When you imagine the perfect musical theatre performer, what do you see?
Do you see long legs, blond hair and perfect pirouettes? Do you hear high belting sounds AND the soft legit notes? Do you see a comedic character AND somebody who can move you to tears? And most importantly, do you see all this in one single person?
Now, look at yourself. What do you see? Are you short and a little chubby and kinda weird? Did you dye your hair red, wear Doc Martens and sing on the subway? Are you taller than most guys and a mole has 20-20 vision compared to you? Awesome!
You aren’t perfect and that’s great
So, chances are that you can’t check off all items on your perfect performer checklist (yet). And some of these ideals you will never be able to achieve, no matter how hard you try. Well, you can lose weight, wear contacts and dye your hair a different colour but you can’t change your height, the length of your legs or your bone structure. (A big no-no to plastic surgery here!!!)
So you may not fit into this ideal of yours but you are you, and – to quote Dr Seuss – “that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you”. What I’m saying is that you are unique. You are perfect in your own way. You are a completely new combination of looks, skills and personality that isn’t out there a second time.
Choose an ideal that fits you
That being said, you should rethink your ideal. Why? Because the theatre is FOR people, ABOUT people and BY people. And most importantly, the theatre is about ALL KINDS of people. And guess what, YOU are people, too.
Imagine Les Misérables without the Thénardiers, The Book of Mormon without Elder Cunningham, Hamilton without… I think you’re getting my point…
So if you do choose a performer to strive after, choose somebody real, don’t make up a fictional performing superhero in your mind. Look at Youtube videos of performers that you like and ask yourself why that is. Maybe you see some piece of yourself in them and that lets you relate.
Embrace the “imperfections”
And when you do watch them, also see that they are people, too. They are people from all different backgrounds, colour, stature, walks of life. All different inside and out. Watch them perform, be blown away and thank the Lord for the miracle you just witnessed. And then compare them to the mental checklist you had before and you will realise how ridiculous that list was.
Throw out that list right now and NEVER listen to people who are dragging you down just because you don’t fit their unrealistic checklist! Look into the mirror, tell yourself hi and start telling your stories YOUR way.