You Can’t Take it With You (1995)

You Can't Take it With You (1995)
Getting my portrait painted, in a toga, as Mr. DePinna, in my first performance of You Can’t Take it With You (1995)

When I started high school, I had no idea I would ever become involved with theater. Middle school was beyond brutal for me. After being pulled from Gifted and Talented classes, and placed into classes for students meant for legit troublemakers due to a rumor that I was gay (thanks, private school), I needed something to get me through the day. I considered sports, but they were for, well, athletic people, which I and my 14 minute mile, weren’t. Then I tried auditioning for the school play, You Can’t Take it With You, but didn’t get cast. Finally, I tried chorus. I wasn’t accepted, but if you heard my voice back then, you wouldn’t accept me either.

Feeling like a perfect failure, I was creeping my way through the halls when one of my fellow cast members told me that a part had opened up, and I should talk to the director about it. I felt pretty silly doing so, but I told her I’d love to fill in. My role was a medium sized part, and memorizing lines was extremely frustrating, but I somehow got through it.

The process was tough, nights were long, and most rehearsals were tense, but once the lights were up, and we were on stage, it was the most amazing feeling ever. Truly, for the first time in my life, I felt needed. I felt successful. I felt like I found my niche. Getting cast in this show was truly a lifesaver.



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