I was nine years old. I had never heard of a “play”, the “theater” or “drama”. I had no concept of any of it whatsoever. So when my best friend invited me to see the High School theater department’s latest show, I didn’t know what to expect.
If I remember correctly, we sat towards the back. It was a full house. There was a certain energy in the air as we received our programs and filed in. The murmuring of the crowd before the curtain was drawn. The lights dimming. The shuffling of actors’ feet on stage. It all felt so new and mysterious. What was about to happen?
Wide-eyed and mesmerized, I watched the story of the Little Shop of Horrors unfold. I particularly had an affinity towards Seymour. The actor, Marc Smollin (yes, I remember his name!), who portrayed the nerdy man-eating plant owner, was captivating. A performance I remember to this day and that I attribute to realizing my passion. An inexplicable feeling was happening inside of me. My eyes were glued to the stage, and I was loving every minute, yet there was this tinge of pain in my heart. (Forgive me for being dramatic, I am an actor). Was it jealousy? Can a 9 year old feel jealous? Was it hurt? Sadness? What was going on?
I continued watching, immersed in the live action that was taking place before me and I realized that I wanted to be on that stage. I wanted to share the story with them. I wanted to tell it. I felt a tinge because I realized I was on the wrong side of the curtain…
From that moment on, I made a secret pact with myself that I would strive to be the person performing.
Though throughout the following years I had fleeting desires to be an architect, a psychologist, you name it… the one constant was the burning desire to act.
When did you first realize your dream?