Friday, May 23, 2008

Living Outside the Shell

The audience applauds loudly as my fellow actors and I take our bows. The curtain closes, and I am out of character as run down the hall cheering without any dignity. I congratulate my friends and openly hug several of them. It was time for our celebration, a grand social gathering at the local Applebee's. As we leave the building, I strike up conversation with the others, laughing about our performance and generally acting like a normal high school teenager. With my friends surrounding me, I couldn't be happier.

It was a different story months before, and even years before high school. I lacked the friends like I have now. I was sheltered, timid, and afraid. As I entered fourth grade, my contact with my peers was the bare minimum. It wasn't that I preferred it this way. I wasn't able to socialize as well as the other students. Year after year, I continued to live as a hermit, finding companionship in few, and spending little time outside the familiar home and school. I never had close relationships with teachers in elementary school, figuring as long as I did as I was told, I'd be golden. Reading aloud in class was painstaking, as I stuttered only when reading the words. However, the most dreadful action a teacher could ever compel me do was to make a presentation to the class. My heart would race in anticipation, and I trembled as I held my poster or paper, staggering over my own words. Even in the beginning years of high school, I was still nervous talking out loud in class during a presentation or class discussion. Debates never took my interest, and I wanted little to do with the world outside my own.

To my dismay, I had to be watched by a babysitter. I felt I couldn't be myself being constantly monitored by another, so I spent most of my time inside my imagination. If I wasn't day dreaming, I was drawing. My interest in art truly developed during this time, since I could express myself on paper. Despite my fondness in drawing, I generally disliked my time at the babysitter’s house. I decided to join an after school program rather than continue with the babysitter. My reason for leaving was because of her daughter was the complete opposite of me; loud, social, "popular" and she intimidated me. The after school program provided activities for students to take part in. It was there I discovered my passion for theatre. Acting as a character unlike oneself made me comfortable with others. Whether I was a Doctor Seuss creature or a crocodile, acting was an escape out of reality.
I continued acting as I entered high school. In front of the class I was weak and small, but on stage I was not Ricki; I was anyone or anything else possible. The stage gives the actors a powerful presence; we are leading the audience. However, as I matured, I realized the progress and changes I've undertaken. I have close nit friends, and openly speak to my peers about opinions, ideas, classes, or anything. I realized that acting could not hide me from the world and who I truly was. Slowly I began to accept my true persona, and I have truly created a less concealed presence. It's not until senior year that many students realize their calling, their dreams, and themselves. That is the case for me. Acting on stage is much more to me now than briefly escaping myself. I can only hope to continue my progress through my life, discovering new ideas and revisiting the old. As Shakespeare writes in As You Like It, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances..." It is my time to take center stage in life, and to strive for my goals. I will continue acting on stage with as much passion as I have speaking to my peers, standing at the same level in front of the class.

I continued acting as I entered high school. In front of the class I was weak and small, but on stage I was not Ricki; I was anyone or anything I wanted to be. The stage gives actors a powerful presence; we lead the audience. As I matured, I realized the progress and changes I've undertaken. I have close nit friends, and openly speak to my peers about opinions, ideas, classes, or even philosophy. I realized that acting could not hide me from the world and who I truly was. Slowly I began to accept my true persona, and I have created a less concealed presence. It was not until senior year that many students realize their calling, their dreams, and themselves. That is the case for me. Acting on stage is much more to me now than briefly escaping myself.

I can only hope to continue my progress through my life, discovering new ideas and revisiting the old. As Shakespeare writes in As You Like It, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances..." (Jaques, As You Like It). It is my time to take center stage in life, and to strive for my goals. I will continue acting on stage with as much passion as I have speaking to my peers, standing at the same level in front of the class.

1 comment:

Ricki L5 said...

I chose this as my personal piece because I give the reader a bit of insight of my life. After all, it is the college essay.