Mental Health Day: Raising Awareness

Who could imagine one small and supportive group of people effectively erasing any stress or frustration as soon as one of them walks into the room. 

Before I joined MCT, five years ago, I was buried in unhealthy emotions and always held myself below anyone who received even the smallest amount of praise. I thought that mistakes meant absolute failure and that if I couldn’t please other people, I was nothing. Imagine my surprise when I stepped into an audition for a show my mother insisted I do and was immediately acknowledged by an older actor. In my first show, I was a part of the largest ensemble and only showed up on stage twice. However, during rehearsals and when we all took our final bow, I could have sworn I was the lead character with how much support and recognition I got. 

After that show I immediately threw myself into theater activities and camps. I started to use the theater as an escape, a way to put my problems behind me and pretend they didn’t exist.  The people I met were so kind and companionate, I remember swearing they were faking it, but they weren’t. I learned that the theater was a place where everyone can be anything they want, or just themselves. Theater has brought me friends that make me feel included and recognized.

After my first 2 years with the theater, I met a young actress who came from Springfield. She held herself to the highest standard and never worked towards anything other than the top. No one in the audition room was sitting near her except the only other Springfield actor. I had never seen her before, but I could tell she loved to be on stage. I took it upon myself to welcome her, just like I was welcomed. Soon she relaxed and I could see how passionate she was, I also realized how powerful the theater really is.  After that encounter, I started to pay more attention to the younger or new actors coming in. All I want to do was make them feel safe and appreciated while at MCT.

 The directors and technical crew were so inclusive and open minded, you couldn’t help but feel like part of a family. The theater is a home for people who like to be on the stage and behind the scenes. The Marshfield Community Theatre has welcomed people from all over Missouri. From Marshfield to Rogersville, Springfield to Nixa, anyone who wants to be a part of the theater is welcome to find a safe and supportive space with MCT. I’m so glad I found my safe space.

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