Photos: Michelle Spanedda
I always wanted to be a “Sporty Girl”. They sat at their own table at lunch. They were always laughing and enjoying themselves way more than I was. I tried to join them in soccer and gymnastics, but I never got reassurance from my coaches like the other girls did and I began to question my ability.
Then 12/14 came and my community changed forever. I lost my carefree attitude and had to grow up fast, for a 9 yr old. Shortly after the tragedy I met Michael Unger when he came to Sandy Hook Elementary to do a taping for “From Broadway with Love” concert. I liked him immediately, but had no idea how fond I’d become of him and his “Dream Team” from the Broadway community.
Fast forward 3 years and I am playing Summer Hathaway in the New Arts production of School Of Rock. I’ve come a long way from the 9 yr old that cried after her 1st audition for Seussical the Musical. I am confident and comfortable acting and singing in front of hundreds of people. But the best part of being involved in New Arts is the friendships I’ve made year after year. No one is ever critical and always finds something good to say about each performance. I look forward to each rehearsal to perfect each scene and then do it all over the next day.
I think back to those sporty coaches who never noticed me, and then to now, with my director, choreographer, and music conductor who encourage and compliment me every day! I’m so glad I found NewArts and the experience it has given me have changed the way I see myself and obstacles in front of me.
It’s OK I don’t sit with the “Sporty Girls” – I have a new table of friends to sit with.
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