I have participated in professional and community theatre since I was 7, and in retrospect, have realized that it helps me live the best version of myself on a daily basis.
First, theatre gives back to both the audience and performers. It gives audiences a gratifying experience, new perspectives, and knowledge of different cultures and time periods. Similarly, I have also gained knowledge and learned to give back. I think half of the SAT vocabulary words I know were originally introduced to me through musical theatre lyrics!
My love of giving back to the community also stems from theatre. I have been very involved in community service since I was young. I currently participate in the Rose Foundation Teen Board, which gives 23 Jewish teens the opportunity to work together to grant $60,000 to nonprofit organizations in the greater Denver community.
I also started a club at East High School called Bridging Generations. Members perform old-time songs in retirement communities. My work in this club enables me to combine my passions of singing and community service.
The second way that the lessons of theatre enrich is by teaching actors that hard work pays off. Any actor knows that hours of rehearsal will finally pay off when taking an opening night bow. I apply this lesson in my life by understanding that hard work and studying will directly benefit my knowledge and grades.
The last lesson theatre has given me is to lead a balanced and focused life. In theatre, focus helps actors get into character and not miss cues or forget lines. Balance helps an actor to know that having fun is a part of the process . . . but so is serious work.
I have been balancing theatre and school since before I can remember. I have learned that I do better in school when I am in a show, as extracurricular activities help me stay focused and motivated.
My parents have constantly told me to “work hard and play hard,” and I believe that balancing extracurricular and academic activities helps me do both of these things. Of course at age 7, I couldn’t have recognized all these hidden benefits, but now I know that my passion is a worthwhile one.
– Zoe Miller is a student at East High School in Denver. Got a lead on a student who deserves some recognition? Share it with us here!
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