In late November of last year I stumbled across a Backstage post that seemed too good to be true. A reality show specifically designed for young adults with Broadway aspirations? The exact thing I needed to get me out of my horrendous art slump? Dropped out of the sky? I applied skeptically, not expecting a response (as is the way with most Backstage posts). But a month later, I got an email inviting me to a callback in Albuquerque, New Mexico in just a few weeks time. Ecstatic, my boyfriend and I made arrangements for the weekend of callbacks. I practiced with seriousness for what seemed like ages.
The callback was my first music audition in well over a year and my stomach was in incredible knots. I had reached a point where I didn’t believe I had any talent anymore and was on the verge of giving up my dreams entirely, and I was worried that the callback’s results would only solidify that. To my elation, I was blessed to be one of the contestants selected - though I was ranked very near the bottom. But I felt hopeful for the first time in a while, and determined to work my way up.
Over the course of the months, Broadway Bound Live has given me the opportunity I desperately needed. My life was completely shaken up in the best way possible - instead of working a soul-sapping retail job for the majority of my waking hours, I was now working with other artists on a wild variety of projects, taking performing arts classes from people incredibly knowledgeable in their fields, and building fast friendships with my cast mates over Sonic milkshakes. I got to live in a place so wildly different from where I grew up and do things I’d never even considered doing before - like a 48 film challenge and model walking. As the weeks went on, my persistence was beginning to pay off. I managed to move up in rank, and finish in the top places in a few of the challenges. And it is all culminating in me being able to perform in the first musical I’ve done since I was in high school, which brings me an incredibly specific joy that I could never articulate to any satisfactory degree.
Broadway Bound Live has, undoubtedly, changed my life for the better. If I hadn’t seen that Backstage post, I would still probably be working that retail job and letting my dreams fall by the wayside. Through their generous gifts of weekly dance and acting and voice lessons and unique challenges, I was not only building my skills as a triple threat, but I was rebuilding my confidence. I feel like a performer again, and I believe in my talent.
Pictured: Happy Grace :)