Exploring careers: Everything happens for a reason

Evie+performs+alongside+another+cast+member+in+%27The+Wedding+Singer.%27+Since+the+COVID-19+pandemic+started%2C+Evie+has+learnt+that+her+passion+for+theatre+extends+beyond+the+performance+itself%2C+and+instead+lies+in+acting+as+a+mentor+for+others.

Photo By: Jeff Shaw

Evie performs alongside another cast member in ‘The Wedding Singer.’ Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Evie has learnt that her passion for theatre extends beyond the performance itself, and instead lies in acting as a mentor for others.

I believe everything happens for a reason.

Ever since I began performing at the age of eight, I wanted to become a musical theatre actress. It was my lifelong dream to be on Broadway and live smack dab in the middle of NYC. Rehearsal after rehearsal, my passion for theatre grew, and year after year, I trained to work in the professional theatre world. A rush of excitement traveled through my body when I pictured looking out at an audience of thousands, sweating under the beaming lights and dancing my little heart out eight times a week. 

It was Friday, Mar. 13, 2020. The Palace Theatre’s cast of Mamma Mia sat in the seats of the theatre after we had completed our afternoon brush-up rehearsal, a few hours to showtime. The entire production team stood quietly and somberly in front of us, then proceeded to announce the cancellation of our show due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Yes, there were tears. Many, many tears. We walked down to our dressing rooms to collect our belongings and say goodbye to our castmates, uncertain of the next time we’d return. The heartbroken emotions I felt during this moment are something I don’t think I’ll ever forget, but boy, am I thankful it happened. 

If my first professional show never closed, quarantine didn’t happen, and life continued on as expected, I would be going into a profession that is not right for me: musical theatre. Throughout my time at home, I got the opportunity to explore all the other degrees and careers available to me and deeply consider if I was headed in the right direction. I had always known going into theatre was a risky endeavor and not a stable plan, but when I sat down and really thought about it, I couldn’t picture myself being able to handle it. The constant auditions and rejections, never positively knowing where the next paycheck will come from, always having to push yourself to the limit and hope that you impress someone in the room—there was absolutely no way I could handle it. 

After considering a new path almost every week, which, unfortunately, is not an exaggeration, I discovered my passion lies not in the performance aspect of theatre, but the education. I have learned my purpose is not to be up there on the stage myself, but to inspire young actors to be confident in themselves and their talents, encourage them to grow and support them in chasing their wildest dreams. I want to be a positive role model my students can trust, laugh with and come to for anything they may need. 

I believe the events that have occurred in the past year have happened for a very important reason and have redirected my journey towards what I am truly meant to do, and for all the bad the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, I’m grateful there’s at least one good thing to come out of it.

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