I remember when I started acting I said I would do it for the same reason that I did anything in life, to make a greater impact. Whether it was selling drugs or taking an AP course when I was younger, I always had it in my mind to do everything for a greater purpose. Acting was no different. I want to act to help tell the stories that are unheard of or so often looked over. I got away from that for a brief moment when I had started this production. This class and these guys reminded me what I am trying to do with my life.
It helped me open my eyes cause I ain’t gonna lie when I first started I was still banging when I started The Odyssey and then from being there, I realized what the hell am I doing? This is way better. So I quit banging and I guess you can say it was because of The Odyssey.
This class will influence the way I see the world for the rest of my life. I have so much love and reverence for the boys, everyone involved, and the entire experience. From the awkward half eye contact of day one, to the exuberant embraces after our show, I feel so privileged to have been a part of this. I’ll never forget the way the boys came shuffling in with their hats pulled down over their eyes, neither groups sitting near each other, all guarded yet eager. What a way we’ve come to free hugs and honest conversations. Coming to class each day was like a breath of fresh air, a chance to allow myself to simultaneously relax and re-focus. I felt like I really came alive among these boys and friends.
This project affected me in ways and my self-esteem. I was really shy. I didn’t know what people thought of me and I cared what people thought of me now I care about what I think of myself.
When I first considered taking this course, I had a friend inform me that it would change my life. Needless to say, I was more than tad bit skeptical. It seemed like such an epic claim to place on a summer theater class. After all, how many classes does one take in their academic career that are truly life altering? In my experience, most only serve to educate and inform, not transform. I stand here today, and I look back on that suspicious girl who inwardly shook her head and shrugged off claims of life change. I study her and I smirk in humble bemusement. Six weeks later, I am transformed. Perhaps not yet completely, since I’m still trying to reconfigure and adjust, but that’s okay. I know that now. I see my life, my adventures, in terms of my own personal odyssey. I am still learning, still fighting, still trying. But I know that one day, if I have the courage, I will make it home. I will finally arrive in Ithaca. And that is the best feeling in the world.