my sister and I stuck together like glue for every rehearsal. The only time I would really say anything was when I had to recite one of my seven little lines.
I have stuck with drama ever since, and have been a part of many, many, many plays.
A Tale of Two Cities, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, and The Mouse that Roared.
Every year I have been faced with new challenges, like the year I discovered I shouldn't ever do makeup crew... just no, or the year when I could not get my insane laughter down as the March Hare. Every year I'm stretched and pushed outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes it's difficult, but it is always worth it.
This year, as Ninetta Crummles in Nicholas Nickleby, I had a whole new set of challenges. Ninetta, or The Infant Phenomenon, as she is so affectionately known as by everyone who knows her, is one of Charles Dicken's most strangest and under-rated characters (for those who don't know the story, she is basically a grown up baby). I was honestly confused when I had learned I was cast to play her.
I am not weird, at least not in that way. I have trouble portraying very obscure characters. I just can't get out of my shell enough to actually do the strange characters justice.
Each rehearsal I would have to prance around our makeshift stage area, stare at people awkwardly, skip, giggle, spin, and do all sorts of weird, abnormal things that I would never do otherwise.
When I was at home I would read through the book, underlining and highlighting the parts with Ninetta, trying to get a sense of who Dickens meant her to be. And eventually, I started to understand her. It clicked, in a way, and by tech week I could do it all without feeling embarrassed.
That's what I love so, so, so much about drama, learning how to understand and portray a character who is not like you in the least. I have learned so much about myself from playing these little characters . The theater is deep in my heart. I don't think I will ever stop acting, even after I graduate from the drama troupe, I will always take whatever chance I get to be on the stage.