There’s nothing quite like being on stage. When I’m on a stage dancing or performing in any way, I feel so content and happy. I feel like I belong on stage. It’s been more than a year since I’ve been on stage and I miss it more than anything. It was weird being back at the theatre volunteering at my old dance studio’s year end recital; I was backstage and up in the balcony watching the show for a bit but I so longed to be on the stage under the stage lights. And every time I go see a show or a musical that is performed live, I find myself wishing that I was up on that stage every night.
I danced for 14 years and every year there was a year end recital (and more performances throughout the year when I was old enough to join the performing company). When I was younger, going on stage and dancing for a few hundred people was nerve-racking. But as I got older and realized that I couldn’t see the audience with the stage lights and that there was 10-13 other people in the class for the audience to be watching, I started to relax and just really enjoy it. After years of doing it, I don’t get nervous going on stage any more, even if I’m performing something new. I also don’t really mind getting up and doing presentations in front of people and I think that being on stage really helped in that area of my life. I remember my dance teachers always telling us to smile on stage – I didn’t have the problem of trying to force a fake smile on stage when I got older because I just naturally smiled because I was having fun just being on stage and doing something I love.
Being on stage is so great because it’s a place to show off my talents and share something I love with so many people. The spotlights and all eyes are on you and you can show off all the skills, musical numbers, talent, that you have worked on and developed over a period of time. It’s so rewarding to share a piece of art with an audience of friends, family, and even strangers.
Of course, a lot of what happens on stage is a result of what happens off stage. It doesn’t matter the kind of performance (dance show, school musical, talent show, etc.), you really develop a special relationship with the people you’re performing with. This happens because you spend so many hours with them at rehearsals or in classes and it’s a bonding experience like nothing else. You may only know the people you’re performing with for a few weeks when you’re in rehearsals/intensive or you could know them for 14 years and you’ve become best friends. Either way, it creates strong bonds and relationships and you’ve now got all these people supporting you and encouraging you to go out and give your best performance. So now you’re not only trying to impress the audience, you’re also trying to impress your fellow performers and show them that you can do it and you’re pretty good at what you love to do. With all these people surrounding you off stage that help build the performance into something incredible on stage, it’s no question that these people will shape your performance in some way whether it’s because you’re inspired by others in the production and you want to get on their level, you’re working closely with someone on a scene/small group number, you’re trying to outshine someone, you’re trying to stand out in a large group number, or you’re trying to impress an instructor. In the end, the people you work with off stage have a great deal of influence on your performance and they usually help bring out your best performance.
Every time I see a performance, whether it’s a musical or a play or a concert or a dance show, I get inspired to keep trying to find opportunities to perform, which is a little bit harder in university, because I miss it so much. The performers just look like they’re having so much fun on stage and I know they’re doing something they love. It takes a lot of courage to get up on a big stage and perform for an audience no matter how big or small. The reason I love going to live performances is because it’s great to see people living out their dreams and sharing them with the world. I kind of live vicariously through performance productions and they keep me inspired to follow my dreams and keep doing whatever I need to to achieve those dreams, even if my dreams aren’t on stage. The stage is the one place where I feel happy and content and a place where my talent is recognized and seen by so many people.
In my world, performing is one of the best feelings in the world and I miss it a lot – the bright stage lights on you, feeling like you’re the star, showing people you’re actually pretty good at what you’re passionate about, knowing you’re a part of a big production, the people you get to share the experience with – it’s truly an experience like no other.