It's been nearly two years since I wrote an open thank you note to all the people that have inspired me. Two years. I should be saying thank you every day.
Because truly, "Your art matters"--yes you--"It's what got me here." (One Tree Hill)
I am a go getter--a strong-brave--courageous-lively individual. But I am also grateful. I didn't get here on my own. I got here through all of you--through all of you in my past--through all of you who are in my present--through all of you that I've only met for moments--seconds in my life. I got here through my past--I got here through looking towards the future--and I got here through your constant pushes, your endless support, your brilliant love and passion for life and whatever it may bring. I got here through you. Yes--you.
I didn't always wear my heart on my sleeve when it came to what I truly wanted. The truth is--I've always wanted to be a performer--an artist--a creative soul giving her most intimate thoughts and gifts through words and writing on the side of the street. I always wanted to be in the school plays, take voice lessons so I could be on Broadway, and make art. Growing up, the only reality TV show I wanted to be on was Say What Karaoke. But up until my senior year of college, I never acted on it. I am not sure if I was scared of what people would think of me--or if I just didn't have the confidence in myself. Whatever wall was stopping me seemed unbreakable. But I don't regret waiting so long to find my inner arteest (hehe)--because along the way, I formed friendships and long-lasting relationships with people who taught me to love myself and push myself in ways that have propelled me to become the artist --and person that I am.
I was an athlete. In everyone's minds that's where my life was going--athletics. When I was in eighth grade, I engraved it in my head that I needed to be good enough to get a scholarship for college--at softball. In sophomore year, I sat down with a recruiter and discussed how to reach college coaches. And by junior year, I was no longer focused on softball--but rather field hockey--another sport. I hadn't given myself a chance to TRY anything else. Being an athlete was all I knew. My life revolved around the emotion of the final game of a season--statistics--and morning runs. I knew nothing else--and my heart yearned for me to be trying EVERYTHING. I got a glimpse of what my heart was truly yearning for when I auditioned for class speaker, and won a vote to speak at my high school graduation. I compared high school to coffee--my inner art was screaming to get out, but again the wall built itself up. But my heart was yearning to be on a stage--somewhere--talking to people--laughing with people--performing. My head won this game. But I don't regret it.
What better way to get comfortable speaking and performing in front of people than playing sports--where you are put on display for people during every practice and during every game--choreographing just like a dancer how you'll dodge, move, and drive toward the goal. What better way to learn about performing in front of people than when you don't have time to worry about what people on the outside are thinking of you. It's just you and your teammates. It's because of those teammates--those coaches--those support systems--that I can perform. Here's to you.
Additionally I was always one to quote underdog movies: and prove that I should be on that field through my drive and my passion for wanting to be there for my teammates--for wanting to be a pillar to the foundation of a group of girls who meant the world to me. Through my teammates--through my coaches--through those support systems--through wanting to be there for people--who were always there for me--I found passion. Here's to you. My team.
When I moved to New York City, life changed. I met hundreds of people who were all part of team-dream (haha). I met hundreds of people who were following their passions. I met hundreds of people who made me realize that I could do the same. I met people who invited me to their shows--who asked me to watch them do their art--who showed me WHO THEY WERE. I met comics--and actors--and singers--and aspiring novelists. I met my acting class--I met my new mentors. I met people who were okay with being THEM--I met people who showed me that it's okay to be ME. These people are part of my team--these people are part of me. Here's to you--my team.
That's what life is about to me--the passion to perform--and the inherit pleasure in being part of a team--an endless team of people that are constantly making moves that in turn allow me to make my own. A team that often is off on their own, performing on stage, singing, dancing, playing and dreaming--a team that is inspiring me. I consider the world my team: My friends--my old teammates--my family--my new acquaintances--the faces of people who don't look back--the faces of people who worry, but push through--the faces of friends who pursue their dreams. You are all my team---Whoever you are--wherever you are--whether I met you in passing--or I spend time with you on a consistent basis--whether I read your blog--or followed your Twitter--I admire you--and I am inspired by you. I am me because of my team--This team. I am me because of you.
"Your art truly matters. It's what got me here."